What is an IIPP?

IIPP stands for Injury and Illness Prevention Program, also sometimes known as an I2P2. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) webpage within the Department of Labor’s (DOL) website[i], IIPPs are described as:

“Injury and Illness Prevention Programs are universal interventions that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and alleviate the associated financial burdens on U.S. workplaces.”

The point of having an IIPP program is to prepare an organization in such a way that workplace injuries and illnesses are reduced. This is not only a good idea for employers, it’s mandated at the state level for some states. Check your state and local regulations if you’re not sure.

Why Create an IIPP?

Even if not federally mandated yet, there are many good reasons businesses opt to create and implement an IIPP. IIPPs can:

  • Improve safety by providing the structure to formalize a safety program. This in turn reduces injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
  • Reduce costs associated with injuries and illnesses. Implementing an IIPP is far less costly than paying for medical bills and lost productivity. (And this isn’t even counting the cost of turnover from decreased morale in a workplace with too many safety incidents.)
  • Reduce workers’ compensation insurance rates if your claims go down.
  • Enhance employee morale by showing commitment to a safe work environment.

Besides these reasons, IIPPs are also recommended by OSHA, even in states where they are not mandated. In fact, OSHA has noted on its webpage regarding this topic:

“Studies have shown that a direct correlation exists between a company’s performance in safety and its subsequent performance in productivity and financial results. Injury and Illness Prevention Programs will help American businesses remain competitive in a global market.”[ii]

And last but certainly not least, in some states (such as California) it’s a matter of compliance. It could become a nationwide requirement in the future, so many employers are preparing now and reaping the benefits.

What Should be Included in an IIPP?

If your business is planning to start or update your IIPP, there are many aspects to consider. First, let’s take a look at the elements suggested by OSHA for a successful IIPP[iii]:

  • Management leadership. Who is in charge of the program?
  • Worker participation. How do the employees participate and give input? How are employees engaged in the program?
  • Hazard identification. Who audits for safety hazards? How often? What is included?
  • Hazard prevention and control. What happens when hazards are identified? What control measures will be taken? What happens after an incident occurs to keep it from occurring again?
  • Education and training. How will employees be trained on proper safety and injury and illness prevention? How often will the training be updated? What various types of training will be required for different roles within the organization?
  • Program evaluation and improvement. How often will the IIPP be reviewed and updated to reflect the changing workplace environment?

Beyond OSHA’s suggestions, here are some other components to consider:

  • Communication at all levels. Where are copies of the IIPP kept? How do employees hear about it, and how are changes communicated? Who is involved in the communication process?
  • Investigation process. How do employees initiate a complaint or concern? What steps does the employer need to take to investigate after an incident?
  • Recordkeeping. What injury and illness records are kept? What about safety audit results—where are those kept? What about “near misses”? Where are records kept regarding safety training records?
  • Incentives. What, if any, incentives are provided to employees who consistently follow all safety procedures? Bonuses?
  • Discipline. How will unsafe practices be combated? Will employees who violate safety measures be disciplined? How so?
  • Practical details. Who is on your organization’s safety committee? When does it meet? What other safety meetings are held, and for what groups?

Everyone in the company should be aware of the IIPP and all stakeholders should be involved. The team needs to work with this in mind. There are many resources online to help with hazard identification checklists and IIPP templates to get you started.

*This article does not constitute legal advice. Always consult legal counsel with specific questions.

[i] https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/safetyhealth/

[ii] https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/safetyhealth/

[iii] https://www.osha.gov/dsg/topics/safetyhealth/


About Bridget Miller:

Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.

Originally Posted on http://hrdailyadvisor.blr.com/.

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