The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is developing a rule that would require employers to plan and implement an Injury and Illness Prevention Program for their employees.
The standard, part of OSHA's spring 2010 Regulatory Agenda, would obligate each employer to implement safety-prevention measures tailored to the actual hazards in that workplace.
Instead of waiting for an OSHA inspection or a workplace incident to address workplace hazards, the proposed Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) standard would require that employers develop a plan, with worker participation, to identify the hazards present in their worksites and address them before they cause an injury, illness, or death.
"We are asking employers to 'find and fix' the hazards in their workplace," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.
Employers will have to plan, implement, evaluate, and improve processes and activities that protect employee safety and health.
“OSHA has substantial data on reductions in injuries and illnesses from employers who have implemented similar effective processes,” the agency reports.
OSHA currently provides voluntary Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (54 FR 3904-3916), published in 1989. An injury and illness prevention rule would build on these guidelines, as well as lessons learned from successful approaches and best practices from other OSHA programs and those offered by the American National Standards Institute/American Industrial Hygiene Association Z10 and Occupation Health and Safety Association 18001.
Twelve states already have similar rules in place, OSHA reports.
OSHA will be holding a series of stakeholder meetings to get public input on the development of the I2P2 standard. The meetings are scheduled for June 3 in East Brunswick, N.J., June 10 in Dallas, Texas, and June 29 in Washington, D.C. Those wishing to take part in these meetings can go online to submit a notice of intent to participate. Submission deadlines and options for sending notification by mail or fax can be found in the notice on the stakeholder meetings published in the Federal Register.