Campaign aims to reduce disproportionately higher workplace and home fatalities and injuries by focusing on preventing accidents before they happen
June is National Safety Month, enacted to raise awareness about workplace injuries, and it is the best time to ensure that your home, business or organization is protected from the risks that are there not only during emergencies but in day-to-day operations.
The best way to avoid injuries and health risks both in the workplace and at home is to prevent incidents before they happen.
“In 1736 Benjamin Franklin, one of our nation’s founding fathers, coined the now timeless phrase, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ These words of wisdom are as appropriate, relevant, and valuable today as they were back then,” said Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce Chairman Samuel Guzman.
“Simply stated it means that it is much easier to stop something from happening in the first place, than to fix the damage or harm after it happens.”
Guzman should know. Since its founding in 1975, TAMACC has helped promote business leadership, create economic opportunities and provide advocacy for the Hispanic business community not only in Texas but in all the United States.
An ounce of prevention could be as easy as providing ergonomic desktop equipment or ensuring that the floor is even to avoid trips and falls. It could also be as complicated as an emergency chemical spill plan. Either way, it’s about controlling the environment as much as possible.
The first thing to do is to identify the risks and take proactive safety measures to reduce them. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends involving workers at every level of the business or entity because they often have the best understanding of conditions and procedures that create hazards. They may also have boots-on-the-ground ideas on how to minimize or fully eliminate risks.
These controls can protect employees and guests from injuries, like the most common slips and falls, electrocutions, burns and other injuries, as well as illnesses. Especially in the post COVID19 world, it is important to remember that health safety must be a part of any safety protocol.
Especially in businesses and organizations that have a heavy Latino or Hispanic worker base, who suffer a disproportionate number of injuries and fatalities on the job.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanic workers accounted for 19% of all fatal occupational injuries nationwide in 2015 – the last year reported — when there were 903 workplace deaths. Latino employees had a higher rate of fatal injuries due to trips, slips or falls – mostly in the agricultural and construction industries. They reported 23% compared to 17% for all other workers, according to the federal figures.
“Since Hispanic workers disproportionately account for the number of injuries and fatalities on the job, it is absolutely urgent that we find out why this is occurring and that solutions to mitigate this situation are put in place post-haste,” Guzman said. “TAMACC is ready, willing, and able to be part of these efforts and endeavors.”
Prevention and proactive measures are the best way to create a safe workplace environment. And TAMACC can help.
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And remember to wash your hands.