OSHA Touts Workplace Safety Campaign Amid Increase in Fatalities in Three Midwest States

If only judging by the number of press releases, the activity at the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has tapered off since President Trump took office. On occasion, there’s still signs of life at the agency.

On Wednesday, OSHA region 7–encompassing Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska–reminded employers of its “Safe and Sound” campaign to call attention to an uptick in unsafe working conditions in that tri-state area.

OSHA has initiated 12 fatality inspections in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska since Oct. 1, 2016 – up from seven for the same period of Oct. 1, 2015 through Feb. 1, 2016 – and found a significant increase in fatalities associated with confined space entry and trenching and excavating. Fatalities involving workers being struck by motor vehicles also doubled from two to four persons for the same time period.

Effective programs to ensure worker safety and health share three core elements, the agency said:

  • Management leadership. Top management commits to establishing, maintaining and improving the program continually, and provides any necessary resources.
  • Worker participation. Employers invite workers to identify solutions. Improved worker engagement can lead to better productivity, higher job satisfaction and worker retention – lowering turnover and recruitment costs.
  • A systematic “find and fix” approach. Employers and workers examine their workplaces, proactively and routinely, to identify and address hazards before they can cause injury or illness.

More on the campaign is here.

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