This week, over 15,000 professionals in various areas of accident safety are here in Indiana at the annual National Safety Council’s Congress and Expo.
This Hoosier-hosted event is considered the largest safety conference in the world.
From NSC president Deborah A.P. Hersman:
“With workplace deaths at their highest level in nearly a decade, safety professionals look to best practices, innovative products and world-class education. The goal of the NSC Congress & Expo each year is to provide the tools and training to ensure organizations develop a culture of safety excellence.”
Indiana is Home to Top USA Safety Advocate: National Safety Council
For over a century, Indiana’s National Safety Council has been dedicated to “eliminating preventable deaths,” and it is recognized as the leading safety advocate in the country today. The NSC is a nonprofit safety organization focused upon safety issues at home and on the work site as well as in our communities and neighborhoods.
The National Safety Council works with both the private and public sectors in its mission to end accidental deaths, recognizing “preventable injuries” as the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.
Its annual conference is both a vital educational opportunity for those concerned about accident injuries and deaths, as well as the time when important annual research studies are released to the public.
Indianapolis’ Convention Center is booked for the national safety symposium, with the 2017 Indiana Law Update coming right on its heels, beginning September 27, 2017. Understandably, this is a big deal for attorneys dedicated to representing accident victims and those suffering from severe or fatal injuries due to the actions of others.
2017 National Safety Council’s Safety Conference
Events are scheduled for the entirety of this week, but the big presentations will happen today through Thursday (September 25 – 27). There are seminars, workshops, speeches, and expositions by safety groups and safety product manufacturers and designers.
Among those who will be speaking here this week are:
- Kyle Petty, NASCAR driver and business executive;
- Bonnie St. John, Paralympic ski medalist and former Rhodes Scholar;
- Laura Ambrose, global director of EH&S operations at The Dow Chemical Co.;
- Donald K. Martin, senior vice president of DEKRA/BST;
- Peter Waite, senior director of global health, safety and environment at Eli Lilly and Co.;
- Tim Page-Bottorff, senior safety consultant, and Larry Wilson, CEO, both of SafeStart; and
- Corey Pitzer, CEO of SAFEmap International.
At some point during the week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will release its annual “Top 10” list.
OSHA Top 10 List
Each year, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration compiles a list of the most common violations reported during the past fiscal year that have put the safety and health of American workers at risk of preventable injuries and fatal accidents.
Shockingly, year after year the same kinds of dangers continue to be ranked as the most dangerous job deathtraps in this country. So, as reported in last year’s OSHA Top 10 List (compiling data for fiscal year 2016), it’s predicted that the same dangers are likely to appear on the new Top 10 List announced here in Indianapolis this week. They are:
- Fall protection
- Hazard communication
- Respiratory protection
- Powered industrial trucks
- Machine guarding
- Electrical wiring
- Electrical, general requirements.
For details on last year’s 2016 Top Ten List of Most-Cited Safety and Health Violations, read: Workplace Injuries And Most Dangerous Industries: 2015-2016 OSHA Workplace Injury Report and our discussions in:
- OSHA TOP 10 SAFETY VIOLATIONS IN 2014: COMPANIES STILL PUT PROFITS OVER PEOPLE
- Top 10 Workplace Safety Violations in 2013 Announced by OSHA: How Dangerous is Your Job?
Motor Vehicle Accident Fatalities: Auto Safety Technology
A new event is scheduled for this week to combat the real threat to all of us who share the roads of Indiana, Illinois, and the rest of the country: motor vehicle crashes and fatal traffic accidents.
It’s reported that motor vehicle fatalities remain the number one cause of death for workers in this country. Of particular concern is the fact that the danger of dying in a car crash while on the job is rising year after year according to 2016 research.
This year’s safety conference includes a new meeting between the Big Four car makers (Ford, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler, and General Motors) at the Auto Safety Tech Zone. Here, there will be discussion of the new digital safety technologies that are being offered in the new makes and models of consumer motor vehicles.
The car makers will have actual cars and SUVs on hand for attendees to examine and test. Their presentations are scheduled for the first three days of the conference week (Monday – Wednesday).
For more, read our 2014 discussion of this problem in “More Workers Die On the Job in Traffic Crashes Than Any Other Kind of Injury: New NIOSH Goals Set to Fight this Danger.”
NSC 2017 Focus from Yesterday: Worker Fatigue While On the Job
As the week moves forward, there will be more and more research revelations and product debuts regarding safety concerns addressing Americans today. During the opening session, the first major concern was revealed: workers at risk of being hurt or killed on job sites because they are fatigued.
Yesterday, the first day of the conference, had NSC President Deborah Hersman addressing an audience with findings on the danger to workers from being fatigued while on the job.
“We as human beings are operating on our original operating systems. Fatigue affects employees in every industry…. Good sleep can have an immediate impact on performance…. It looks like we all have to take time to refuel. Sleep is critical. Putting in more hours on the job does not guarantee better results.”
Lack of sleep not only means workers do not do their best during their workday, but that they are at risk of being injured or killed while on the job because of fatigue.
Worker fatigue is a danger that is causing preventable injuries and fatal accidents. It can also cause heart disease and increase the risk of workers being involved in fatal auto accidents.
How to resolve this safety hazard was discussed, including suggestions that overnight shifts and double shifts for workers be minimized. Screening for sleep disorders was encouraged, as well.
See, e.g., our discussion on sleep apnea in Danger to Railroad Workers from Sleep Apnea: Proposed Regulations Withdrawn.
Safety Conference Reveals Dangers of Fatal Accidents Facing All of Us
As this week’s symposium continues, there will be more and more revelations on the serious risks facing Americans today in all walks of life. From construction workers to kids at day care and our teenagers driving the family car on date night, there is a serious threat of severe injury or death from a variety of sources.
Things that can be fixed. Accidents that can be prevented. Kudos to everyone involved in this important work of safety advocacy. Let’s be careful out there!