The Importance of Injury & Illness Prevention Programs (IIPPs)
Injurious incidents and exposures are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do all we can to prevent them. Taking such proactive and preventative measures in the workplace is the intent behind an Injury & Illness Prevention Program, or IIPP. Below is a brief look into what this program is and some of its necessary steps.
Today, thirty-four states and many nations around the world have established laws and/or regulations to encourage IIPPs. IIPP’s are intervention programs designed to help prevent exposure to hazards, and reduce the frequency and severity of workplace illness and injuries. They also prevent the employer from being issued OSHA citations.
A survey of CFOs employing robust IIPPs reported that each $1 invested in injury prevention returned $2 or more. What’s more, 40% agreed that the greatest benefit of an effective workplace safety program was improved productivity. Research on IIPPs has found that an average of $37,000 was saved for each prevented lost-time injury or illness. Additionally, each avoided occupational fatality saved $1,390,000.
The first step in implementing an IIPP is to provide leadership and give those in charge full support. It’s important to communicate to employees the priority of safety & health at work, the commitment of those in authority, and the responsibility of everyone of in the plan’s success. In fact, the assignment of responsibility and clear communication are two key elements listed among OSHA’s specific IIPP requirements.
Currently, the required elements of IIPPs mandated by OSHA are Management Leadership, Worker Participation, Hazard Identification & Assessment, Hazard Prevention & Control, Education & Training, and Routine Program Evaluation and Improvement.
When supported by management and an engaged general workforce, IIPPs have been found to reduce the frequency of injury and illness and increase overall business productivity. They also improve compliance with existing regulations and lead to significant reductions in workers’ compensation premiums.
Furthermore, when suitable actions are taken and resources given to these initiatives, it shows a commitment to safety and health that most employees appreciate. The result is often a boost in employee morale, reduced turnover and greater employee satisfaction.
After reviewing the positive experiences of organizations with existing programs, OSHA believes that IIPPs can provide a strong foundation for workplace health and safety. With such proper groundwork, other organizations can begin implementing changes in the way hazards are identified and controlled, leading to a considerably safer and healthier workplace environment for all.
For more information on IIPPs, please see the accompanying resource.