Millions of employees suffer death and injury each year. Beyond physical injuries, workers worldwide deal with stress and related mental challenges. Safety issues affect all modern economies, costing organizations and societies billions in absenteeism, disengagement, depression and turnover. Chapters by the different authors who contribute to this guidebook echo one common refrain: Help workers stay safe by building a corporate environment, culture and system that prioritizes safety.
Globally, workers suffer injury and death by the millions each year.
As of 2014, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that 2.3 million people worldwide die annually of workplace-related causes and 313 million suffer from non-lethal workplace accidents. Every minute, four workers die from workplace accidents and almost 650 suffer injury.
Given the enormous associated costs to workers, firms and society, extensive research focuses on employees’ physical and mental well-being.
Approaches to workplace safety have evolved dramatically in recent decades.
Decades of study and improvement throughout the 20th century and beyond improved worker safety significantly, but a blame-the-worker attitude lingers. Traditionally, managers focused narrowly on physical safety. They observed the differences between individual workers’ personalities and attitudes and labeled one person more accident-prone than another.
Despite great efforts to improve safety, accidents and deaths continued. Thus, in recent decades, researchers and organizations have adopted...