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April 8, 2013
For Immediate Release: April 8 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009
Aggregate data allows employers to benchmark safety records and reduce injuries
AUGUSTA—The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards has created a new, searchable database of worker injuries using Tableau visualizations that provides a true benchmark in terms of injury numbers and associated costs. The visualization is available on the Department of Labor’s website, http://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_stats/workinjuries.html .
“One of my priorities is making the information the state collects available to Maine people. This website replaces outdated and cumbersome written reports with information that is easy for employers and anyone interested in workplace safety to use,” said Governor Paul R. LePage.
“Businesses can see immediately where they stand in terms of the injury rates of their workers compared to their industry or similar occupations. This helps them identify problems and protect employees,” the Governor added.
Working with the Worker’s Compensation Board, the Bureau of Labor Standards has posted six years of claims data. Available data include injury, industry, occupation and demographic information. Tableau, an interactive data visualization platform, displays the data using charts, tables and maps that can be filtered, sorted and searched for information relevant to a business or other researcher.
Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette described the benefits of this new tool. “Making this data easy to search gives employers an overview of their injuries in comparison to similar businesses and occupations,” she said. “If an employer finds that it has higher rates of injury in any area, it can contact the Department’s free safety consultation program, SafetyWorks!, to learn how to make its workplace safer. Using the data and taking advantage of SafetyWorks! means fewer people will be hurt on the job.”
“Working more safely is also smart business,” Paquette added. “Fewer injuries means less productivity lost while injured workers are healing. It keeps worker’s compensation claims low, which helps lower the employer’s insurance costs, and it can save a private company thousands of dollars in OSHA fines by alerting managers to potential violations and suggesting improvements.”
The posted data has been limited to a minimum of 10 incidents to safeguard confidentiality of injured individuals. The smallest geographic area that can be searched is the county level.
Employers interested in making their workplace safer should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment at non-cost to the employer. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.
SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year.