Welcome to Pro-Sapien's January EHS News Roundup. At the end of each month, we put together relevant news articles and topics that we think could interest our network. The roundups are posted here on the blog section of our website. Alternatively, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter.
January can be a challenging time with low motivation and the post-festivity period contributing to January blues. The beginning of the year requires additional attention from safety professionals too; winter weather hazards, seasonal affective disorder and general fatigue are factors that expose workers to new risks.
This month is also a time of reflection. For the EHS department this means looking into injury statistics, achievements and letdowns in the previous year, and making plans and goals for the new year. Consequently, our January EHS news roundup delivers you current seasonal topics, such as the consequences of shift work for health and safety and previous year's statistics on Employee Perceptions of Workplace Safety.
Employee Perceptions of Workplace Safety - Survey by National Safety Council
The National Safety Council
With the aim to understand employee perceptions of workplace safety in the U.S., the National Safety Council conducted a survey consisting of two thousand full time/part time U.S. workers. The results of the survey reveal that too many workers do not feel safe, or feel that their employer is not doing enough to guarantee their safety. The survey also reveals that 36% of the respondents feel that safety takes second place to productivity. Also, 30% are too afraid to report safety issues in the workplace. Employee safety should never be disregarded, especially in the look for cost efficiency; the average cost of a workplace injury is around around $50,000 in today’s money ($38,000 in 2005). Read more »
Shift Work: Clocking On
The human body follows a circadian rhythm. This 24-hour internal body clock cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals, making us recognise between day and night. Our body functions differently at night: our metabolism, our physiology and even the way our brains work changes. In this article, with evidence from Dr Michael Hastings' research, IOSH recognises the health and safety risks involved in shift work. Read more »
Robot safety: data is power
Technological advancements in the recent years have revolutionized data management. Analytical tools now have the ability to process large amounts of data in different formats. Nevertheless, it is important to check that the data we possess is accurate and has value to it. For example, machines struggle to take into account the real life factors that might influence the results. In his third article on robot safety and artificial intelligence, Kersey talks about good and bad data, and how data has changed our way of life. Read more »
Red Arrows ejector seat firm pleads guilty
Sean Cunningham, a South African- born airman was fatally injured after the ejector seat in his Hwk T1 jet fired him to 300ft. The accidental activation of the seat was caused by the seat firing handle that had been left in an unsafe position. Also, his parachute failed to deploy causing Cunningham to hit the ground. Martin-Baker Aircraft Ltd, the manufacturer of the ejection seat, had been aware of the possible faults in their parachute mechanisms since 1990. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Read more »
Deep Thought Needed to Regulate AI
Health and Safety At Work
As artificial intelligence and other technologies keep changing the way work is carried out, the question arises: How will AI be regulated? Machines can perform tasks, such as risk assessment, much more effectively than any human. However, there are no regulations to state who is responsible when a mistake happens. Waters discusses the number of issues regulating AI would generate. In her words, "The conundrums thrown up by AI are endless." Read more »
Safety and Performance Excellence: Criticizing BBS
Terry L. Mathis
Behavior-based safety (BBS) should not be confused with traditional safety processes. Health and safety professional Mathis criticises the use of BBS as a substitute for process safety and overlooking traditional safety flaws in the excuse of BBS. According to Mathis, BBS should only be used to tackle low-probability risks that continue to cause accidents despite having traditional safety measures in place. Read more »
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