Proactive measures can reduce workplace injuries, illnesses


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You’ve heard University leadership say it: The daily goal is that you return home from work the same way you arrived on campus — safe and healthy.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), every seven seconds a worker is injured on the job. At that rate, 12,600 people in the U.S. are injured at work each day. The good news is on-the-job injuries are often preventable. 

Top three injuries in the workplace resulting in lost workdays:

  • Overexertion
    • Lifting or lowering
    • Repetitive motion
  • Contact with objects and equipment
    • Struck by or against object or equipment
    • Caught in equipment
    • Struck by collapsing equipment or material
  • Slips, trips and falls
    • Falls to lower level
    • Falls on same level

Interestingly, in 2020 when the pandemic broke out, the no. 1 work-related injury or illness was exposure to harmful substances/environment, including COVID-19. Rounding out the top three that year were overexertion and slips, trips and falls. 

Here are tips on how to prevent such injuries. Here are tools and resources to help you recognize hazardous situations and explore health and safety technologies. Below are some proactive measures to consider for your campus workplace:

  • Promote and communicate safety with regular safety briefings, including safety as a beginning topic in meetings and employee safety training.
  • Routinely check for safety hazards, like spills or obstacles.
  • Enforce proper attire that’s necessary for accident prevention, like safety glasses, gloves or slip-resistant shoes.

While there is no way to completely eliminate accidents, there are programs, tools and actions to reduce them. There are several resources on campus that help with injury prevention. 

  • Job Hazard Analysis Program (JHA) is a training program to identify potential hazards associated with specific job tasks and the necessary controls to mitigate or eliminate those hazards.
  • Hazard Recognition Training is a course that helps people recognize a hazard when they see one. This can be effective in controlling and avoiding hazards. The training is available in complyND.
  • The Good Catch, or Near Miss, reporting tool allows faculty, staff and students to submit hazards or dangerous work practices they observe on campus, thereby improving the safety climate of our campus. 
  • Injury Illness Tableau Dashboard provides a high-level breakdown of year-to-date University injury and illness information. It can help you analyze the most common types of injuries and illnesses in your department. Knowing which injuries and illnesses are most likely to occur enables you to put measures in place to prevent them. 

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