Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Safety is Just As Important After the Injury as Before the Injury

The National Safety Council is holding their annual Congress this week here in Atlanta.  Tuesday is the only day this week I'm actually in Atlanta, so I thought I'd check it out.

For those of you that have attended the NWCDC in Vegas each year, the expo hall at the National Safety Council Congress is every bit as impressive.  Lots of people, lots of educational sessions, lots of booths, lots of pitches.  The exhibitors here in Atlanta this week represent an interesting contrast to the typical booths we see at our work comp conferences.  Whereas a lot of the booths at our conferences are focused on the life of the worker after the injury, the National Safety Council appears to primarily attract companies and organizations focused on preventing the injury in the first place.  There are lots of apparel companies... fire retardant clothing, dozens of different shoe/boot companies, more companies selling gloves than I could have ever imagined... as well as safety equipment... ropes, ladders, harnesses, etc. to keep workers safe.

But I couldn't help but notice what wasn't represented on the exhibit floor.  The conclusion I drew from the menagerie of booths was that safety concerns apparently cease once an injury occurs.  Employers and insurers are assuming, incorrectly, that once a worker is injured and enters the medical system for treatment, that injured worker's safety is assured.  

That's simply not the case.  And we know better.  

In fact, our collective concern about injured worker safety needs to be just as focused, just as important, just as urgent as it was before the injury occurred.  

The National Safety Council is leading the way on this.  Dr. Don Teater and Tess Benham at the National Safety Council are working to leverage the brand and clout of their non-profit organization to help tackle the safety issues related to prescription drug misuse and abuse.  They're doing research, engaging employers, writing white papers, giving speeches, and working hard to bring attention to this issue.

I challenge you to check out the NSC's work on this topic (see the link in the previous paragraph) and to see if there's a way you can help advance the good work they're doing.  The NSC has been around a long time (100 years!) and they've worked on some of the biggest safety issues we've confronted as a society.  You know how your claims frequency is trending down, year after year, for the last 50 years?  Well, the NSC has played at least some small part in that through their work on driver safety, worker safety, fire safety, and other key areas.

Now they're tackling prescription drug misuse and abuse.  That's a wake up call for all us.  This is serious.  

On Twitter @PRIUM1

1 comment:

  1. Safety is a major concern in workers cases. Whether onsite or offsite, good safety precautions can prevent serious injuries. As you said Michael, it's a wake up call for all of us and is a serious one.