Workplace Related Fatalities Are Up

Most companies claim that on-the-job safety is an important priority. According to a recent report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however, in 2018, the number of work-related fatalities (5,250) rose 2% over those of 2017 (5,147).

According to an article appearing on the HR Dive website, the marked increase in on-the-job fatalities has led to the National Safety Council to call on employers to do more to protect their employees. “Workplace fatalities should never be considered a cost of doing business,” the Council stated in a recent news release.

Both federal agencies cite that motor vehicle crashes and other transportation-related incidents have led to the highest percentage (40%) of work fatalities.  Also on the rise are unintentional deaths due to overdoses of drugs and alcohol for non-medical use (12%).

HR Dive’s Valerie Bolden-Barrett is calling on HR professionals to assist their organizations to not only offer more training and equipment upgrades but also to help cultivate a culture of awareness surrounding on-the-job safety.  

Human Workplace co-founder Jamie Notter told HR Dive in an earlier interview that with a bit of intense focus and hard work, HR professionals can accomplish this in 12 months. “Culture has to go beyond just a buzzword,” Notter said.   Notter then went on to explain that the efforts he views as “culture management” has to become a usable business tool. 

These efforts, according to industry experts and the National Safety Council, has to be something that is focused on from the top and engage all workers in the areas of safety by identifying hazards and promoting safety in all areas on the job.