Safety and OSHA News

Top 5 (and bottom 5) states for safety

More than half of states didn’t get a passing grade for safety in the National Safety Council’s (NSC) latest ratings. Is your state one of the best, or one of the worst? 

The State of Safety report for 2017 says 26 states received failing grades for action they’ve taken to reduce the risk of preventable deaths for all citizens. It measures road, home and community, and workplace safety.

The NSC took into consideration state policies and legislation that can help reduce preventable deaths, such as those caused by distracted driving, prescription painkillers and falls.

No state earned an “A” grade.

Seven states received a B. In order, starting with No. 1:

  • Maryland
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Oregon
  • Connecticut
  • California, and
  • Washington.

Washington, DC, also received a B.

Eleven states received an F (the worst state is at the bottom of this list).

  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Mississippi
  • Idaho, and
  • Missouri.

The NSC says fatalities from poisonings (including drug overdoses), motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, choking and fires have increased 7% since 2014, claiming more than 140,000 lives each year.

NSC’s report isn’t just a ranking. It also provides suggestions for reducing risks that can lead to preventable deaths.

Specifically for workplace safety, 4,836 occupational fatalities were reported in 2015. That’s an average of 13 per day. Two out of five occur in transportation incidents.

The top 4 states for work safety are Illinois, Washington, Colorado and Minnesota. The District of Columbia is No. 5.

On the opposite end of the scale, the bottom five are Missouri, South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming and Kansas.

An emerging issue in work safety is the number of temporary employees in the workforce. There are now 15 million temporary and contract workers in the U.S.

Temporary workers can have double the risk of suffering severe injuries at work and often are assigned to higher risk jobs.

The NSC recommends employers adopt injury and illness prevention programs. Since integrating its prevention program, Phoenix-based Honeywell Aerospace has reduced its incident rates by almost 50 percent.

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