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New Safety Approach Looks to Prioritize Injury Prevention

A growing number of safety advocates are pushing to overhaul the way we handle workplace injuries in the United States by prioritizing prevention over more reactionary methods.

Common practice today is to wait for a serious injury or death to occur, then investigate what caused the event afterwards. Now, there’s an increased push to focus on programs that can help prevent serious injury and fatality (SIF).

The old paradigm was to treat all injuries the same and investigate all of them and work on common root causes across the entire organization,” said Don Martin, the vice president of DEKRA Insight, who helps organizations throughout the United States implement and maintain these types of prevention programs. “The new paradigm says, ‘Let’s focus on events that get reported that have potential to be life-altering or fatal, and let’s investigate those with potential’… I think that’s the key to making real progress in our occurrences of workplace fatalities.

According to Martin, about one in five Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable events could potentially result in serious injuries or even death. This figure can fluctuate based on the type of work involved, but identifying and addressing these potential hazards requires the same thing, no matter the job – leaders in the company and safety professionals need to get their workers involved in the conversation.

Trust and credibility are at the core of any meaningful effort to prevent SIFs,” Martin said. “Workers have to know that they can trust not only each other, but also the management team they work for. If I take the extra step and I go out in the field with the worker and say, ‘Show me what you’re talking about,’ and I experience it, I am significantly more inclined to do something about it right away. That builds my credibility and helps to build those bonds of trust that are so important here.

You can visit the National Safety Council’s (NSC) website to learn more about their changing approach on how to improve worker safety. If you were seriously injured on the job and are looking to speak with an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer, our team at Morici, Longo & Associates is ready to help. Give us a call at 312-372-9600 to discuss your case over the phone, or fill out our online form to start out with a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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