A large number of Wisconsin employees wake up every morning without a worry in the world about workplace safety. After all, not all industries present a plethora of risks. Although the majority of U.S. workplace injuries happen in fields such as construction and manufacturing, accidents can occur anywhere. The following reviews some facts about the safety of America’s jobs, as well as a current outlook on workplace safety.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration shares the grave statistic that workplace fatalities claimed 5,190 lives in 2016. Out of the 4,693 deaths that occurred in the private industry, over 21 percent took place in construction. The most common culprit? OSHA points toward falls as the leading cause of accidents in this field, followed by accidents involving heavy objects. Electrocutions also played a role in this high number. OSHA notes that the most frequently cited standards included ladders and construction, fall protection and electrical and wiring methods. OSHA claims to have been the driving force behind safer working environments in recent decades.
OSHA may provide a backdrop of safety measures to which industries may refer, but other health experts express concerns over America’s job safety as a whole. EHS Today reported last December that fatal workplace injuries in the nation were on the rise in 2016 — with a seven percent increase from 2015. The number of drug-related fatalities has seen a particular increase over the years, as EHS comments on the ways the opioid crisis has gripped the country. OSHA provides insight into more danger-prone industries, but EHS points out that the number of injuries has also increased in fields such as healthcare and food services. Other experts criticize the dwindling budget of OSHA, which has only led to less inspections across the board. While the country grapples with safety issues in various industries, employers and employees can work toward a better environment by always keeping safety measures in mind.