How important is heavy machinery safety?
When you’re weighing the importance of dedicating time and resources to safety training and education, consider these alarming statistics:
Machine-related injuries were ranked second after motor vehicle-related injuries among the leading causes of occupational injury fatalities, accounting for approximately 14% of total deaths (1).
According to a 2006 study by the Journal of Safety Research (2), heavy equipment operators and construction laborers made up 63% of heavy equipment and truck related deaths.
- Backhoes and trucks were involved in half the deaths
- Rollovers were the main cause of death for heavy equipment operators
- Being struck by heavy equipment or trucks (especially while backing up), and equipment loads or parts were the major causes of death for workers on foot and maintenance workers
- According to the National Safety Council, the deadliest cause of injury among farm workers is rollover of heavy equipment, such as tractors.
1 NIOSH NTOF Data, 1980-1989.
2 Journal of Safety Research, Vol. 37, Issue 5, pgs. 511-517, 2007.
What’s the real cost of workplace accidents?
The impact of workplace injury extends far beyond the costs of medical care, especially when you consider these indirect areas of impact:
- Group health insurance costs
- Effects on family members
- Loss in productivity
- Skill replacement
- Tight employment market
- Cost of hiring new employees
In 2002, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 92,560 private-sector lost-time injuries caused by machinery. The median number of lost workdays resulting from these injuries was 7—with 24% of the total incidents resulting in 31 or more lost-work days.
According to data compiled by Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance, the average cost of a lost-time claim is over $20,000—a cost that could easily be avoided through a genuine commitment to workplace safety.