Campbell report looks at reducing injuries, fatalities on the job – BIC Magazine

A report recently released from the Campbell Institute takes an in-depth look at serious injuries and fatalities in the workplace and illustrates a new prevention model suggested by safety experts in recent years.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. has seen enormous gains in workplace safety, according to the report, titled “Serious Injury and Fatality Prevention: Perspectives and Practices.” The gains in safety are illustrated by the total recordable incident rate, which dropped to 3 incidents per 200,000 working hours in 2016 from 8.5 incidents per 200,000 hours in 1993.

However, this notable reduction in total work place injuries is not paralleled by a similar reduction in life-altering injuries and fatal incidents. In fact, worker fatalities are at an eight year high, with 5,190 people dying in 2016.

The Campbell report recommends a redesign of the classic safety triangle, which consists of non-injury accidents, minor injuries and major injuries. The updated structure is based on identifying the root causes and contextual factors that lead to serious injuries and fatalities on the job. Organizations cannot make their workplaces safer by “fixing the worker,” but rather should design work processes to eliminate human error. This makes safety less dependent on employee behavior and more dependent on the safety system.

“Companies in our report know that safety is a work-in-progress with the goal of continuous improvement,” said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute. “To be at the top of their game, these companies recognize that they have to do more to protect their workers.”

Strategies to prevent serious injuries and fatalities include identifying potential precursors to such events and educating employees about those precursors. In addition, companies can focus on eliminating the potential for such incidents to occur.

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