OSHA Reporting - Use This Data Wisely

Safety should be your most important employee benefit. Everyone goes home healthy. So, what tools can you use to create a safer work environment?

As a contractor, you're required to keep injury logs for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Don't do this just for them - use this tool.

Record every injury, no matter how minor. Any time the first aid kit is used, jot down why, what kind of injury, and who.

Insurance companies learned long ago that the frequency of accidents reflects more accurately the efficacy of a safety program than does the severity of any one accident.

Many small injuries suggests bigger safety issues than one big injury does.

Review and analyze your OSHA logs. Is any one person particularly injury prone? Is any one type of injury prevalent? Is any one job description, that is general labor, carpenters, drivers, suffering injuries more frequently? Do injuries point to a too crowded work space?

If the analysis suggests one person is accident prone, decide whether to keep that person employed or not - nobody wants to be on a construction site with accident prone coworkers - or retrain them in safety practices. Drug test accident prone people.

If one type of injury occurs regularly, review your personal protection equipment. For example, are steel tiers wearing appropriate gloves? Is everyone wearing safety glasses? Correct the issue and emphasize the safety concern in the next training session.

If one job category stands out, review that process with an eye toward safety. Communicate the concern to employees in this job. Purchase new or replace antiquated safety equipment. Discipline the employees to wear or use protective gear properly. Create a safer environment.

Speaking of the environment, do records indicate the work area is too crowded? Has a plumber been hit on the head with lumber as it was hauled in? Are employees fighting over power outlets? Rethink jobsite organization. Often these injuries indicate poor site management rather than labor safety issues.

This process is hindcasting. Analyzing past claims and discovering ways they could have been avoided.
After your review and analysis, forecast the future. Have these dominant injury issues been rectified? 

Don't accept injuries as part of the game, create a safe work environment; the best employees appreciate it as a benefit.

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