Off-the-job injuries outpace gain in workplace safety
Contrary to popular belief, today’s workers are safer on the job than they are at home or in their communities. According to the National Safety Council, recent gains in lowering workplace death rates – down 17% since 1992 – have been undone by the rate of fatalities occurring off the job, up 14% in that same period.
“The business costs of off-the-job accidents is staggering when you take into account lost wages and productivity, medical and disability payments, and training for new employees,” said Alan C. McMillan, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.
According to statistics being presented at the nation’s first Off the Job Safety Symposium in Orlando later this month, twice as many workers – or 6.8 million – were seriously injured while off the job than were injured while working. And of the 49,000 injury-related deaths in 2004 involving workers, roughly 90% occurred while employees were off the job.