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January 31, 2014
Tennessee sees a big drop in workplace fatalities. What's the lesson for you?

There were 100 workplace fatalities in Tennessee during 2012 (the most recent year surveyed). That’s the lowest total in a decade. The figures represent a 17 percent decrease from the 120 deaths recorded during 2011. Why are job fatalities on the decline in that state, and what can you do to see similar successes at your workplace?

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there were also reductions in days away from work as a result of injuries and illnesses. The department reports that:

  • The leading causes of workplace fatalities were transportation incidents and violence.
  • The number of fatal injuries due to contact with objects and equipment declined 33 percent from 2011 to 2012.
  • Deaths due to fire and explosion dropped from 10 in 2011 to three in 2012.
  • 24 percent of job fatalities occurred on a Monday.
  • The most common causes of incidents that resulted in days away were sprains, strains, or tears.

Focus on transportation incidents to get your numbers down

Transportation traffic crashes remain the leading cause of workplace death and injury nationally, costing employers more than $60 billion each year. The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS, http://trafficsafety.org) conducts an annual survey of fleet safety best practices.

NETS found that companies with the best driving safety records use methods including:

  • Developing written policies restricting the use of mobile devices;
  • Checking mobile phone records after all collisions regardless of severity;
  • Tracking completed driver safety training on a designated scorecard;
  • Conducting ride-alongs with new hires and high-risk drivers; and
  • Using senior managers to communicate fleet safety messages.

Other recommended best practices include regular vision screening for drivers, encouraging them to get adequate sleep and proper nutrition, and making sure vehicles are properly maintained.

Want to learn how to drive safety performance in your organization?

Come to the BLR Safety Summit from April 9-11, 2014 and hear from workplace safety thought leaders and experts on the topics that matter to you!



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