What is an Injury & Illness Prevention Program?

Your Injury and Illness Prevention Program must be a written plan that includes procedures and is put into practice. These elements are required:

  • Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities;
  • Safety communications system with employees;
  • System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices;
  • Scheduled inspections/evaluation system;
  • Accident investigation;
  • Procedures for correcting unsafe/ unhealthy conditions;
  • Safety and health training and instruction; and
  • Recordkeeping and documentation.

Management Commitment/Assignment of Responsibilities

Your commitment to safety and health shows in every decision you make and every action you take. Your employees will respond to that commitment.

The person or persons with the authority and responsibility for your safety and health program must be identified and given management’s full support. You can demonstrate your commitment through your personal concern for employee safety and health and by the priority you place on these issues.

If you want maximum production and quality, you need to control potential work-place hazards and correct hazardous conditions or practices as they occur or are recognized.

You must commit yourself and your company by building an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program and integrating it into your entire operation.

This commitment must be backed by strong organizational policies, procedures, incentives, and disciplinary actions as necessary to ensure employee compliance with safe and healthful work practices.

They should include:

  1. Establishment of workplace objectives for accident and illness prevention, like those you establish for other business functions such as sales or production for example: “Ten percent fewer injuries next year,” “Reduce down-time due to poorly maintained equipment.”
  2. Emphasis on your staff’s safety and health responsibilities and recognition by your supervisors and employees that they are accountable. Advise your management staff that they will be held accountable for the safety record of the employees working under them, and then back it up with firm action.
  3. A means for encouraging employees to report unsafe conditions with assurance that management will take action.
  4. Allocation of company resources financial, material and personnel for:
    • Identifying and controlling hazards in new and existing operations and processes, and potential hazards.
    • Installing engineering controls.
    • Purchasing personal protective equipment.
    • Promoting and training employees in safety and health.
  5. Setting a good example! If, for instance, you require hard hats to be worn in a specific area, then you and other management wear a hard hat in that area. If you and your management team do not support and participate in the program, you are doomed to failure from the start. It is especially important for plant supervisors and field superintendents to set a good example.

Source: CA Department of Industrial Relations, “What is a Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program?” https://www.dir.ca.gov/ website. Accessed February 12, 2020. https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/dosh_publications/IIPP.html#1

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