One of the major pieces of proposed legislation currently on the docket at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the so called I2P2 regulation, or the Injury and Illness Prevention Plan.
I2P2 (if enacted) requires that employers establish a system to prevent worker injuries and illness and a coordinated and consistent approach must be taken to achieve this.
One of the questions that is often asked about such programs is, why are they important and what are the benefits?
Below are four often overlooked benefits and incentives for establishing an effective injury prevention or safety process:
1) It is the right thing to do. Implementation of a safety process shows your employees and the public (or your customer) that you care.
2) Save money and time! Accidents result in lost money through increased insurance costs, lost time, employee replacement costs, lost productivity, and legal liability. Not to mention the huge paperwork headache!
3) Protect your corporate image. If you have a serious accident, or catastrophe that makes it into the local newspaper or onto the evening news, that will have a negative impact on your organization.
4) Reduced Insurance costs! All major insurers expect to see a safety process in place to control risk. The weaker your process the higher your premiums. Sometimes, an insurer might drop your coverage if there is too much risk at stake.
Workplace safety processes don’t have to be complex systems. The mistake that is often made is that the “one size fits all” approach is used (i.e., trying to copy and implement exactly what some other organization is doing for safety) when establishing or re-designing a safety process.
It is for that reason that I have arrived at the below questions, that when answered, can offer some insight and direction into developing or improving your safety process.
These key questions include:
If you answer these questions and implement a simple process to address the issues identified, you are well on your way to establishing or improving your process.
Remember, accidents don’t just happen, they happen to be preventable!