Send Workers Home Safe for the Holidays; MIOSHA urges employers to put worker safety first during the holiday season

Contact: Melanie Brown 517-373-9280

December 3, 2013 - During the holiday season, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is encouraging employers and workers to renew their commitment to a safe and healthful work environment.  

Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees.  MIOSHA, which is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) urges proactive attention to safety and health diligence in all workplaces.  Employee input and active participation is also critical to a successful workplace safety plan.

LARA Deputy Director Stephanie Comai said the holiday season is a good time for employers and employees to review their safety efforts.

“We encourage employers and workers to give families the best holiday gift by ensuring that all workers are sent home safe and unharmed for the holiday,” said Comai, “There is no better way to recognize workers than by protecting their safety through a comprehensive and effective safety plan at every job site. When companies include workplace safety and health in their corporate strategy-they not only protect their workers, they also produce better products and add greater value to our economy."

The MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division has consultants available to provide employers with assistance in creating safety and health systems, developing accident prevention programs, and implementing long-term safety and health solutions.  Companies can call the CET Division at 517-322-1809 for consultation services, training opportunities, seminar dates and locations, and any other safety and health needs.

Fatal accidents can be prevented when employers develop and implement safety and health management systems.  These systems include not only following MIOSHA rules, but emphasize the need for ongoing strong leadership support, employee involvement, worksite monitoring, and training.  Effective worker safeguards must be applied at every jobsite. 

MIOSHA recognizes employers with exemplary workplace safety and health systems.  These top Michigan employers, with a strong commitment to protecting their workers, report not only reductions in injuries and illnesses, but important positive bottom line benefits that increase profitability and competitiveness, including:

  • Lower workers' compensation costs,
  • Increased productivity,
  • Increased employee morale, and
  • Lower absenteeism and employee turnover.

Federal OSHA estimates that for every $1 invested in workplace safety and health efforts, employers see a $4 to $6 return.  And that just makes good business sense, because the direct costs of workplace accidents are nearly $40 billion dollars each year.  Liberty Mutual estimates that businesses pay a staggering $150 to $230 billion on workers compensation losses annually.

"The MIOSHA program is dedicated to protecting the safety and health of Michigan's working men and women," said MIOSHA Director Martha Yoder.  "We are ready to partner with any Michigan employer or organization to increase safety and health awareness and encourage the use of all available resources, including MIOSHA outreach services, to provide a safe and healthy work environment."

So far in 2013, there have been 24 MIOSHA-related worker deaths. Last year there were 27 MIOSHA-related deaths in Michigan. 2009 saw the lowest number with 24. “Our mutual goal must be that every employee goes home at the end of their shift every day,” added Yoder.

Information on MIOSHA outreach services for many diverse industries in Michigan can also be found on the MIOSHA website at: www.michigan.gov/miosha.  In addition, the MIOSHA website highlights Michigan workplaces that have been recognized for their outstanding efforts to protect workers.

For more information on MIOSHA standards, companies can contact the Construction Safety and Health Division at 517-322-1856 or the General Industry Safety and Health Division at 517-322-1831.

MIOSHA's goal is to ensure that effective tools and training are available to employers and to help prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

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