Despite hundreds of billions spent annually on safety equipment and training, and nearly 80,000 federal and state inspections per year in the U.S, over 5,000 are killed annually at work each year, with on average 14 deaths per day, according to OSHA data. This does not include the many more who are injured or disabled. While progress has been made in reducing the number of OSHA recordable and lost time Injuries over the 30 plus years since OSHA was formed, the problem is that serious injuries and fatalities have plateaued. Many leaders believe we are on the verge of an increase in worker fatalities as the Baby Boomers exit the workforce and their replacements enter ill-prepared for the increasing risks of aging infrastructures, increasingly automated equipment, and global climate change extreme events.
It is now clear that the field of safety, like that of almost all other fields, has overlooked a critical issue: the strategic and tactical engagement of all stakeholders—employees, distribution partners, vendors, customers, and communities, etc.—and the tactical plans to engage them. This is one reason why ISO 45001 and 59 other ISO standards were updated to included Annex SL, a new set of requirements that include leadership, a formal strategy to engage “all interested parties,” and a tactical plan that can be audited and measured.
What is Missing. When one analyzes the correlation between the most frequent causes for death (construction is one of the most dangerous professions), i.e., falls, being struck by objects, electrocution and getting caught between equipment, and the most common regulatory violations—fall protection, hazard communication, scaffolding, and respiratory problems—one can see that training alone is not enough. Under the new Annex SL requirements in ISO 45001, the organization must be committed from the top down to demonstrating its commitment to the compelling economics and humanity of having an Enterprise Engagement strategy with a complete safety component.
A Systematic Approach to All Stakeholders. As many in the safety field are aware, the highly respected ISO 45001 Occupational Safety and Health standards have been updated to include the new ISO management standards ISO Annex SL, which specifically requires a CEO-led, formal strategic and tactical plan to address all stakeholders; i.e., employees, customers, distribution partners, vendors, and communities, as well as the tactical means used to engage them. This new Annex SL management standard is considered so essential to organizational success, ISO now requires the existence of a strategic and tactical stakeholder engagement process in the next round of 60 standards going forward after autumn of 2018.