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Cost of Workplace Illness and Injury


Fire safety. Personal protection equipment. Electrical safety. Basic housekeeping. Machine guards ... over or under eating, interpersonal problems, workplace ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Cost of Workplace Illness and Injury

Cost of Workplace Illness and Injury
  • Medical and insurance costs
  • Workers compensation
  • Survivor benefits
  • Lost wages
  • Damaged equipment and materials
  • Production delays
  • Other workers time losses
  • Selection and training costs for replacement
  • Accident reporting

Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
  • Promotes safe and healthful workplaces by
    requiring employers to
  • provide a place of employment that is free of all
    recognized hazards that are causing or likely to
    cause death or serious harm to employees- the
    General Duty duty clause
  • to comply with specific safety and health
    guidelines promulgated under the authority of the
    Secretary of Labor
  • keep records of all occupational injuries and

Rights and Obligations of Employers and Employees
  • OSHA fixes the responsibility for accidents on
    the employer not the employee.
  • Employers do have
  • Right to a search warrant
  • Right to discipline for safety violations
  • Right to be notified of inspection

OSHA Standards
  • Areas of basic concern
  • Fire safety
  • Personal protection equipment
  • Electrical safety
  • Basic housekeeping
  • Machine guards

Enforcement of OSHA Standards
  • Inspection priority classifications
  • Imminent danger
  • Fatality of catastrophe investigations
  • Employee complaint investigations
  • Targeted industries
  • Construction, shipbuilding, food processing,
    logging, and nursing homes

Hazard Communication Standard
  • Employee Right-to-Know Law
  • Congress enacted law in 1984.
  • Gives workers the right to know what hazardous
    substances they are dealing with on the job.
  • A substance is considered hazardous if exposure
    can lead to acute or chronic health problems.

Causes of Accidents
  • Chance of Occurrences
  • Unsafe Conditions Mechanical and Physical
  • the job itself
  • work schedule/fatigue
  • psychological climate
  • equipment insufficiency
  • procedural insufficiency
  • Unsafe Acts
  • behavioral tendencies and attitudes

Causes of Accidents Cont.
  • Vision
  • Age (20-29)
  • Perceptual Skills-motor skills
  • Vocational Interests

How to Prevent Accidents
  • Reduce Unsafe Conditions
  • Establish and Enforce Safety Policies
  • Employee Training
  • Safety Incentive Programs
  • Selection and Placement
  • muscular coordination
  • visual skills
  • genetic screening

Accident Prevention Strategies
  • Employee selection
  • High-risk personality characteristics
  • Risk taking High risk-takers actually seek out
    danger rather than trying to minimize or avoid
  • Impulsiveness Impulsive individuals fail to
    think through the consequences of their actions.
  • Rebelliousness Rebellious individuals tend to
    break established rules, including safety rules.
  • Hostility Hostile individuals tend to lose their
    tempers easily and thus engage in aggressive
    acts, such as kicking a jammed machine.

  • Job Stress
  • unpleasant emotional state resulting from
    perceived threat to something one values

Causes of Stress
  • Environment Factors (job and non-job related)
  • high level of job demands and little control over
    work, work climate, change, rules, work pace,
    management style, work group characteristics,
    number and nature of customers, family demands
  • Personal Factors
  • personality, achievement orientation, tolerance
    for ambiguity, self-esteem, health, exercise

Individual Consequences of Stress
  • Behavior
  • drug and alcohol abuse, over or under eating,
    interpersonal problems, workplace and family
  • Psychological
  • depression, anger
  • Physiological
  • heart disease, hypertension, ulcers, karoshi
    (death by overwork)

Organizational Consequences of Stress
  • Decreased performance
  • Absenteeism and turnover
  • Increased health and worker compensation
    insurance cost
  • Lawsuits- for health problems and negligent hiring

Ways Managers Can Help Reduce Stress
  • Allow employees to freely talk to one another
  • Reduce personal conflicts on the job
  • Give employees adequate control over how they do
    their job
  • Ensure that staffing budgets are adequate
  • Talk openly with employees
  • Support employee efforts

Ways Managers Can Help Reduce Stress Cont.
  • Provide competitive personal leave and vacation
  • Maintain current level of employee benefits
  • Reduce the amount of red tape
  • Recognize and reward employee for their
    contributions and accomplishments

Work Place Violence
  • 2 cause of death for all workers (after
  • 1 cause of death for women
  • U.S. Postal Service- over 2,000 incidents of
    violent incidents

Workplace Violence
  • Workplace violence
  • Most violent acts are committed by employees
  • Other employees
  • Supervisors
  • Customers
  • Non-employees also commit violent acts at the
  • Most often at health care and social service

  • Work places offer easy access
  • Security industry- low hiring standards, poor
    training etc.
  • Employees do not view violence by co-worker as a
    pressing reality

Things to Watch For
  • Evidence of paranoid and depressed behavior
  • Abrupt behavior change
  • Signs of domestic violence
  • Recent gun purchase
  • Fascination with mass murders
  • Background Circumstances
  • employment gap, criminal history, drug abuse,
    false application information, unexplained

Reducing Workplace Violence
  • Improved lighting
  • Employee escort services to and from parking lots
  • Reception areas can be locked when no one is on
  • Policy stipulation (at least two people on duty)
  • Security systems
  • Policies regarding visitor access
  • Curved mirrors at hallway intersections or
    concealed areas
  • Bullet-proof glass

Legal Issues with Work Place Violence
  • Arrest records and Civil Rights Act
  • Mental Impairments and the ADA

Employer Liability
  • Legal test for determining employer liability
  • It knew or should have known that a criminal act
    was probable.
  • It could have reasonably protected the employee
    from criminal assault, but failed to do to.
  • Its failure to protect the employee caused the
    subsequent injuries to occur.

Repetitive Motion Disorders
  • Repetitive stress injuries that affect tendons
    and become inflamed from the strains and stress
    of repeated, forceful motions
  • Types of repetitive motion disorders
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Synovitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Bursitis
  • Raynauds Phenomenon

Lower Back Disorder
  • Ranks high as a leading health problem at the
  • LBDs account for approximately one-fourth of all
    workdays lost in the U.S.
  • In 1997, 2,700 ADA complaints were lodged at the
    EEOC based on claimants lower back disorders.
  • Nationwide, back injuries cost employers between
    15 and 20 billion dollars per year.

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a
    leading public health problem in the United
  • Organizational interventions
  • An employer cannot allow itself to be influenced
    by employee preferences and prejudices.
  • An employer must hire and retain qualified
    HIV-infected victims unless the debilitating
    effects of the disease impede their job
  • An employer must educate employees about how the
    AIDS virus is transmitted (and how it is not

Substance Abuse
  • Costs U.S. employers an estimated 1 billion a
    year in terms of
  • Lost productivity, accidents, workers
    compensation, health insurance claims, and theft
    of company property
  • 1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act states the education
    on the following
  • Dangers of drug abuse in the workplace
  • Policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace
  • Drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee
    assistance programs
  • Penalties for drug abuse violations occurring in
    the workplace
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