In a recent blog, we talked about chemical hazards and new OSHA guidelines. There’s another very important reason to take a closer look at industrial chemicals and irritants: Occupational Disease Loss Control. The number of Occupational Disease claims, which can be around twice as expensive as typical injury claims, has been on the rise. The percent of these claims to total losses has actually doubled in the last eight years. Many of these claims concern industrial irritants as well as risks of inhalation that could lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or a number of other disorders.
Around 13-15% of adults have COPD or something similar. It’s one of the largest causes of adult mortality and it’s the only adult disease where the mortality rate is actually trending upwards in the US. While there are a number of risk factors for the development of COPD, like age, smoking (roughly 50% of smokers suffer from COPD), or even just genetics, exposure to toxic materials or industrial irritants is also leading to higher rates of this disorder. In cases where workers develop these pulmonary issues, the claims costs can grow to exorbitant levels.
The problem is that these risks aren’t always readily apparent to everyone. That is why we conduct cost-effective occupational disease recognition surveys. In just one day we can help you lower OD risk by examining the use of toxic materials, reviewing active OD cases, and taking a look at current company policies that concern respirator use. Our OD recognition surveys are becoming an increasingly important loss control tool as the number of these claims and incidents continue to rise. Schedule one today to make sure your industrial work environment is as safe as can be.