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The American workplace consists of more than 6 million workplaces and 93 million workers. In a typical day, 17 workers are killed on the job by traumatic injuries, 137 more workers die of occupationally related illnesses and 17,138 workers are injured. Workplace accidents cost the U.S. economy more than $110 billion each year.
The Answer - Safety and Health Programs
The following represents a few typical days in the American workplace:
June 12, 1995
- A worker was crushed by a crane boom in Fruita, Colorado.
- A construction worker fell to his death off an unguarded balcony in Bellaire, Florida.
- A worker in Haven, Wisconsin was killed when he was pulled into a metal press.
June 13, 1995
- A logger was run over by a skidder in Flatrock, Alabama.
- A construction worker in Alexander, Arkansas was killed when he was struck by a trailer loading ramp.
- A worker was killed in Orrington, Maine when he became entangled in a conveyor belt and was pulled through a 6-inch space between the roller and the conveyor belt frame.
June 14, 1995
Three days on the job in America. Each of these incidents represents a family's tragedy, a parent, spouse, son, or daughter who did not return home from work. These events are even more tragic when you consider that all of them could have been prevented by compliance with basic OSHA regulations.
- A worker was electrocuted in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
- A worker was burned to death in a truck accident in Scott City, Missouri.
- Three asbestos removal workers were injured by a chemical release in Savannah, Georgia.
- Robert B. Reich, Former Secretary of Labor -
Compliance with OSHA's standards alone will not prevent all injuries and illnesses. OSHA standards are minimum standards. Progressive companies have realized that to minimize or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses, they need to have a management system to manage worker safety and health.
Companies in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program, VPP, all of whom have implemented comprehensive safety and health management systems, experience lost workday incidence rates that are 60% to 80% lower than their industry counterparts. They also experience reduced absenteeism and turnover, improved productivity, and lower Workers' Compensation costs. Safety and health management works and adds to the company's bottom line profits.