OSHA Makes Its Case for I2P2 in New White Paper

OSHA Makes Its Case for I2P2 in New White Paper

The introduction to OSHA's new Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) white paper stresses that the agency "believes that injury and illness prevention programs provide the foundation for breakthrough changes in the way employers identify and control hazards, leading to a significantly improved workplace health and safety environment."

The agency's white paper makes a case for I2P2 by describing the costs of workplace injuries and fatalities; supplying evidence that shows I2P2 programs can improve the bottom line; examining the impact of related programs already in place in various U.S. states and in the U.S. Department of Defense; sharing case studies of programs implemented under OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP); and considering the impact on small businesses.

OSHA first introduced the possibility of an I2P2 standard in April 2010, and the proposal has since become a top priority for OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels. According to the white paper, such a program "is a proactive process to help employers
find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt" and can help reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities; foster an improved culture and productivity; and reduce turnover and costs.

OSHA acknowledged that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to injury and illness prevention programs. The white paper outlined the following elements that comprise a successful I2P2 program and that can be adapted to each individual organization:

· Management leadership
· Worker participation
· Hazard identification and assessment
· Hazard prevention and control
· Education and training
· Program evaluation and improvement

"Injury and illness prevention programs are based on proven managerial concepts that have been widely used in industry to bring about improvements in quality, environment and safety, and health performance," the white paper stated. "Effective injury and illness prevention programs emphasize top-level ownership of the program, participation by employees, and a 'find and fix' approach to workplace hazards."

For more information about I2P2 and to download a PDF of the white paper, visit OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program topics page.

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