Two sets of workplace safety numbers to consider:
- In 2012, there were just over 500,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses among a U.S. manufacturing workforce of 11.2 million. In that year, 314 manufacturing employees were killed in work-related accidents.
- Twenty years ago (in 1994), the totals were: 2.2 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses (the manufacturing workforce was 18.3 million) and 789 deaths from occupational injuries.
Are the 314 deaths too many? Undoubtedly. But in 18 years, the manufacturing injury rate was cut by nearly two-thirds and the fatality rate was more than 50% lower.
Kudos to the companies and employees putting a greater emphasis than ever on safety (more than 75% in a recent survey indicated their companies to beyond the safety requirements of government laws and regulations). And keep it up as all of us want to continue to see smaller numbers in these categories.
By the way, it’s never too early to look ahead to the 2015 Indiana Safety and Health Conference & Expo — simply the largest and best event of its kind.