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Injury & Illness Prevention Programs (I2P2) and What it Means for your Organization – Part 1

Safety Training Outdoors

The Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) White Paper has been released by OSHA. This document, released in January of this year, helps to better define the outlined program. The overall goal for this type of program is to substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries as well as decrease the financial burden on both the employee and the employer.

Since the OSH Act was signed into law nearly four decades ago, workplace death and reported occupational injuries have dropped by more than 60%. However, OSHA points out that those workplace injuries continue. In fact, each day more than 12 workers die on the job. In addition, more than 4.1 million works surfer a serious job-related injury or illness each year. The impact of workplace injuries is staggering. Not only is the employee faced with physical, financial and emotional hardship, but employers face substantial cost and business disruptions.

David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor, points out that “according to the 2010 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the direct cost of the most disabling workplace injuries and illnesses in 2008 amounted to $53.42 billion in U.S. workers compensation costs, more than one billion dollars per week. This money would be better spent on job creation and innovation. Injury and illness prevention programs are good for workers, good for business and good for America.”

The OSH Act requires employers to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”. OSHA believes I2P2 programs are the best way to ensure these standards are met.

OSHA estimates that I2P2 implementation will reduce injuries by 15-35% for companies that do not have a safety and health program, and 12.4% for those that do. This could lead to a $9-23 billion per year savings for US companies!

Even if the I2P2 is not passed into law, it still demonstrates the change in OSHA thinking. The approach will become more and more apparent in the compliance expectations that OSHA has.

What this new approach looks like: Mandatory, with specific requirements that mandates employee participation in the process, requires commitment from the top of the organization and is proactive.

Ultimately, the idea is that companies need to identify and mitigate hazards before an injury occurs.

Many companies have already gone to an I2P2 type program, and most have had great results. Most of the successful programs have put in key elements leading to their success and the I2P2 program outlines these as: management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement. Our goal at InjuryFree is to help employers provide a safe and healthy work environment so each employee can “work, live and retire InjuryFree”. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at ways to plan, implement, and achieve an I2P2 plan using these key elements.

We are here to help. Learn more about I2P2 plans or other safety services or contact us at (800) 445-3519.

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