OSHA’s Fatality and Catastrophe Report
With my personal love of OSHA, I am frequently on their website. I like to keep up with the changes and new materials provided by them as well as keep abreast of what is trending. This includes reading the fatality and catastrophe reports. Though this report does not bring me joy by any means it does provide a plethora of information to me, the ”safety professional”, in regards to areas of concern among industry. I can also see where the OSHA top 10 violations come from (see my blog).
After I periodically read the fatality and catastrophe report I ask myself questions such as: Were these workers trained properly? Were they practicing safe work habits? Was the incident preventable? How would I approach training for such issues? How do I think I would handle the prevention of such incidents? At times I try to imagine how some of the incidents even occur! What happened?
This report is not personal but rather a data table. When I read through these reports I can’t help but picture stick figures to represent the workers killed while on the job represented in this report. Much like how infographics represent data.
If you have never had the opportunity to look at this report on the OSHA webpage, it used to have only four column headings. The first column on this report is the “Date of Incident“. This is the date which the fatality or catastrophe incident occurred. The second column is the “Company, City, State, ZIP“. This provides the information of the employer of the injured or deceased worker. The third column has the “Preliminary Description of Incident“, or a very brief description of what happened that caused the fatality or catastrophe. The fourth column contains the designation on whether the incident was a “Fatality or Catastrophe“. I noticed last year around February OSHA added a column for the “Inspection #“. An identification number that will be attached to the investigation/inspection case in regards to the incident.
New Column in the Fatality and Catastrophe Report
I have been very busy traveling and haven’t had an opportunity to look at the fatality and catastrophe report in a few weeks. I went on the OSHA website today to look at the most recent update and I immediately noticed a “new” column with the heading “Victim(s)“. Yes, you read that right! OSHA has now added a column giving the name(s) of the victim(s) of the fatalities or catastrophes on the report.
This new information stunned me a bit. Even though this is public knowledge I felt it brought a personalization to this report. As I stated earlier I put this data on the report in the form of little stick figures in my head. Terrible, I know! In my opinion when OSHA added the names to the fatality and catastrophe report it brought a level of humanity to it and not the “Just a number” feeling it had when I reviewed this previously. Now, as I look at this data I start to imagine the person, how they must have felt, and wonder what their poor loved ones must be going through. This level of thinking really put a different spin on the report and the information it is providing me. As a safety professional, in my personal day to day, I always look for ways to help improve training, awareness and the safety of others. This report helps me drive forward with my teaching of the OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses and how I can use this data to improve and add value to my courses.
These fatality and catastrophe reports are truly heart wrenching. When looking at this report, how do you feel about OSHA adding the names of the victims? Does it make you feel more connected? Can you think of area in your daily tasks at your workplace where safety can be improved? How will you assist in making these improvements?
Let’s all strive to go home at the end of the day safely!