OSHA encourages employers to be proactive about workplace safety and recommends instituting an Injury and Illness Prevention Program in order to prevent common issues that cause workplace injuries. These programs are meant to identify factors that influence workplace hazards and result in workers getting sick or injured or killed.
There are many industries that have incorporated such preventative programs in an effort to improve health and safety on the job. These companies have already shown a significant drop in injuries and accidents. Additionally, these programs seem to trigger progressive positive change for the whole work environment, as many companies are reporting higher morale, increased productivity, and less turnover of workforce.
To date, thirty-four states across the country require such safety programs. These programs include a focus on specific hazards in the workplace so a plan can be devised to control such hazards and deal with them in a proactive manner. This can help reduce the amount of accidents on the job as the staff is fully aware of what can go wrong and are prepared to prevent such accidents from occurring.
Program topics including management leadership, hazard identification, assessment, and prevention, worker participation, and additional education and training for the entire work force. There also needs to be a thorough critique of the program itself as time goes on so it can be continually improved to address the changing needs of the workforce. Each program will need to be designed to address the specific needs of the company based on industry, size, job duties, and overall environment. There is no one health and safety program that can cover all bases within every company.
The more active workers and employers are in the workplace safety programs, the less injury and costs will be incurred on the whole. With less time off for injury recovery, workers are likely to be more productive and pose much less of a financial risk for their employers.