This week’s ‘yikes’ moment

Here’s your ‘going into the holiday weekend’ shake-up.

Or, call it the “yikes” report, if you’d prefer.

According to a news release from Lafarge North America Inc., describing Lafarge’s long-standing commitment to the safety of its workers, subcontractors and local communities, here are some statistics.

The human, corporate and economic importance of plant safety can hardly be over-stated.  According to the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other public and private-sector sources:

•  Nearly 50 American workers are injured every minute of the 40-hour workweek and an average of 17 workers die in job-related accidents each day.

•  U.S. industrial workers lose an average of 8.39 work days a year because of job-related injury and illness.

•  Workplace injuries cost society an estimated $128 billion in losses each year – equal to 25 cents of every dollar of pre-tax corporate profits.

• The estimated direct U.S. workers’ compensation costs for the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2005 totaled $48.3 billion.

• The top three injury categories – overexertion, fall on the same level and fall to a lower level – together account for more than have of that total.

•    It’s been calculated that to cover the cost of a $500 accident, an employer would have to bottle and sell 61,000 cans of soda, bake and sell 235,000 donuts, or deliver 20 truckloads of concrete.

Be careful. It’s dangerous out there.

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