Every day in America, more than 9000 people suffer serious injuries at the workplace. From those injuries 12 people die. Many states have required injury and illness prevention program guidelines, and others have voluntary programs. What we know from these programs is, they save lives. We also know these programs save a major amount of money. Workplace injuries cost over 198 billion dollars per year. The effectiveness of Injury and Illness Prevention Programs is good for workers and for businesses and good for America. It is a win/win situation.
When looking at a program (with this much at stake), look to the professionals. I doubt anyone will disagree that OSHA is the expert on preventing workplace injury. This government agency enforces laws that are in place to protect American workers. But they go much further. There are other plans available, but in our opinion, this is the best.
Voluntary Protection Programs
The VPP recognizes people and industries that have implemented programs that keep their statistics below the national average for safety in the workplace. Business management, employees, and OSHA works together to train associates on the correct way. While a business is implementing the Voluntary Protection Plan, they are exempt from OSHA inspections. To even participate in this program, OSHA requires rigorous testing by a team of safety and health professionals. This is a strong and effective program which is well worth the effort to join and remain in good standing. Note: different states have different rules, so check your state out requirements before you begin.
Special Government Program
The Special Government Programor SGP is designed to work alongside the VPP. Qualified members of the Voluntary Protection Programs, work with SGP with onsite evaluations. In order to work with the Special Government Program, an application is submitted and extreme and rigorous testing is done to ensure that the volunteer is qualified. The training and education received, combined with the knowledge and hard work from OSHA and the Voluntary Protection Program ensures the best Illness and prevention program in the country. There is more information from the United States Department of Labor.
There are several other programs through OSHA that are very helpful to carry your company through the processes that will get your safety and illness protection programs where they need to be. They are industry leaders and they are on your team. They have many publications available to you and experts in place to help you with any confusing issues, While, businesses are primarily concerned with the health and well-being of their employees, they also must protect the company against any physical or financial threat that could devastate and even shut down their business.
With this in mind, creating, enforcing and implementing an Injury and Illness Prevention program makes perfect sense. Work together with OSHA and make sure all of your people understand. Have a zero tolerance policy for those who intentionally break the rules. The life they save could be their own, or even yours.