According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than four million workers suffer from job-related injuries or illnesses every year. This not only causes negative ramifications for employees, but significantly impacts businesses’ productivity and bottom lines. In fact, OSHA recently reported that companies spend nearly $1 billion per week on workers’ compensation.
To help, Dan Christensen, CTEH’s director of industrial hygiene services, recommends businesses implement workplace safety and health programs. In general, he says, businesses are reactive and tend to address hazards after issues occur. Instead, businesses should follow the proactive OSHA-approved three-pronged approach:
- Management leadership: Business owners, supervisors and leadership should make worker safety and health a top priority and provide the resources necessary to implement a program that will help achieve a reduction in workplace injury and illness.
- Worker participation: Workers should be encouraged to help identify issues and solutions. Take, as an example, CTEH’s use of internal safety teams. These team members are tasked with controlling, preventing and fixing any potential health and safety issues—allowing our company to reach more than 1,000 days without an OSHA recordable incident.
- “Find and fix:” Businesses have to be actively focused on finding and fixing hazardous conditions before injuries or illnesses occur.
Together, he said, this approach will help businesses prevent injuries and illnesses; improve compliance; reduce operational costs; and increase productivity. If you need help developing a workplace safety and health program, contact Dan Christensen, CIH, CSP, CHMM and the CTEH industrial hygiene team at cteh.com