On January 4th, 2012, the American Society of Safety Engineers' (ASSE) President Terrie Norris, issued a call to action. "A statistical plateau of worker fatalities is not an achievement," she said. "But evidence that this nation's effort to protect workers is stalled. These statistics call for nothing less than a new paradigm in the way this nation protects workers."
The pattern the ASSE president identifies goes beyond fatalities to include serious injuries. In the past five years, worker fatalities are level or increasing year to year, and so too are serious injuries.
Serious injuries are life-threatening (such as significant loss of blood, trauma to vital organs, and damage to the brain or spinal cord), or life-altering (resulting in permanent or longterm impairment of loss of an internal organ, body function, or body part).
This disturbing trend is found at the national, industry, and organizational level. It has galvanized organizations with OSHA recordable injury and illness rates that are already low, very low in some cases. Seven global companies supported by Mercer ORC Networks and BST pooled their data to study this trend, identify its sources, and recommend strategies to prevent serious injuries and fatalities (SIF).