Halloween is Spooky, but Workplace Injuries are Scary!


Please be careful tonight as our little ghosts and goblins, and every other Disney, Marvel, and countless other characters, are out in the neighborhoods looking for tricks or treats.  It should go without saying, but kids running around near or after dark very excited and pumped up with sugar could lead to a tragic outcome.  Have fun, but be safe!  Check out these Halloween safety tips from the National Safety Council

Speaking of spooky, workplace injuries are a lot more serious than what we’ll see on the streets tonight.  Consider the following statistics and ask yourself what can I do, or what can my organization do to prevent workplace injuries? 

  • Workers' compensation claims have been decreasing over the last many years with the exception of one category:  Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVAs).  Take this knowledge and turn it into action.  Adopt a fleet plan, train your drivers, consider tracking systems and other telematics that will help drivers perform more safely, and enforce all vehicle policies.  MVAs and other transportation related incidents tend to result in more serious injuries and lead to more deaths than any other cause.  Of course this isn’t just a workplace issue - almost everyone drives including our teenagers.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page devoted to motor vehicle safety.  Last week was National Teen Driver Safety Week, but don’t let the calendar dictate when you address safety with your children!
  • Fatal workplace injuries rose seven percent from 2015-2016.  That’s a significant increase in overall fatalities; 5,190 people lost their lives at work in 2016.  It isn’t just that more people are working either.  The fatality rate per 100,000 workers increased from 3.4 to 3.6.  Yes, this is scary for sure!  This represents the ultimate failure of an organization’s safety program.  Nothing is more important than sending your employees home every night safe and sound.  As mentioned above, transportation is the leading cause of workplace death.  Ask yourself - did I do everything I could do today to prevent an injury? 
  • Even scarier might be that workplace violence is the number two killer in the workplace!  With all these safety programs, engineering controls, and safety training requirements it turns out that violence by people or animals is number two.  This is a human behavior issue that deserves everyone’s attention.  Take advantage of your company’s counseling services, any Employer Assistance Program, follow all security procedures, and if you see something say something.  We have to take care of each other.  Check out OSHA’s Workplace Violence page for more information regarding this frightening topic. 

Thank you for reading this post; I hope you are a little spooked by the information presented.  Don’t be paranoid, but don’t be complacent either.  Safety is everyone’s business and we owe it to our families, friends, and coworkers to operate safely at work and at home.  Enjoy the Halloween fun, but keep safety at the forefront. 

By Randy Klatt