The rate of serious injuries and fatalities continues to hold steady despite declines in overall recordable incidents, though companies with strong safety cultures are less likely to report these serious incidents, according to a report released Monday by information management company ISN Software Corp.
ISN analyzed more than 55,000 recordable incidents at U.S. companies between 2017 and 2019, finding that workers performing work heights above six feet, working with chemicals or rigging or performing welding or cutting were most at risk of serious injury or fatality, but organizations with a process safety management or environmental program, or those with a paramedic on-site reduced the likelihood of these injuries and deaths on their premises.
Among serious injuries and fatalities studied during the three-year period, the majority involved sprains, strains and tears in the upper extremities and were most often caused by contact with an object or equipment, which includes struck-by and caught-between cases.
For serious injuries and fatalities caused by slips, trips or falls, more than 30% of those cases resulted in fractures or dislocations, and the lower extremities were impacted in more than 40% of the time, according to the report.
The study noted that culture of safety was a key leading indicator of serious injuries and fatalities, and that 75% of those surveyed believed improving safety culture was an effective approach for reducing serious incidents and deaths.
This article was first published in Business Insurance.