ISN, a contractor and supplier information management company, released its latest serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs) white paper in its continued quest for safe workplaces. ISN added 2022 data to its previous five-year exploration of SIFs to provide an even more in-depth analysis, along with spotlights for five industries focused on 2022 data: Transportation, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Mining and Utilities. The analysis of more than 127,000 recordable incidents from 2017-2022 showed nearly 24,000 SIFs cases, including more than 20,000 hospitalizations, 3,154 amputations and 871 fatalities.
Over the data’s six-year span, an interesting trend was identified with hospitalization cases. The COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 resulted in elevated hospitalization cases despite the downturn in work activity. For 2022, however, ISN’s analysis showed a stabilization of cases with statistics that began to return to pre-pandemic data sets. Additionally, 2022 saw the lowest number of amputation cases in the last six years. Unfortunately, however, the number of fatalities drastically increased.
Other highlights from the white paper include:
- Sprains, Strains and Tears return as No. 1 incident category amid an aging workforce: After an anomaly in 2021, 2022 data shows a return of sprains, strains and tears as the incident reported most by contractors across all industries, replacing fractures and dislocations. This can be correlated with an aging workforce. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of workers aged 75 years and older is expected to grow by 96.5% over the next decade. As older workers are more prone to injuries through falls, tailoring occupational safeguards around this aging workforce demographic will be key to decreasing the number of sprains, strains and tears among workers.
- Contact with Object or Equipment was the most common cause of fatalities in 2022: As workforces ramped back up to pre-pandemic capacity, several factors played into fluctuations in SIF data for 2022, including stabilization of exposure hours, temporary and new workforces, as well as a re-learning period from significant dips in work activity. 2022 saw a drastic increase in the number of fatalities, with the top three causes including contact with an object or equipment (55%); trips, slips and falls (21%) and overexertion and bodily reaction (13%).
- Mid-size corporations experience the highest rates of fatalities: ISN’s analysis also considered the connection between company size and the likelihood of a SIF occurrence. Interestingly, the highest rate of fatalities is not correlated with the largest company size, but rather mid-size corporations. Much like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), smaller companies that have a SIF event occur are seeing the biggest impact in their overall rate for each event. Regardless of company size, SIFs significantly impact both the affected individual and the organization.
“As reducing SIFs remains a focus across industries, ISN is committed to developing avenues for organizations to meet their safety goals and ensuring they have access to the latest tools and best practices to improve hazard recognition,” said Brian Callahan, President and COO at ISN. “From the company level down to the individual, organizations can intimately scrutinize the competency of contractors to safely perform work through ISN’s suite of tools. By enabling organizations to anchor their safety initiatives in real-time data trends, we aim to support the most important goal: ensuring that employees return home safely to their families each day.”