Injury Data

The internet is full of articles written by sales people about the “value” or “true cost” of safety. While the intent and conclusions of those articles are relevant and important, the actual injury data they provide can get murky and difficult to confirm. We at MAKESafe believe that understanding how and how often injuries occur is the first step towards prevention and historical data analysis is one of the tools we use to accomplish this. Our search for hard data was not easy so, in hopes of making your research easier, below you’ll find a few perspectives on publicly available injury data and source citations so you can explore the data on your own. This is not an exhaustive list, just the ones that we’ve found most useful.

Relevant Occupational Injury Data:

  • In 2017, 156 workers died and more than 36,000 American workers went home with amputations, lacerations, and other traumatic injuries as a direct result of contact with industrial machinery[i].

  • Many of these injuries are caused by known hazards and could have been prevented, or the severity significantly reduced, with the installation of effective machine safeguards. Below are examples pulled from the OSHA database[ii], each followed by our analysis:

    • Employee makes accidental contact with blade of coasting band saw, resulting in multiple finger amputations and arm laceration (OSHA Accident ID 201623709). This injury could have been prevented with a motor brake.

    • Another employee resets the machine breaker, activating the machine and catching the operators arm, resulting in broken arm and severe lacerations (OSHA Accident ID 170724041). Could have been prevented with OSHA/ANSI compliant anti-restart controls.

    • Machine grabbed employees coat and pulled his hand into the machine. There was no accessible stop button. His hand was freed though the incident resulted in a severe hand laceration and surgery (OSHA Accident ID 202555744). The severity of this injury could have been reduced with an accessible emergency stop button.

Primary Data Sources:

Published Reports & Summaries

Footnotes:

[i] Occupational Injuries/Illnesses, and Fatal Injury Profiles. [Internet]. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; 2017. OIICS(v2) codes: {year:2017, injury-source: “3xxx machinery”, event/exposure: “contact with objects and equipment” (62x,63x,64x)}. Available from: https://www.bls.gov/iif/

[ii] Representative cases of worker injury as a result of BREECH hazards are presented in the following table, pulled from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Fatality and Catastrophe Investigation Summaries (https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/accidentsearch.html)