Why Have a Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program?

Why Have a Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program?

Taking risks is a part of running a business, particularly for small business owners. You take risks in product development, marketing, and advertising in order to stay competitive. Some risks are just not worth the gamble. One of these is risking the safety and health of those who work for you.

Accidents Cost Money

Safety organizations, states, small business owners and major corporations alike now realize that the actual cost of a lost workday injury is substantial. For every dollar you spend on the direct costs of a worker’s injury or illness, you will spend much more to cover the indirect and hidden costs. Consider what one lost workday injury would cost you in terms of:

  • Productive time lost by an injured employee;
  • Productive time lost by employees and supervisors attending the accident victim;
  • Clean up and start up of operations interrupted by the accident;
  • Time to hire or to retrain other individuals to replace the injured worker until his/her return;
  • Time and cost for repair or replacement of any damaged equipment or materials;
  • Cost of continuing all or part of the employee’s wages, in addition to compensation;
  • Reduced morale among your employees, and perhaps lower efficiency; Increased workers’ compensation insurance rates; and
  • Cost of completing paperwork generated by the incident.

Controlling Losses

If you would like to reduce the costs and risks associated with workplace injuries and illnesses, you need to address safety and health right along with production.

Setting up an Injury and Illness Prevention Program helps you do this. In developing the program, you identify what has to be done to promote the safety and health of your employees and worksite, and you outline policies and procedures to achieve your safety and health goals.

Cal/OSHA Injury & Illness Prevention Program

In California every employer is required by law (Labor Code Section) to provide a safe and healthful workplace for his/her employees. Title 8 (T8), of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), requires every California employer to have an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program in writing that must be in accord with T8 CCR Section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders. Additional requirements in the following T8 CCR Safety Order Sections address specific industries:

Construction – Section 1509;
Petroleum – Sections 6507, 6508, 6509, 6760, 6761, 6762;
Ship Building, Ship Repairing, Ship Breaking – Section 8350; and
Tunnels – Section 8406.

Source: CA Department of Industrial Relations, “Why have 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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