Nation's Workplace Safety Experts Gather in San Antonio

The people whose job it is to keep you safe on the job have gathered in San Antonio for the annual convention of the American Society of Safety Professionals, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

President Elect Rixio Medina, who is an oil executive from the Houston area, says the number of people who are being killed on the job has been falling for the past twenty years, but he says that drop has not been seen by all workers.

"The Hispanic work force has had a disproportionate fatality rate in the work force for a number of years and for a number of reasons," Medina said.

He said tackling the high workforce fatality rate among Latino workers is a key topic at the conference.

About 5,000 Americans die in work related accidents each year.

Medina says another issue that is getting a lot of attention is the emerging issue of workplace violence.  He says an 'active shooter readiness' session is set for Wednesday.

"Traditionally, this was a security and law enforcement type of issue," he said.  "But actually, safety professionals are part of the teams which are dealing with those problems now."

Medina says as the workplace changes, the concerns about safety in the workplace are changing too.  He says there is more attention paid, for example, to dangers potentially caused by robots and drones in the work place, and vehicle safety issues continue to be a problem as delivery patterns change.

There are also sessions on how to protect the eyesight of workers who spend the entire day staring into computer screens, as well as a session on the dangers presented by lithium batteries, which power many iPhones and other personalized devices.

But falls, roofs and ladder injuries, and dangers faced by construction machinery, chemicals, and gasses remain the major concerns for the nation's workplace safety professionals.

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