Thursday, January 5, 2012

43 deaths is 43 too many

Contributed by Eric Tofte, Director of Training
As we leave the year 2011, it is time to reflect on the fatalities that occurred on the job in Washington State. According to the Department of Labor & Industries 43 workers were killed on the job in 2011 (as of 12/13/2011). When reviewing the types of fatalities, it is all over the board from workplace violence to allergic reactions to bee stings. Here are just a few from DOSH:

October 22, 2011 - An employee of a self storage unit was stabbed and killed while performing his usual work duties.

September 28, 2011 - A worker who was hanging sheetrock, was stung by a bee and died.

September 15, 2011 - A worker died in a 10 car motor vehicle accident.

August 18, 2011 - A worker surveying fish was found unconscious face down in the water.

August 12, 2011 - A worker was stung by wasps or hornets and died due to venom.

June 6, 2011 - A worker was caught and crushed between a protruding door on the shovel and a stump.

February 19, 2011 - A worker was caught between two tractor trailers as one was pulling out of a designated parking area.

The list does go on, and if you would like to see the complete list it can be found on L&I’s web site.
The point is that 43 on-the-job fatalities is 43 too many. In some of the cases it was just an accident, but in others it was poor training and poor safety programs.

It is imperative that employees receive training on the hazards that they face on the job. This can be anything from working around heavy equipment to protecting oneself from workplace violence.  It is also important that every employer determines what hazards their employees face and how they can be protected from these hazards by appropriate training and/or PPE and the like.

We at Evergreen understand that these can be daunting tasks, but also understand they are extremely important to do. If you need to develop and/or update your company's safety programs or training, please email me or give us a call 800-521-0778.

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