VOSH Programs

Best Practices For Preventing Accidents

BEST PRACTICES FOR PREVENTING FATALITIES, INJURIES AND ILLNESESS

Virginia employees and employers have a strong history of maintaining fatality, injury and illness rates below national averages.

A total of 19 workplace fatalities have been investigated by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program through the end of July, 2017.  In calendar year 2016, the 42 fatalities experienced was a significant 35% increase in fatal accidents over 2015 and 2014 when 31 employees were killed on the job both years.

“For the second year in a row, there has been a surge in workplace fatalities in July.  Seven Virginia workers have lost their lives in workplace accidents versus eight in July, 2016, devastating families, friends, co-workers and businesses”, said Commissioner Davenport.  “I strongly encourage Virginia’s employers and workers to become familiar with and comply with Virginia’s occupational safety and health laws and regulations”.

Immediate steps that can be taken by employers and workers to avoid workplace injuries and illnesses include:

  • Conducting a safety and health “Stand Down” meeting and encourage discussion on recognizing and correcting hazards in the workplace.
  • Improving accident prevention through Hazard Analysis, encouraging employee reporting of hazards and near misses, and timely correction of hazards.
  • Increasing reporting of hazards and injuries in the workplace.  Many times minor injuries go unreported and more severe injuries result later on as a result of an uncorrected hazard in the workplace.

Additional safety and health information can be located by clicking on the topics below:

  • VOSH offers free On-Site Consultation Services to help small businesses better understand and voluntarily comply with VOSH standards.  Priority is given to high hazard workplaces with 250 or fewer employees.  Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry office closest to you or by contacting Dennis Edwards, Consultation Program Manager at (804) 786-8707 or Dennis.Edwards@doli.virginia.gov.

Workplace fatality victims are exposed to some of the most frequently cited OSHA hazards such as falls, struck-by, and electrocution.  In Virginia, employers are required to follow all federal OSHA identical standards as well as Virginia Unique Standards which are available at STATE SPECIFIC STANDARDS.  The top 10 most frequently cited OSHA hazards in Construction and General Industry can be viewed by clicking HERE.

More information on reporting workplace fatalities (within 8 hours) and severe work-related injuries – defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye (within 24 hours) can be found at REPORT WORKPLACE FATALITIES.  Fatalities and severe injuries can also be reported through OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), or a local VOSH regional office

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, or file a complaint, contact the VOSH Safety Program Director at jennifer.rose@doli.virginia.gov or (804) 786-7776.