The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) responded to 2018 safety numbers by calling for private employers to look more closely at their safety practices.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.8 million nonfatal injuries or illnesses occurred in private industry workplaces. Although unchanged from 2017, it was the first year that rates did not increase. Even so, ASSP said it is “unacceptable.”
“Stagnant injury rates are unacceptable and a clear call to employers nationwide to take a harder look at their approach to workplace safety and health,” said president Diana Stegall, in a prepared statement. “Incidents that harm workers are occurring far too often in every industry. Most occupational injuries and illnesses are preventable given today’s technologies and proven safety and health strategies.”
ASSP represents more than 39,000 occupational safety and health professionals worldwide. It recommends that employers implement safety and health management systems and adopt strategies to better protect worker well-being on and off the job. Both can help companies create true safety cultures by shifting from compliance-based approaches to risk-based programs.
Safety and health management systems set an operational foundation that enables organizations to integrate critical processes to help improve safety performance, according to the association. These systems can help companies continuously identify and eliminate safety and health risks, reducing the potential of a worker getting injured or becoming ill. ASSP recommends ANSI/ASSP Z10.0-2019 standard as a blueprint.
“There are widespread benefits when a business makes occupational safety and health a priority,” Stegall said. “Not only do workers return home safe to their loved ones, but quality and productivity flourish, helping organizations achieve sustainable growth, meet social responsibilities and be viewed as employers of choice.”