Friday, October 7, 2016

THE PRICE TO MAKE A LIVING: 36 Illinois workers have died on the job since Jan. 1, 2016, a significant increase over prior years

OSHA: 36 Workers Have Died on the Job in Illinois This Year
October 7, 2016

Federal safety regulators say 36 Illinois workers have died on the job since Jan. 1, 2016. That number represents an average of one life lost each week in the state.

Since 2013, Illinois worker deaths have increased 28 percent. Struck-by hazards and falls in construction and other industries combined to account for the majority of workplace fatalities.

To save lives, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is calling on all Illinois employers to review their safety and health programs and procedures carefully.

“These injuries, illness and workplace deaths that are occurring in Illinois are preventable,” said Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA’s regional director in Chicago. “Employers must develop good safety and health programs to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. These programs should include management leadership, worker participation and hazard identification. Properly employed, a culture of safety can be created in any workplace.”

To reduce risk of job related illness, injuries and fatalities OSHA recommends that employers worker with their employees to:
  • Evaluate for workplace hazards
  • Ensure machinery, tools and work areas are in good working order.
  • Develop procedures to eliminate hazards.
  • Provide personal protective equipment to employers and enforce its use.
  • Train employees on safe operating procedures and retrain frequently.
  • Encourage employees to report workplace hazards.

Since Jan. 1, 2015, employers have been required to report any severe work-related injury — defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye — to OSHA within 24 hours. The requirement that an employer report a workplace fatality within 8 hours remains in force. In the first full year of the new requirement, employers nationwide reported 10,388 severe injuries, including 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations.

Nationwide, from Jan. 1 to Aug. 30, 2016, OSHA initiated 2,709 workplace inspections in response to employer reported referrals. These included 2,052 employer reported hospitalizations of workers and 972 reports of amputation injuries sustained by workers.

Source: OSHA