Workplace health and safety is an ever-changing field. While the total number of workplace injuries and deaths that are reported is going down, improvements can still be made to make workplaces safety. The continual need for improvements leads to new trends, technologies, jobs and more. EHS Daily Advisor published an article going over a few of the health and safety trends that can be expected in 2018 and beyond.
- Updates to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule: OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping rule took effect in January 2017. The rule requires businesses in high-risk industries to submit injury- and illness-related data electronically via OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application. Submissions for calendar year 2017 must be completed by July 1, 2018. OSHA also recently announced that businesses in state plan states are required to submit their data even if their state did not adopt the rule.
- Increased Focus on Mental Health and Addiction: Mental health illnesses, left untreated, cost organizations $100 billion per year. More and more organizations are offering mental health initiatives to help treat these ailments and the number of organizations doing so is expected to continue to increase. The number of companies offering programs to help with drug addiction will likely increase as well. Workers suffering from alcohol addiction issues are 2.7 times more likely to have work-related injuries that lead to absences. Businesses will work with employees more and more to combat these issues, helping both parties in the long run.
- More Safety Occupations: Titles such as Safety Director, Safety Manager and Safety Coordinator are gaining popularity. People in these roles will oversee safety across organizations and work to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.
- Virtual Reality: As virtual reality technology becomes more affordable and user-friendly, expect to see it used to train workers across industries. Its safety applications include simulating construction sites and driving conditions for training purposes.
- Efforts to Decrease Stress: More research is being done on workplace stress and the results are clear: stress on the job has a direct impact on workplace safety. Stress can lead to over-work, extreme fatigue, headaches, injury and even death. Workplaces will being making more of an effort to combat stress and to help employees cope with the stress they have.