Hello everyone, and welcome back to Safety Corner, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Division of Worker's Compensation (DWD/WC) safety blog! I'm using this forum to share some of the current, pertinent safety news and information that I receive from my network of workplace safety professionals and pass along to employers and organizations across Wisconsin.
March is Ladder Safety Month. Each year, there are more than 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. that are caused by falls from ladders. Most ladder deaths are from falls of 10 feet or less. Falls from ladders are the leading cause of deaths on construction sites.¹ The American Ladder Institute is an excellent resource for safe ladder use training and educational materials.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also has many good free ladder safety training and safe use compliance resources available. Also see the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health "Ladders Safety Month" resources for safety training materials and ideas.
March is also Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Employers are encouraged to contact Prevent Blindness for information on the Healthy Eyes Vision Wellness Program, which promotes vision care services in the workplace. Eye safety fact sheets are available to help employers promote workplace eye safety education with the workforce.
Seasoned safety professionals may remember the "Wise Owl Club." Owls are known for their keen eyesight that allows them to hunt prey in total darkness. As a result, the owl is also a symbol for the Wise Owl Club. The Wise Owl Club of America was created as an industrial and school eye safety incentive program which has recognized more than 86,000 Americans who saved their vision by wearing proper eye protection. Learn more at Prevent Blindness America: The Sight Saving People.
While no longer active through the Prevent Blindness organization, many employers' safety departments continue to promote their own eye safety recognition program for those of the Wise Owl Club.
Agriculture, cooperative employers, and rural health and safety professionals and educators are encouraged to actively participate in OSHA's National Stand-up for Grain Safety Week in the last week of March. Grain entrapment incidents have increased by 27 from 2018 to 2019 (most recent BLS statistics.) Grain entrapment fatalities continue to rise, including in Wisconsin, with a current national fatality rate of 61.²Daily grain handling safety topics will be addressed during each day of Grain Safety Stand Up Week - March 29 - April 2, 2021. Visit Stand Up for Grain Safety to sign up for free daily informative webinar events.
March also has a host of health and wellness campaigns. Visit the following Organizations for pertinent details:
As a look ahead, April is Distracted Driving and Work Zone Safety month as we move toward the summer road construction season. Also, April is Tornado and Severe Weather month. Details to follow regarding these and the annual Statewide Tornado-Severe Thunderstorms & Lighting community sirens emergency action plans (EAP) drills (4/15/21, 1pm ). Learn more at: 2021 Wisconsin Statewide Tornado Drill.
Have a Safe Day, Always!!
Dave Leix, CSP, Safety & Risk Manager - Bio: Dave Leix - CSP, Safety & Risk Manager
¹Google - ladder falls statistics
²OSHA - https://standup4grainsafety.org/
Dave brings over 40 years of professional safety and health (EHS) consulting and managerial experience to his role as Safety & Risk Manager for DWD's Worker's Compensation Division. He presents at a variety of association/industry trade group safety and risk management training events. Full bio for Dave Leix.