Safety Matters

  • Safety Matters: Using Leading Indicators to Improve Safety Performance

    In previous Safety Matters columns, we have discussed ways in which a company’s safety performance could be benchmarked, including the frequency and severity of injuries and illnesses and the cost of workers’ compensation claims. These are typically referred to as lagging indicators and consist of the recordable incident rate, DART incident rate, and Experience Modification

  • Safety Matters: Are You Experienced?

    There is some debate about what Jimi Hendrix was asking about when he sang “Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced?” Chances are he was not talking about workers’ compensation insurance ratings, but who knows? Maybe Jimi knew that experience ratings not only affects your workers’ compensation insurance premiums, it can have a strong

  • Safety Matters: Clearing the Air

    Happy National Italian Cheese Month! If you weren’t aware, September is National Italian Cheese Month. September is also recognized as National Preparedness Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and National Blueberry Popsicle Month, among others. September also marks Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month. Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) refers to a group of respiratory diseases characterized by scarring of the

  • Safety Matters: What Exactly Is a Competent Person?

    One of the most frequently cited Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards during inspections of construction projects is 29 CFR 1926.20, which reads in part: “Such programs shall provide for frequent and regular inspections of the job sites, materials, and equipment to be made by competent persons designated by the employers.” So, what exactly

  • Safety Matters: Choosing A Safe Contractor Pays

    Smart project owners and contractors should take steps to pre-qualify subcontractors based on a number of factors, including financial strength, work experience, and insurance coverage. Safety performance should also be one of the main considerations in choosing a subcontractor. A serious accident can bring even the best-managed project to a screeching halt. Subcontractor liability issues

  • Safety Matters: Road Hazard Ahead

    According to the National Safety Council, auto accidents are the number one cause of fatal workplace accidents and cost employers over $60 billion every year. Nearly every company has employees that drive to conduct company business, yet many overlook this vital element of a health and safety program. Companies with large fleets of commercial vehicles

  • Safety Matters: Getting to the Root of the Matter

    Even the most safety-conscious workplaces will experience incidents from time to time. How a company responds to an incident is what separates the top performers from the rest. Incident investigation is a forward-looking process with the purpose of preventing future incidents. It is not an exercise in fault finding and finger pointing. Consider, for example,