Why Does Ohio Have the Most Workplace Deaths in the Midwest?
Last year, a study showed Ohio as the number one state in the Midwest area that has the highest number of workplace deaths. During the 2015 fiscal year, 48 Ohio workplace fatalities were investigated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA’s spokesman actually noted that the administration sends more federal safety inspectors to Ohio to investigate workplace deaths than the Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan Midwestern states.
That said, Ohio’s death toll is remaining consistent compared to prior years. This only goes to show Ohio has always led the Midwest in workplace fatality numbers.
What is Causing the High Number of Workplace Deaths?
Ohio did see a slight increase in workplace deaths in 2014, but according to an OSHA official, it seems the state has reached a plateau in the number of deaths. Former OSHA Cincinnati Area Director told Journal-News he thinks that the increase can be attributed to a combination of factors, including:
Failure to pay attention to safe workplace training and practices
A new, younger workforce in the construction and manufacturing industries
A lack of office resources
According to a local safety equipment inspection manager, the problem with the manufacturing and construction industry and the potential dangers that inherently come with the work sites is it’s difficult to say whether a safety procedure is working properly until it fails.
What Can Companies Do to Prevent Workplace Accidents?
According to Journal-News, the best way to limit worker exposure to potentially dangerous safety hazards is to take advantage of technology, such as unmanned aerial systems, to accomplish certain tasks. Being more proactive in using backup equipment as fail safes for things that pose potential fall hazards (like scaffolding) would also help to limit worker exposure to safety hazards. Essentially, employers need to think ahead. OSHA also emphasizes the benefits of extra training, more education and (of course) always providing protection gear.
Our local workers comp attorneys fight for the families of workplace fatality victims in the Zanesville, Newark, Columbus, Shadyside areas of Ohio.