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A4.1 Evaluating Targeting Strategies to Identify Hazardous Employers-Neuhauser FW, Ellwood

 JFederal and State governments have limited resources for intervention at employer work sites meant to improve safety and reduce workplace injuries. Consequently, governments have attempted to target the most hazardous employers where they will have the greatest impact. A number of states also require private insurers to follow similar approaches to identify and intervene with their most hazardous policyholders. These efforts rely on past injury data and/or loss cost data collected by the government or insurers. Both the government and the private insurers have access to different data in type, extent and timing.

The study will evaluate the approaches used by the Federal OSHA and several State Plan states as well as the approaches used by the top 20 insurers in California to determine the effectiveness of approaches in predicting that targeted employers would have been more hazardous in the absence of intervention. Finally, using the experience of a random sample of 20,000 employers over 8 years, the study will define the best approaches to targeting given limitations on the timing and extent of data available to a given targeting entity.

 

A4.2 Failure of Surveillance Based on OSHA Recordkeeping Rules to Detect Potentially Fatal Incidents Involving Robots-Reeve GR, Rynard SM, Pastula ST, Howe J, Smitt R

OSHA reporting requirements are designed to identify hazardous conditions resulting in injury to workers. However, undetected workplace hazards may exist due to gaps in the OSHA reporting rules. In an analysis of robot-related injuries, surveillance using Ford Motor Company's Occupational Health and Safety System (OHS) data revealed potentially fatal injuries that were unreported due to the fact that they involved no medical treatment beyond first aid.

Ford's OHS system records all work-related injuries at the company's 55 U.S. plant medical departments. From June 1993 through August 1996, the system logged 390,518 First-Time Occupational Visits (FTOVs), of which 200,985 (51%) were reportable to OSHA. By searching patient statements of the incidents for the word "robot," the investigators identified 695 injuries involving robots. A review of cases found that most of the injuries occurred while manually performing work normally done by the robot; working close by the robot; or performing maintenance on the robot. Of the identified injuries, 306 (44%) were OSHA recordable, while 389 cases were not reported under OSHA rules.

Nineteen injuries involved actual contact with the robot: being pinned against a solid object or struck by part of the robot mechanism. Any of these workers could easily have been severely injured or killed, but these incidents did not appear on the OSHA log because only first aid was required for the workers' abrasions or contusions. Consequently, plant supervision was not alerted to these serious hazards.

 

A4.3 An Eight Year Review of Construction Fatalities Without Accident Prevention Programs-McReynolds MC, Smith HG, Dechert RE, Taheri PA

Objective: To determine how construction fatalities in Michigan correlate with Accident Prevention Program (APP) violations during an 8-year period.

Methods: We reviewed both work-related fatalities and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) violations for lack of an adequate APP in Michigan construction from 1991 through 1999. Fatalities from heart attacks, suicides, highway personal motor vehicle trips and aircraft accidents were excluded.

Results: From 1991-1999 there were 204 fatalities reported related to worksite injuries. During the same period MIOSHA issued 106 APP violations associated with those fatalities to individual firms. Regression analysis of fatalities and APP violation was performed. We observed a significant correlation (r2=0.58, p<0.05) between the reported APP violations and fatalities.

Conclusion: This data suggests an association between APP violations and fatality rates. The construction sites without APP demonstrated high fatality rates. However further evaluation is needed. All construction employers are required by law to provide APP's. We recommend that the minimal components of a good construction injury prevention program are: a responsible qualified person for coordination of all prevention components including education and emergency response, certified instructors in first aid and CPR, instruction of initial treatment for trauma including an injured employee protocol, a practical injury simulation, an understanding of the concept of the golden hour, and the importance of transferring an injured employee to an appropriate hospital. The design of such programs should include an upper level management commitment, physicians and nurses from trauma centers, and employee representation in the program design. General first aid education must be taught as well as specific injury prevention for the target population. All prevention programs need an increased focus on trauma prevention awareness & initial treatment.

 

A4.4 The Impact of OSHA Inspections on Injury Rates-Mendeloff JM, Gray W

This paper reports preliminary results of a study of the effects of OSHA inspections on injury rates in manufacturing establishments. The study is based on linking microdata from the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses with OSHA data on inspections. Earlier studies using these data sets have provided the best available evidence about the effects of OSHA inspections.

This study is able to employ better data than earlier studies. First, we have data from all states, not just the 29 where the enforcement program is operated by federal OSHA. Second, and most importantly, since 1992 BLS has collected detailed information on injuries involving lost workdays. These data include variables on the source of injury, part of body, nature of injury, and event, as well as demographic characteristics of the injured workers.

With these data, we will be able not only to estimate the effect of different kinds of inspections at different kinds of workplaces; but we will also be able to examine the relation between the types of violations cited at workplaces and the changes, if any, in the types of injuries that occur.

As a result, we will be able to assess different theories about the reasons why inspections have effects. Some have proposed a "detection" effect, where injuries decline because OSHA cites and employers abate particular hazards. Others have argued that declines reflect a renewed attention to safety, spurred by the inspection, but only loosely related to the hazards cited. This research has important practical as well as theoretical implications.

 

A4.5 Fatal Occupational Injuries in a New Development Area in the People's Republic Of China-Xia Z, Courtney TK, Sorock GS, Zhu J, Fu H, Liang Y, Christiani DC

The labor force of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is estimated at over 600 million workers making it the world's largest, single nation labor force. Available estimates of occupational fatal injury counts and rates in China as a whole are uncertain and likely conservative since they have been projected using fatal occupational injury rates from other, similarly developed countries.

Fatal occupational injuries in a new economic development region in Shanghai, east China, are described. All occupational deaths in the East Pujang New Area during the period 1991-1997 were abstracted from multiple, overlapping source documents. There were 426 deaths and a crude mortality rate of 9.1 per 100,000 workers. The death rate was highest in 1995 (14.6) when expansion in the area was most rapid. The construction sector accounted for 55% of the deaths, followed by manufacturing (23%) and transport, storage and telecommunications (11%). Falls, collisions, struck by/against incidents and electrocutions accounted for 80% of all the deaths. Falls led all other causes of death (39%) and was particularly important in the construction industry (46% of all deaths in construction). The development of ongoing, comprehensive injury surveillance systems in the PRC will be essential to target and evaluate injury prevention activities in the future.

 

A4.6 Using a Corporate Website to Monitor Health and Safety at a Large Manufacturing Company-Reeve GR

Management leadership is critical to the functioning of health and safety activities at the plant level. To focus and maintain the interest of management it is necessary to routinely evaluate their performance in terms of several different types of metrics. Ford Motor Company has implemented a web-based system to capture and disseminate a comprehensive series of metrics that measure injury/illness rates and the costs associated with all medically related absences. This website is updated monthly for the 60 manufacturing locations in the U.S. It contains Lost Time Case Rates and Severity Rates for all injuries and illnesses as well as rates for cumulative trauma disorders. Department-level injury/illness rates are included. The website also presents data for medical absences, workers compensation costs, non-occupational disability costs, the number of persons on medical leave for occupational and non-occupational disorders, and the number of workers at work with medical restrictions.

The monthly data for each plant is displayed in a unique set of bar chart graphics and pareto charts that allow quick visual assessment of where the plant stands with all other plants of the same manufacturing type. A series of quadrant charts display the ranking of each plant in each manufacturing division in terms of their aggregate injury/illness rates for the last six months and whether the six-month trend is improving or worsening.

Since this system was launched in mid-1999, its metrics have been the corporate standard for formally evaluating Plant Managers' performance in reducing injuries and illnesses and the associated absences. This website also eliminates cumbersome manual data compilations from several different systems which reduces the potential for data errors or manipulation.

 

    

 

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