If occupational injury rates are on a downward trend, that’s good news, right? Well, yes and no – while minor and less severe injuries may be on the decline, serious and fatal injuries are not following suit. According to Colin Duncan, CEO of BST, a company that helps organizations improve their workplace safety performance, EHS professionals must start looking at fatalities and serious injuries differently.
“When we see a statistic that workplace fatalities are not going down at the rate that injuries are, we need to understand why,” Duncan said during the Oct. 23 occupational keynote at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in Orlando, Fla. “We need to accept that the things that lead to serious injuries and fatalities are not necessarily the same things we’ll see for non-serious injuries and fatalities.”
Last year, BST released a white paper suggesting that reducing minor injuries and illnesses may not translate to a reduced potential for fatalities or serious injuries. Duncan followed up on that research during his presentation at NSC, where he encouraged EHS professionals to focus the underlying causes and influencing factors that specifically surround serious incidents and fatalities.