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The federal government’s final count of fatal occupational injuries for 2014 is in, and it shows that overall, numbers were up from the previous year, the first such increase since 2010.

According to the revisions to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the overall fatal work injury rate in 2014 was 3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from the 3.3 per 100,000 in 2013.

That makes 4,821 the final number of fatal work injuries in 2014, up from the preliminary count of 4,679 released in September 2015 and the highest since 2008. From 2009 until 2014, the total number of worker deaths had been below 4,700 every year.

Other changes in the updates included the number of fatal injuries in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries, which rose to 183, the highest they had been since 2007. Fatal work injuries in oil and gas extraction industries increased to 144 in 2014, which reached a new high in that category.

Some of the other changes included in the updates:
-Fatalities from falls, slips, and trips rose by 25 cases, increasing the final total to 818 cases.
-Fatal work injuries as a result of roadway incidents were higher by 82 cases (8 percent) from the preliminary total, increasing the final number of deaths in 2014 to 1,157 cases – a 5 percent increase from the final count in 2013.
-There were 1,691 fatal work injuries in 2014 among workers age 55 – an increase of 70 from the preliminary count. The 2014 figure represents the largest number ever recorded for this category of workers and is 8 percent larger than the next highest total.

The revisions and additions to the 2014 CFOI counts are the result of the identification of new cases and the revision of existing cases based on source documents received after preliminary results were released.

Although the number of fatal work injuries involving Hispanic or Latino workers rose to 804 after the revisions, the final total for 2014 was lower than that of the prior year (817). The number of non-Hispanic Black or African-American workers who were fatally injured on the job in 2014 went up 4 percent from the preliminary count (457) to a revised count of 475. The total for non-Hispanic white workers rose by 5 percent after the updates to 3,332.

According to the BLS, this will be the last year for the separate release of preliminary data, which usually occurred in August or September. Beginning with the 2015 reference year, final data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) will be released in December – four months earlier than in previous years. The final (and only) release of 2015 CFOI data is scheduled for December 16, 2016. A similar schedule will be followed in subsequent years, the agency said.

Tagged in: worker fatality

OSHA recently issued a memorandum regarding revised interim enforcement procedures for reporting requirements under 29 CFR 1904.39, reporting fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye as a result of work-related incidents to OSHA.

The memorandum provides updated internal guidance and procedures for the Area Offices to enforce the reporting requirements. Among other items, the memo updates the procedures for the intake of reports from employers, data collection and sorting as well as entry of data in the OSHA Information System (OIS).

The revised enforcement procedures replace the December 2014 interim procedures.

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The official start of summer is in June, which also happens to be National Safety Month. Since summer is traditionally a time when most people are outdoors more often and for longer than at any other time of year, June is a great time to consider the health and safety concerns that accompany the season.

National Safety Month focuses on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, in the home, and in communities. This year, the month’s special focus areas are:
-Medication safety and prescription painkiller abuse
-Driving, biking, and working safely
-First aid and emergency preparedness
-Preventing slips, trips, and falls

At Workplace Safety & Health Company, we are committed to helping make workplaces safe year round. Our specialized consulting services are based upon the specific needs of each client, and we are equipped to assist with industrial hygiene, qualitative exposure assessments, job safety analyses, confined space evaluations, indoor air monitoring, vapor intrusion monitoring, lockout/tagout surveys, as well as industrial noise monitoring and mapping. We aim to help our customers prevent injuries and illnesses while promoting profitability through sound health and safety management practices.

Some of the training courses available from Workplace Safety & Health Co., Inc. include:
-Complying with OSHA (30-hour/10-hour courses)
-Confined Space Entry and Rescue
-First Aid /CPR (to include AED and Bloodborne Pathogens)
-Asbestos Operations and Maintenance
-Incident Command
-Excavation Safety
-Fall Protection

Want to know more? Contact us – we’re always here to help.

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels was optimistic about how employers who are covered under OSHA responded to the implementation of changes in OSHA’s injury and illness reporting and recordkeeping rule last year. According to the first-year report written by the OSHA chief, although some employers tried to hide them, most employers cooperated with OSHA to correct hazards.

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Tagged in: OSHA

NIOSH has updated its ladder safety app based on user feedback, according to a blog post from the agency. The app, introduced in 2013, had been downloaded more than 52,000 times by the end of 2015. According to the post, the app's appearance, content, and function have been improved, and it now includes stepladder safety and additional interactive tools.

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Tagged in: NIOSH workplace safety


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