To kick off National Safety Month, the National Safety Council has updated its annual list of the Odds of Dying from various causes.
The list can make a good conversation starter for safety meetings focused on risks employees may find on the job and how they can avoid them.
Here are some key comparisons of lifetime odds of dying from common activities:
- Motor vehicle crash (1-in-112) vs. commercial airplane crash (1-in-96,566)
- Overdosing on opioid prescription painkillers (1-in-234) vs. being electrocuted (1-in-12,200)
- Falling (1-in-144) vs. a catastrophic storm (1-in-6,780)
- Being a passenger in a car (1-in-470) vs. a lightning strike (1-in-164,968)
- Walking along or crossing the street (1-in-704) vs. a bee, wasp or hornet sting (1-in-55,764), and
- Complications from surgical or medical are (1-in-1,532) vs. an earthquake (1-in-179,965).
“Americans worry about the wrong things,” said Deborah Hersman, CEO of the National Safety Council. “For example, 865 times more people are killed in motor vehicle crashes than in commercial plane crashes.
“While ‘San Andreas’ was No. 1 at the box office, earthquakes are very rare events,” Hersman noted.
The NSC says making safe decisions can reduce the risks of being killed in preventable incidents.
For example, wearing a seat belt, turning off cell phones and designating a sober driver greatly reduce the risk of a fatal car crash.
Another example: Avoiding prescription painkillers in favor of safer alternatives will reduce the likelihood of a fatal overdose or a lifetime of addiction.
Performing more risk assessments and sharing the results with employees can help them see the risk for injury, illness and even death they may face on the job every day. Better yet: Get more employees involved in performing the risk assessments.