Injuries occur in the workplace as evidenced by the ever growing number of injuries reported to the OSHA Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2011, the BLS reports that there were 4,609 fatal occupational injuries. These lives were in our hands to make a safe work environment. We need to seriously look at making a difference in our work environment one injury at a time, potentially saving one life at a time.

For 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics non-fatal figures involving days away from work, where a work site can often easily impact the course of an injury and the recovery of the employee, the statistics are great. Industry wide in 2011, there were 340,870 reported sprains, strains and tears; 76,680 bruises and contusion; 32,450 non-specified injuries resulting in soreness, pain to the back and 109,160 soreness, pain, to unspecified parts. The employer can be pro-active in making a difference in how these injuries impact the employee and employer.

It is not that injuries are inevitable. In fact, injuries are preventable; however, in the absence of prevention, workplace injuries will occur. How an employer, manager, supervisor, shift lead responds to that injury when the injury first occurs makes all the difference in the world as to the length of recovery for the injured employee, lost wages, the employee's self-worth/self-esteem and as a byproduct of all of these things, it affects the worker's compensation claim costs. It is all about taking each injury as if it were one life at a time.

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