Friday, September 16, 2011

Workplace Safety Still Requires Planning

While the Institute for Crisis Management's annual Crisis Report continues to conclude that "sudden" crises, such as fires, explosions, natural disasters and workplace violence still make up only about one-third of all business and organizational crises, it doesn't mean that you can let your guard down nor take steps to continue to minimize those types of business disruptions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has just reported the numbers for 2010 and they say there were 4,547 fatal work injuries in the United States in 2010 -- four fewer than in 2009.

The number of workplace homicides was down significantly last year -- seven percent fewer than in 2009 with 506 cases in 2010 and down more than 50-percent from 1994.  The U.S. Labor Department had reported in some recent years as many as 700 workplace homicides, and thousands of non-fatal workplace attacks.

Returning to workplace injuries and deaths, the Labor Department says construction accidents account for more fatal workplace injuries than any other industry, with 751 deaths in 2010.

Some have argued that number is declining because there are fewer people working in construction jobs in the past three years, but the Associated General Contractors of American maintain the number is dropping because of planning and training efforts.

Deaths in the mining industry jumped 74-percent last year to a total of 172 fatalities.  Leading that category were multiple deaths at the Upper Big Branch Coal Mine in West Virginia and the 11 deaths on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Platform that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

Operational Crisis Planning and Crisis Communication Planning should not ignore the more frequent "smoldering crisis" types, such as mismanagement, labor issues, activist protests, product defects and the many human resources types of problems, but at the same time, never stop working to prevent the sudden type crises, and plan for ways to manage them when they cannot be avoided.


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    Urban Planners

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