(This will be a very limited discussion since there will be an entire book written about Best Practices in Occupational Health and Safety in this series.)

Although there has been a sharp reduction in the number of people who die and are injured in an occupational setting since the implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act over 40 years ago, still about 4500 people a year die and over 4.1 million workers have a serious job- related injury or illness each year. In 2009, it was estimated that workers’ compensation costs were $74 billion a year. (See endnote 20.) Major workplace hazards may include violence, tripping and falling hazards, toxic substances, harmful physical agents, harmful chemical agents, harmful biological agents, hazardous wastes, electrical hazards, unprotected equipment, ergonomic situations, etc.

(See Chapter 4, “Children’s Environmental Health Issues”; Chapter 5, “Environmental Health Emergencies, Disasters, and Terrorism”; Chapter 7, “Food Security and Protection”; Chapter 8, “Healthcare Environment and Infection Control”; Chapter 10, “Recreational Environment and Swimming Areas”; and Chapter 12, “Solid Waste, Hazardous Materials, and Hazardous Waste Management” for a limited discussion and Best Practices for occupational injury prevention in those select areas.)

Best Practices for Injury Prevention in Occupational Settings. (This is a very limited


  • • Appoint a safety manager for each specific area.
  • • Examine every case of violence and determine the best way to prevent future problems.
  • • Develop an injury and illness prevention program focused on finding all hazards in the specific workplace and then develop a plan for preventing and controlling them. (See endnote 21.)
  • • Conduct inspections and surveys on a routine, periodic, and as-needed basis when a hazard is discovered or an injury occurs.
  • • Prioritize hazards to eliminate or control those first which are of greatest significance.
  • • Determine if all control measures are being implemented effectively and in a timely manner.
  • • Develop a list of knowledge, attitudes, and practices needed by the workers for specific types of work situations.
  • • Provide initial specialized training programs and continuing education opportunities for the workers to implement the knowledge, attitudes, and practices required for a given work situation.
  • • Train all immediate supervisors in the intricacies of the operation of all phases of manufacturing and transportation under their control
  • • Train all immediate supervisors and first-line managers in the basic skills of supervision and management of people.
  • • Have the supervisors evaluate the competencies and skills of the workers and use continuing education techniques and experiential teaching techniques to upgrade them to appropriate levels.
  • • Post explicit rules and procedures to avoid injuries to the worker or others.
  • • Ban the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs from the workplace.
  • • Immediately investigate any situations that can or already have caused injuries, and find and implement methods of correcting them.
  • • Gather new data on standard forms and evaluate the program to determine effectiveness.
< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >