OSHA administrator David Michaels has said that a new regulation to require companies to develop their own injury and illness prevention programs (I2P2) is a top priority for the agency. Now, a new OSHA white paper makes the case for the program. See what you think:
Among the arguments OSHA makes in favor of the regulation is that injury prevention programs are already required in some states, and even where they’re not, many companies have adopted them voluntarily:
- 15 states have regulations requiring such programs
- 10 states encourage companies to develop their own I2P2s by giving workers’ comp premium reductions to those that do
- more than 2,400 facilities belong to OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and develop programs that are based on the same core elements as an I2P2
- the same can be said for more than 1,500 small businesses in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), and
- other companies use two existing voluntary safety management systems: The American National Standards Institute and American Industrial Hygiene Association ANSI/AIHA Z10-2005; or Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) Project Group OHSAS 18001.
Other benefits of I2P2s, according to OSHA:
- Implementation of injury and illness prevention programs will reduce injuries by 15% to 35% for employers that don’t currently have them
- The average number of workers’ comp claims for companies in SHARP decreased by 52% and the average claim cost decreased by 80%, and
- Companies that adopt I2P2s will reap other cost savings besides lower workers’ comp premiums such as reduced administrative and human resources burden associated with filing injury reports.
OSHA also addresses the question of whether I2P2s are too complicated and expensive for small businesses.
I2P2s can be low-cost because they are highly flexible. Small businesses can implement them at a basic level. When it comes to these programs, every business is different, according to the white paper: No one size fits all.
You can download a PDF of the OSHA white paper here.
What do you think about OSHA’s argument for an I2P2 regulation? Let us know in the comments below.