Injury and Illness Prevention Programs are an effective tool for reducing occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities.  Many workplaces have already adopted these programs as part of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) and Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) for small employers, leading to significant decreases in workplace injuries. Many organizations report a transformed workplace culture that can lead to higher productivity and quality, reduced turnover, reduced costs and greater worker satisfaction as a result of implementing Injury and Illness Prevention Programs.

Effective Injury and Illness Prevention Programs should include the systematic identification, evaluation and prevention or control of general workplace hazards as well as the hazards associated with specific jobs and tasks.  Major elements of an effective program include:

Management Leadership to set clear goals, assume responsibility for program implementation and maintenance and provide resources to support program success;

Worker Participation in all aspects of the program, including implementation, inspections, investigations, reporting and protection of workers’ rights;

Hazard Identification and Assessment, including input from workers, incident investigations and communication of hazards to all affected workers;

Hazard Prevention and Control, including planning, verification and discussion of hazard controls with affected workers;

Education and Training to ensure that workers understand the process for recognizing, reporting and controlling hazards;

Program Evaluation and Improvement, including periodic review, modifications as needed and continuous improvement.

For more information visit the OSHA Training Center’s Managing Safety and Health Resources webpage.