Part of your job involves making sure employees are working in a safe environment from the moment they clock in to the time they leave work. But what about all the hours before and after?
What’s your obligation to employee protection beyond the workday? The formerly clear distinction between on- and off-the-job safety is becoming blurred.
Increasingly, employers are investing in safeguarding employees—and their families—even when they’re not at work. This can mean anything from an e-mail reminder about a flu shot to a comprehensive program modeled after a company’s safety and health management system.
Home = Risk
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 9 out of 10 worker deaths and nearly three-quarters of injuries for which a healthcare professional is consulted occur off the job. Such injuries result in 6 times as many lost workdays as those that occur at work.
With the rate of off-the-job injuries soaring, it’s easy to understand why many organizations are expanding their safety programs to include home safety.
- In 2009, employers lost more than 225 million days of production due to off-the-job incidents. By comparison, workplace injuries resulted in 55 million lost days.
- The cost of off-duty injuries and deaths is about $250 billion per year. That total reflects lost wages, medical and hospital costs, and administrative expenses.
A complete one-day Cal/OSHA workshop for California employers: Learn more here.
Off-the-Job Safety Initiative
Tess Benham is program manager for the new NSC off-the-job safety and health initiative. The year-old program features a variety of components. Among them is a free Family Safety and Health Employer Resource created in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The resource offers practical assistance with building and evaluating a family safety and health program. Training modules address driving safety, physical activity, healthy eating, drug overdoses, tobacco cessation, and vaccine-preventable diseases. Additional offerings are planned on fire safety, slips and falls, and possibly stress.
“As employers, we often have the infrastructure in place with safety and health management systems to reach adult workers,” Benham explains. But tools and information about home-based risks are often lacking. NSC’s new resource is an effort to fill that gap.
Look for Opportunity
How do you leverage an existing safety and health management system to influence employees away from work?
“There are many ways,” says Benham. “One of the easiest is to look at your safety
education and how those topics transfer to home or family safety.”
For example, much of the at-work messaging on topics like fire safety is applicable to a home.
Another strategy is to work with your insurance company to assess the leading cause of your off-the-job injuries and make sure these causes are covered in your plan.You can also teach employees how to turn a 5-minute toolbox talk into a home-based training session. These can cover a wide range of safety and health topics.
Cal/OSHA is the most rigorous, complex occupational safety and health law in the world … and it isn’t getting any easier.
New safety orders … new laws governing enforcement … changes at the Division of Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (DOSH), the Appeals Board, and the Standards Board … and an increased focus on criminal investigations … they have all resulted in heightened obligations imposed upon California employers—and greater risks if you’re not in compliance.
Our 2012 Cal/OSHA Master Class is specifically designed to help you, as a California employer, identify—and satisfy—your Cal/OSHA obligations, improve workplace safety, minimize exposure to liability, and defend yourself effectively when citations are issued.
Can You Answer These 5 Questions?
- Do you know all of the Cal/OSHA safety orders that apply to your business?
- Are your safety and health programs completely state-of-the-art?
- Do you know the pros and cons of root cause analysis?
- Have you successfully conducted a comprehensive audit of your safety and health practices in the last year?
- Are you confident that you can litigate an appeal of citations and win?
If your answer to even one of these questions is “no,” you won’t want to miss this master class, specifically for California employers!
Join us in Anaheim on December 11; click here for all the details.
Download your free copy of Training Your New Supervisors: 11 Practical Lessons today!