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5 Best Practices for Reducing Worker Safety Illnesses and Injuries

Best Practice Guide

The global health and safety picture

Through the COVID crisis, business leaders have been managing operations as best as they can, seeking to ensure business continuity while keeping staff safe, healthy, and motivated.

Often overlooked in this calculus, however, is the role of non-pandemic injuries and illnesses – the traditional bailiwick of safety programs. Pre-pandemic estimates of workplace deaths were around 2.78 million per year, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Prior to the pandemic, these numbers had been steadily rising.

The biggest share of work-related mortality came from work-related diseases. Fatal occupational accidents remained a serious issue, too, taking an estimated 1,000 lives a day.

Initial COVID lockdowns stemmed the rising tide of workplace injuries (specifically). But now injuries are on the upswing again, according to BLS data.

In turn, the cost of passive safety responses will only increase. That puts the onus firmly on senior leadership to go above and beyond to ensure safety and wellbeing in the workplace.

What can senior leaders and their safety deputies do in such a fluid safety climate? It won’t be easy.

To help, we’ve culled together the relevant research, laying out five best practices for reducing worker safety illnesses and injuries and generally improving the quality of safety programs.

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