2014 Occupational Health and Safety Outlook

Posted by
Lance Roux
on Dec 24, 2013

2014_safety_forecastAs safety consultants, we come in contact with many safety professionals and managers in the oil and gas industry to discuss their safety challenges and opportunities.  Based on our conversations, here are four safety topics and trends we think you should be aware of for 2014.

  1. Louisiana's building boom will create lots of safety jobs at all levels.  Louisiana is currently experiencing the biggest industrial building boom since the 1980s. With this increase in work comes an increase in concern for worker safety. Industrial construction work can be hazardous and, if not properly managed, may expose workers to unnecessary risks such as falls, unguarded machinery, electrocution, and exposure to silica dust and asbestos. New employees will need to be properly trained and equipped to do their jobs safely. Also, safety management systems will need to be reviewed to ensure that they reflect the actual operations of the company and to address any hazards involved effectively and efficiently.
  2. Contractor Safety Audits are expected to increase.  The major owner-operators we work with are continuing to step up auditing programs. Contractors need to be prepared for audits of their safety management sytems.
  3. Creating a safe workplace culture continues to be a challenge.  Changing workforce attitudes towards safety can be difficult.  Some of our clients are implementing online personality testing to determine a potential employee's safety attitude before making hiring decisions.  Another trend we are seeing is the increased use of safety coaching in the workplace.  We are watching these developments with interest to see if these strategies are effective in reducing workplace injuries.
  4. Electronic reporting of injury data is on the horizon.  OSHA's new proposed rule would require electronic reporting of injuries.  With the information acquired through this proposed rule, employers, employees, employee representatives, the government, and researchers will be better able to identify and abate workplace hazards. The rule is still open for comments.

Did we leave anything out?  We would love to hear your opinions in the comments.

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