Archives for February 2019
The latest injury and fatality statistics reported by the Missouri Department of Labor for calendar year 2018 include the following:
There were 102 total work-related fatalities during 2018. These fatalities were attributed to:
- 25 automobile crashes
- 16 construction industry
- 15 transportation and warehousing industries, combined
- 11 public administration industry
Men represented the majority of all fatalities and the 50 to 59-year old age bracket accounted for more than 30% of these fatalities. August was the leading month for work-related injuries (16) leading to death, and July followed closely with 13. Wednesday was the most fatal day of the week, representing 22 of the 102 fatalities, and 21 of the deaths occurred on Mondays.
Motor Vehicle Crashes
Motor vehicle accidents are (and historically have been) the leading cause of worker fatality. The common misconception is that these fatalities occur in the transportation industry. While this industry certainly suffers its fair share of MVA-related deaths, it does not have the corner on this market. In our mobile society, business executives fly all over the country, home healthcare workers drive to and from clients’ homes, courier services and consultants operate on the highways daily. These statistics include crash-related fatalities for all industries and emphasize the importance of hiring safe drivers and enforcing a distracted driving policy.
Non-Fatality Work-Related Injuries
A total of 101,877 reportable injuries were recorded in 2018. Of those, 8,358 were lost-time incidents. Manufacturing and the healthcare industries typically run shoulder-to-shoulder for both lost-time and overall number of reportable injuries, and 2018 was no exception. Manufacturing led the way for non-fatal lost-time injuries, followed by healthcare and social services. The opposite is true when the sheer number of recordable incidents are tallied, with healthcare and social services edging out the manufacturing sector. Strains and sprains (or muscle tears) were the loss leader, with lifting being the number one root cause of strain injuries.
By comparison, there were 118 fatalities, 99,743 recordable injuries, and 8,246 lost-time injuries in calendar year 2017. There were 2,134 more reportable injury incidents and 112 more lost-time injury incidents in calendar year 2018. Fatalities, however, decreased by 16 – BIG WIN!
Loss Leaders in the Construction, Transportation, and Warehousing Industries
With the exception of automobile crashes, the construction industry is the fatality leader, largely due to falls, struck-by, electrocutions, and caught-between injuries. Construction workers routinely work from heights that require fall prevention and/or protection. They are surrounded by high-voltage electrical hazards and frequently work in inclement weather – a contributing factor to both falls and electrocution injuries and fatalities. Housekeeping frequently contributes to fall claims in this industry. Struck-by claims are common and often involve tools falling from platform scaffolding onto workers below. Workers suffer caught between injuries as minor as catching a finger in a pinch point or being pinned (partially or completely) between moving equipment and stationary walls or steel beams.
Planes, trains, and automobiles all fall under the transportation industry. The transportation and warehousing industries report large numbers of slip and fall claims. Inclement weather plays a large role in the number of truck drivers who slip and fall while descending the cab of a truck . Frozen precipitation on steps account for a large number of sprains and broken bones each year. Grounds crews at the airport operate tugs and carts and climb ladders in all kinds of weather . Overreaching in a warehouse may result in back, shoulder, or neck strain. Improper storage practices often lead to struck-by incidents resulting from products falling from overhead. Many of these injuries are preventable by using the right equipment for the job and following safe work protocols . Truck mechanics commonly suffer minor burns, hand contusions and lacerations, and muscle strain injuries. Truck drivers and warehouse workers alike are subject to caught-between injuries that frequently occur during loading and unloading at the dock.
Public Administration Risks
The public administration industry includes emergency personnel (police, firefighters, ambulance workers, CDC, FEMA, correction officers, etc.), government, and defense personnel. These workers face a variety of high-risk situations in the course of performing their routine duties. These situations may range from a disgruntled consumer to a domestic violence or hostage situation, a biological, environmental, or medical emergency, an active shooter situation, or a terrorist threat. Not only do these workers face typical workplace exposures, but they confront the potential for workplace violence on a daily basis. Public Administration workers accounted for 9,228 injury accidents, 880 lost-time incidents, and 11 fatalities during the 2018 calendar year.
Granted, these are raw numbers and not a complete statistical analysis (which would include numerous other variables), but the bottom line remains the same: 16 more workers went home every day in 2018 than in 2017. Is there any better benchmark for workplace safety?
Have you posted your Form 300A? OSHA requires this summary of injuries to be posted from February through April of each calendar year for all injuries and/or illnesses reported in the prior calendar year (2018, in this case). This form must be posted, even if your organization had no reportable injuries or illnesses during the 2018 calendar year.
OSHA recently rescinded the requirement that businesses with 250 or more employees must submit Forms 300 and 301 electronically. The Final Rule can be viewed here and goes into effect on February 25, 2019. This rescission of the electronic filing requirement does not, however, remove the burden of reporting work-related injuries and illness from the employer.
Most businesses with 10 or more employees are required to report “serious” work-related injuries and/or illnesses to OSHA on Forms 300, 300A, and/or 301. Several businesses have been identified by OSHA as “low risk,” and have been exempted from this requirement. Among those exempted businesses are car dealers, numerous retail stores, florists, gas stations, pipeline transportation businesses, legal offices, and numerous other professional service businesses (including civic, medical, scientific, and educational services). Minor injuries requiring only first aid need not be reported. The following explanations and definitions can be very helpful in determining an employers’ recordkeeping and reporting needs.
How does OSHA define “first aid?”
OSHA defines first aid as any treatment limited to non-prescriptions medications such as over-the-counter pain relievers, ointments or creams, the use of standard bandages, gauze pads, or butterfly strips, elastic wraps, temporary slings or splints, and other minor treatments such as removal of a splinter or similar foreign item from the body or the removal of debris/foreign body from the eye with water/eyewash or a cotton swab. Cleaning of minor wounds (surface lacerations) and tetanus shots are considered first aid, whereas Hepatitis B, rabies vaccinations, and open wound cleaning are not. Most first aid is administered immediately after an incident or accident occurs, and may be the only treatment received by the worker. An injury of this type would rarely require ongoing medical treatment. An injury of this type would rarely require ongoing medical treatment. Minor burns or lacerations are often treatable under this definition of “first aid,” and require nothing more than the application of topical ointment, a Band Aid, and perhaps a dose of over-the-counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
What is a “serious” injury?
All fatalities, loss of consciousness, lost-time injuries, injuries requiring light duty restrictions, injuries requiring ongoing medical treatment, or broken bones or teeth are reportable. Work-related illnesses such as cancer and other irreversible and/or chronic diseases are also reportable. There are special requirements governing needlesticks, sharps injuries, hearing loss, TB, and other injuries more specific to the medical field. Many fall injuries qualify as “serious” under this definition, as they commonly require follow up medical care such as prescription drugs, chiropractic care, physical therapy, or surgical intervention.
FORMS 300, 300A, and 301
Form 301 – Injury and Illness Incident Report
Form 301 is the initial reporting form and is required to be completed within 7 calendar days of knowledge of an accident or injury. This form is a general incident report and is rather self-explanatory. It collects general information about the injured employee (name, address, physician information) and what the employee was doing, how the injury occurred, and the nature of the injury or illness. For example, a warehouse worker may suffer back strain due to improper lifting or may strain his or her neck reaching overhead to extract inventory. The injury would first be reported on Form 301, and the injured worker would detail what work was being performed at the time the injury occurred.
Form 300 – Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Form 300 is a listing of injuries and illnesses for the employer’s place of business. This form collects information on injury severity, lost time, and light duty return-to-work data. The document also serves as a master log of workplace accidents and can be a valuable tool in identifying injury trends. This data is critical in developing revised work procedures and corrective action plans to reduce recurrences.
Form 300A – Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
Form 300A is completed annually, at the end of the year, and is required regardless of whether or not any injuries occurred during the year. The form tallies an employer’s average number of employees over the course of the calendar year and the total number of reportable incidents for that same time period. This figure is determined by following the instructions on the back of the form.
29 CFR 1904
Recordkeeping and reporting is governed by 29 CFR 1904, which outlines exemptions, record retention, variance requests, electronic submissions, and reporting protocols. This standard houses critical information such as:
• How to determine if an injury or illness is work-related (29 CFR 1904.5)
• What determines whether or not an injury is a “new case” (29 CFR 1904.6)
• Requirements for needlesticks and sharps injuries (29 CFR 1904.8)
• Criteria for work-related hearing loss (29 CFR 1904.10)
• Reporting requirements for fatalities, loss of eye or limb, and hospitalization (29 CFR 1904.39)
○ [NOTE: Fatalities (which may occur as much as 30 days from the date of the accident) must be reported within 8 hours; amputations, hospitalizations, and loss of eye must be reported within 24 hours]
• Retention requirements (29 CFR 1904.44)
Knowing what to expect, and what is expected of you, will help you respond confidently when an accident occurs. Reports of serious injuries may be made via telephone or online, so it is best to familiarize yourself with 29 CFR 1904 and be prepared to respond accordingly.
Are you responsible for OSHA recordkeeping and reporting for your organization? Are you responsible for workforce safety or risk management? Email us or give us a call at (816) 349-0850 to see how we can help design a safety and risk management plan that meets your unique needs.