From the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association … Just-released U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 workplace injury and illness data show a ready mixed concrete industry incident rate of 3.9 in 2018, unchanged from the prior year. Over the past decade, the injury- or illness-rooted lost work time benchmark among producers has ranged from the 2017-18 lows to 6.3 in 2014.
|SOURCES: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; NRMCA
BLS defines the metric around the number of lost day, restricted duty day or medical case injuries/illnesses. Incidence rates represent the number of injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers and are calculated as (N/EH) x 200,000, where N = number of injuries and illnesses; EH = total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year; and, 200,000 = base for 100 equivalent full-time workers working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year.
Overall, NRMCA notes, the 2018 BLS data shows a steady downward trend as ready mixed producers stress safe and healthy work practices, plus training and education. The association’s recently launched ThinkFirst effort is aimed at perpetuating a steadfast culture of safety and emphasizing strategic actions throughout operational tasks.
NRMCA published its analysis of incident rates as BLS unveiled overall statistics for 2018, when private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, unchanged from the prior year but sustaining a flat or downward trajectory from an annual 3.5 million injuries or illnesses BLS logged at the beginning of the decade. Last year also saw private employer incidence rates for “total recordable cases,” “days away from work,” and “days of transfer and restriction only” remain the same as 2017 levels.
The figures are based on estimates from the latest BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII). Bureau data for 2018 also show reports of 900,380 private workplace injuries or illnesses causing a worker to miss at least one day, essentially unchanged from 2017. Results from the 2018 SOII contain the first national estimates for emergency room or hospital visits—333,830—for nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work. BLS will follow up this with a companion Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report.
LEADING SAFETY INDICATOR REVIEW BEFITS OSHA-HOSTED GATHERING
Associated Builders and Contractors Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore emphasized proactive measures to prevent workplace hazards and reduce recordable incidents at an Occupational Safety and Health Administration-hosted meeting in the nation’s capital. Last month’s gathering was part of a new OSHA initiative to develop leading indicator tools for safety and health performance in high-hazard industries, and create a repository of resources for companies, industry groups and other organizations.
Citing ABC’s 2019 Safety Performance Report, an annual assessment of STEP safety management system data, Sizemore outlined the impact on companies’ safety performance of these leading indicators: toolbox safety talks; substance abuse programs; safety program performance review; taking action on trailing indicators; employer supervisory safety meetings; use of personal protective equipment; preplanning for jobsite safety; and, safety program goal setting. The 2019 report found that implementing proactive safety practices can reduce total recordable incident rates by up to 85 percent, making the best performing companies nearly 700 percent safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average.
“While the construction industry has historically evaluated safety performance based on trailing indicators—past incidents or conditions—it is equally as important we assess and implement core leading indicators to proactively manage performance,” Sizemore contends. “By identifying hazards and eliminating or minimizing the conditions to prevent injury, companies of all sizes can dramatically improve safety performance and help us ensure all of our employees go home in the same—or better—condition than when they arrived on the jobsite.”