Any business should consider developing an illness and injury prevention program (IIPP) for their workplace. Most states require employers to develop protocols to help protect their employees from illnesses and injuries. There are also some practical reasons that you should take into consideration. Data from the Department of Labor found that workplace injuries cost nearly $55 billion a year. You could implement an illness and injury prevention program to reduce the costs of those injuries.
Each state has its own requirements, but there are several common requirements that employers will need to follow. You will need to make sure that you understand your state’s requirements so you can develop an appropriate illness and injury prevention program.
What Should You Have in a Workplace Illness and Injury Prevention Program?
There are a number of factors you should incorporate into your illness and injury prevention program. OSHA and your state’s Department of Industrial Relations publish comprehensive lists of training topics that you can follow. Make sure that you make your IIPP as detailed as you possibly can. Some of the topics that you should consider include:
· What the program is.
· The responsibilities expected of everyone in the organization.
· Procedures for reporting dangerous conditions.
· Detailed protocol for operating equipment safely.
· Accountability guidelines that holds everyone in the organization responsible for adhering to all policies in the IIPP.
First of all, you will need to assign someone who is going to be the site administrator. This person will ultimately be responsible for fulfilling the terms of the IIPP agreement. One of their primary responsibilities will be establishing a safety committee that will report to them.
Your employees will ultimately be responsible for following the program and doing their part to keep everyone in the organization safe; however, you will also need to develop a safety committee to oversee the effectiveness of the plan and make necessary adjustments. The safety committee will be responsible for reviewing statistics on how many injuries your organization has experienced. They may need to make recommendations on how the IIPP will need to be changed.
You will also need to make sure that you have a training system in place so everyone in your organization understands what is expected of them. You can consult with someone from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) to help you develop your plan and institute a training program that will help you make sure all your employees are on the same page. OEHS is committed to helping reduce the number of employees who suffer from illness and injury each year. They can be an invaluable resource if you have never developed an IIPP before.
Make Sure the IIPP is Applied Consistently
A well-written illness and injury prevention plan can go a long way to helping you reduce lost time, damages or possible lawsuits that could arise after an employee is injured; however, even the best plan won’t do you any good if it isn’t enforced. Make sure to assign reliable people to carry it out and apply it consistently.
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