Major injury events occur in every type of workplace, large and small, sophisticated or otherwise. Those performing maintenance (Reason, 1990), construction and installation services are especially at risk after consideration is given to transportation, farm, forestry and fishing (BLS, 2013).
While the fatal injury rate declined between 2006 and 2011 (BLS, 2013), this good news is not without a caveat. The sharpest decline occurred between 2007 and 2009, a period that coincided with the onset of deep economic recession. This decline has reached a plateau (Figure 1), as has the recession apparently. A reasonable concern is that an improving economy will erase all gains as investment in construction and industry increase.
The inability to point to a specific or even a generalized breakthrough in safety practice does not ease this worry. Only time will affirm or deny this statistical trend. While the hope is that sub-sequent years will build on the recent gains, it is prudent to consider other strategies. One strategy could be to fundamentally alter the efforts for pre-venting major injury events for all at-risk workers in every industry segment.
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