Safety for every type of employee in any workplace is gaining the attention of employers, both in large industries and in smaller local businesses. And this is a very good thing. According to the 2016 Fatal Occupational Injuries report, work-related deaths have been on the rise over the past three years. People are taking notice.
In an effort to address the rising workplace fatalities, government and private businesses are finding new and innovative ways to help maintain the safety of all employees and contractors. Below are five trends gaining popularity in the health and safety industry.
1: Overall Health and Wellness of Employees
Over the past few decades, the focus on employee nutrition and fitness levels have been the primary wellness concerns for employers. But in this changing workplace culture, a more holistic approach is starting to be used that not only looks at an employee's physical health but their mental, economic and social health as well.
2: Growth in Safety Professionals Positions
With the increase of workplace accidents and fatalities on the rise, there is an increase in the cost to employers, both with liability and insurance. So it is no surprise that there is a new demand for safety specialists to help decrease death and accidents. Last year in 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported a 14 percent increase in the number of safety management jobs openings.
3: Using Safety Statistics in New Ways
Along with the growth in the professional safety area, we are starting to see a shift in the way safety statistics are used. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is beginning to look into models such as forecasting, or predictive models, to help combat the growing number of workplace deaths. They believe by using past data in this new way; they can be proactive in preventing (or significantly reducing) workplace injuries.
4: Implementing New Management Systems
Companies that are focusing on providing solutions for workplace safety professionals are starting to migrate to cloud-based and mobile productions to meet new demands. Using management systems that alert and report real-time data is extremely valuable to the new breed of safety professionals in today's workplace.
5: New OSHA Requirements
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently started requiring employers to submit workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities via the OSHA website. This requirement has been a key factor for employers to not only hire or contract safety professionals but also incorporate safety management technology.
Looking to the future
As the need for industry safety professionals grows, so does the need for better education. Some universities are already addressing the demand by offering degrees and masters programs in occupational health and safety.