The Importance of Occupational Safety and Health: Making for a “Super” WorkplacePosted on by
The scene is reminiscent of Action Comics© issue #3, the original Superman comic book series dating all the way back to 1938. In Action Comics #3, “Superman Battles Death Underground“, (issued 75 years ago this month) Superman is in the right place at the right time to save a coal miner, as well as his rescue crew, from an unsafe mine filled with toxic gas. We see instances such as these riddled throughout comic books and superhero movies. There’s always a hero around to save the day.
Unfortunately, in real life we can’t rely on the Superman – but we can rely on the many super men and women in the occupational health and safety field who are always striving to improve working conditions to keep workers out of harm’s way long before they need saving. When it comes to research, regulations, and recommendations for improving workplace safety, a lot has changed since 1938.
The Mining Industry
- Recommendations for a New Rock Dusting Standard to Prevent Coal Dust Explosions in Intake Airways
- NIOSH Hazard ID (16): Non-Conforming Rock Dust
- Coal Dust Explosibility Meter Evaluation and Recommendations for Application
- Understanding the Breathing Gas Capacities (ratings) of Escape Respirators for Mineworker Use
- SCSR Capacity
One of the goals of the NIOSH work in virtual reality is to determine the best ways to use these technologies for training and assessing the skills of mine emergency responders. In this case, responders include specially trained individuals (mine rescue or fire brigade team members), mine managers and mineworkers called upon to respond to an emergency.
To help meet this goal, NIOSH has built the Mine Rescue and Escape Training laboratory (MRET) at its Pittsburgh facility. The MRET includes a unique state-of-the-art 360° cylindrical projection system that uses stereoscopic 3D technology to enhance the immersion and experience of the users. It has the capability of putting an entire group into a virtual environment that they can interact with, providing an intuitive training experience. An adjacent 50° curved display acts as a classroom environment for instructor driven sessions and as a post-simulation debriefing environment following the sessions run in the 360° environment.
The Oil and Gas Extraction Industry
Because there are different roles in the complex oil rig environment, NIOSH has also produced two videos focusing on safety tips for those involved in rig moves, which can be one of the most dangerous parts of an oil rig operation.
Move It! Rig Move Safety for Roughnecks
One important safety precaution is as simple as wearing a seatbelt when travelling from rig to rig. Seatbelt use in this industry is low, while motor vehicle fatality rates are 8.5 that for all U.S. workers. You can learn more about NIOSH occupational safety and health efforts in the oil and gas industry by visiting the NIOSH Oil and Gas Program Portfolio.
The Commercial Fishing Industry
From 2000 to 2010, 182 fishermen died from falls overboard, none of which were wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs). Researchers from the NIOSH Alaska Pacific Office conducted a study with about 200 commercial fishermen who were asked to evaluate one of four personal flotation devices (PFDs) while working on deck. The goal was to identify wearable PFDs. By identifying PDFs that are wearable during the workday, and therefore changing the culture and attitude around wearing them, future deaths of this kind can be prevented. Putting research into practice, individual fishermen and fishing companies are changing safety policies based on research performed by the NIOSH Commercial Fishing Safety Program. For example, the Alaska Scallop Association has established a 100% PFD policy while on deck for its member boats. Certain fishing vessels of the Mariner fleet that participated in the PFD study instituted a PFD policy, purchasing the safety equipment for all crewmembers to wear while working on deck. Check out the recommendations and results from this study on the NIOSH Commercial Fishing Topic Page.
A lot has certainly changed in the 75 years that Superman has been saving lives. In that time we have better learned how to be our own heroes through safe workplace practices. Through practical research, we can work with occupational safety and health professionals in every industry to ensure a safe workplace.
Jaclyn Krah, MA; Richard L. Unger
Ms. Krah is a Health Communication Specialist in the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.
29 comments on “The Importance of Occupational Safety and Health: Making for a “Super” Workplace”
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Kudos for NIOSH’s ongoing efforts to connect workplace health and safety with popular culture.
For more information on workplace health and safety as it relates to mining, this recent article highlights advancements in the field: A Theory of Incidents: You are your brother and your sister’s keeper
The Oil and Gas exploration Job, Mining are hazardous work activities. NIOSH standard is encapsulated in company ‘Goal Zero’ principle which stands for ‘no harm to people and protect the environment’. The standard also places a strong emphasis on employee health and well-being.
Safety in the workplace is very important, there have been many improvements recently.
i read another blog whcich was goin on about the hazards of working at a theatre, this blog really makes that one look small and puts it into perspective
I totally in support with you on this topic. It is very important to consider a health hazards involving in risky occupational activities. So it is important to make improvements in the working environment.
Good info on safety and health measures great article though…
Safety in the workplace is as it should be preeminent. I personally have seen some of the work accident while working on a construction project of a boiler in a textile mill, ranging from small up to the worst. Such as where a person broke his finger hit a chainsaw, there is also a fall from a height and some are affected by iron tool, such as a large screwdriver or pliers. This article is certainly very well to remind us all of the importance of complying with all safety regulations.
I am very glad that there is a shift in focus to workplace safety. I feel like in so many industries there is a stigma that people should cut corners to be more productive despite the safety issues it causes. I have seen many videos online of people messing up and injuring themselves or others just to be more productive. Hopefully the trend of being safety conscious and not being macho continues to take hold!
Safety issues is importen thing in Indonesia now. Many companies try to make it good
Its very important for every company
for me it’s like SHE
(safety, health and environment) comes first.
but guys help me. what is the importance of safety, health and environmental management department in an organization that focuses on developmental research
Safety in the workplace is very important, there have been many improvements not long ago.
It is really very important for every company to have workplace safety for protection for everyone.
Every work place should have safety protection it is very important for every company.
safety measures are becoming important as new technology emerges
It is very well said I totally agree of every work place have safety protection it is very important.
Its very important for every company, agency … to have work place safety protection.
Working at height and any kind of health and safety training is important for any workplace not just building sites
in developing countries we’re facing a lot of challenges in protection measures thus workers live the industries when they are worn-up hence limiting them to do other works after the live. therefore our call is to restrict industry proprietors to provide free and fair g agates for sustainable work at the station. first priority should be in Uganda.thanks
human health needs individual health responsibility so all what is needed is let the employers consider the health protection demands of their workers
its very important for each an organisation to have health and safety as this reduces the risks amongst employees
I totally agree with you that it is important to make health and safety related improvement in every industry whether it’s mining, construction, oil, gas etc. Thank you for sharing information on OHS workplace.
Thank you for sharing information on OHS workplace. I totally agree with you that every workplace needs safety protection. It is very important for each organisation to have health and safety. I’ll be waiting for your upcoming blog. Keep Posting!
I totally agree with you that every workplace needs safety protection. It is very important for each organization to have a healthy and safe workplace. I have bookmarked this and I’ll be waiting for your upcoming blog. Keep Posting!
Great piece. You compiled an insightful article and highlighted the importance of occupational health and safety.
Very Informative! Safety is the major challenging issue in any industry. But Todays technology is very advance
Yes, We need to be active & take care of safety points while working
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