Short paper: Workplace Safety

When we hear about a workplace injury, we usually think about the person injured and how this is going to change their day to day life. Besides changing the life of the injured individual, workplace injuries impact a business’s bottom line. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers compensation costs alone, which include compensation payments, medical expenses and legal services. Indirect costs such as training new employees, investigation time and lost productivity are often three to six times more than the direct costs. Getting employees to think critically about safety is paramount to reducing workplace injuries.

One way to stimulate critical thinking with regard to work place safety is to examine case summaries involving work place accidents. Contemplating what went wrong and what could have been done to prevent an unfortunate or tragic incident can help to avoid such occurrences in the future.
OSHA provides a search engine which links to fatality and catastrophe investigation summaries.

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Go to (Links to an external site.)

Search the database using various descriptors and focus on a specific fatality or catastrophe.


Research another occupational fatality or catastrophe you may be familiar with from personal experience.


Consider, perhaps, an incident or accident you learned about watching or reading the news, or while searching the Internet.

With regard to said workplace incident/accident, write a 3 pages short paper to include an introduction, at least three supporting detail paragraphs, and a conclusion discussing the following with regard to the fatality or catastrophe you have selected:

What was the job? What were the employees (or employers) attempting to accomplish?
What went wrong? What were the physical, operational/production, financial consequences of the accident?
What safety standards or OSHA regulations weren’t followed?
What preventative measures should have been followed?
What preventative measures should be reinforced moving forward?

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