OSHA recently unveiled a new I2P2 Webpage to promote the coming initiative. I2P2 stands for Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Making I2P2 into a standard is a major undertaking and one that OSHA’s Assistant Secretary, Dr. David Michaels, called the agency’s highest priority for 2011. According to OSHA, the program “simply requires employers to develop a program to help them find and fix hazards in their workplaces.”
Six elements OSHA sees as necessary components of a successful prevention program are:
1. Management leadership
2. Worker participation
3. Hazard identification
4. Hazard prevention
5. Control, education and training
6. Program evaluation and improvement
On the Web page are links to FAQ’s and an I2P2 white paper written by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) in support of a new standard. AIHA’s paper lays out a rigorous argument in favor of a new standard. There are also links to I2P2 program resources, state programs, and examples of effective programs. (The program resources include a link to a cool occupational injury and illness cost calculator).
The next step in the promulgation of an I2P2 standard is meeting with Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panels before writing the proposal for the standard. This follows a series of meetings last summer to solicit feedback and input from various stakeholders.
It’s worth noting that even though I2P2 is a priority OSHA feels strongly about, it is moving forward cautiously, trying to avoid the missteps that have jammed up recent initiatives (i.e., addition of an MSD column, changes to the noise standard). The agency is skittish these days and worried about offending congress or doing anything that could adversely affect its budget.