Navigation Links
Workplace safety program can reduce injuries if aggressively enforced, study finds
Date:1/26/2012

A longstanding California occupational safety program requiring all businesses to eliminate workplace hazards can help prevent injuries to workers, but only if it is adequately enforced, according to a new study by the RAND Corporation.

The first-ever evaluation of the California Injury and Illness Prevention Program found evidence that the program reduces workplace injuries, but only at businesses that had been cited for not addressing the regulation's more-specific safety mandates.

"We found the safety effects to be real, but not very large," said John Mendeloff, lead author of the study and a senior public policy researcher for RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "We think that the most important reason for the limited impact of this program is that inspectors often did not go beyond a review of the employer's written document."

When California Division of Occupational Safety and Health inspectors did investigate further and found failures to comply with provisions to train workers, identify and abate hazards, and investigate injury causes, the average injury rates at targeted businesses declined more than 20 percent in the following two years, Mendeloff said.

However, these provisions were cited in only about 5 percent of Cal-OSHA inspections, RAND researchers found. In the other 20 percent of inspections where a violation of the rule was cited, it was only for the section requiring the employer have a written program. Such a violation carries an average penalty of $150.

The California Injury and Illness Prevention Program, which became effective in 1991, requires all employers to adopt certain procedures. These include communicating to employees about risks, carrying out regular workplace surveys and abating the hazards that are found, training employees about how to work safely, and investigating the causes of the injuries that occur. In contrast, almost all other safety standards address specific hazards -- for example, those dealing with protection against falls.

The program has been the most frequently violated Cal-OSHA standard in every year since 1991, being cited in about 25 percent of all inspections. The California program is also one possible model for federal OSHA's current rule-making effort to develop a safety and health program rule.

The RAND study notes that higher penalties for noncompliance with the program and more extensive activities to make employers aware of their obligations could enhance compliance. However, two other approaches could have a greater impact: having inspectors conduct more in-depth assessments of employer programs and having inspectors link the violations they find and the injuries that have occurred to the program by asking "Why weren't these prevented by your Injury and Illness Prevention Program?"

The study found that employers who were cited for violations of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program in one inspection usually came into compliance in future inspections. However, the overall percentage of inspections finding program violations did not change over time.

Moreover, the percentage of first-time inspections finding violations was the same in 2007 as it was in 1993. These findings indicate that information about the program requirements failed to reach many employers, they failed to be convinced to comply by the threat of penalties, or both.

The 20 percent reduction in injuries following citations for the specific requirements of the California Injury and Illness Prevention Program translates to about 1 injury per year at a workplace with 100 employees. Most estimates of the value of preventing a work injury are in the range of $15,000 to $50,000. The RAND study did not find evidence that the statewide workplace fatality rate had decreased after the introduction of the program standard.

The study of injury effects was carried out using several different injury data sets. In all cases, inspections were included in the data if "before and after" injury rates could be obtained for the inspected business. The study was limited to workplaces in the manufacturing, transportation, utilities, wholesale trade and health care sectors. It included inspections through 2006.


'/>"/>
Contact: Warren Robak
media@rand.org
310-451-6913
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Bosses Have Big Impact on Workplace Well-Being
2. At More U.S. Workplaces, Smokers Need Not Apply
3. Study finds most paramedics are victims of abuse in the workplace
4. Study suggests flexible workplaces promote better health behavior and well-being
5. Trans-parency in the workplace
6. Mayo Clinic study confirms smoke-free workplaces reduce heart attacks
7. Safeguards needed to prevent discrimination of early Alzheimers patients in the workplace
8. Web tool aims to improve the workplace for breast cancer survivors
9. Workplace stress a growing health hazard
10. New threshold values for fine particulates at the workplace
11. Workplace mental health disability leave recurs sooner than physical health leave, CAMH study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... , ... Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs today announced the opening of a new ... St. Topeka, Kan. 66604 (near 21st and Gage). It is owned and operated by ... locations in the Topeka and Bonner Springs, Kan. area. , “Goodcents has such ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ensuring meat products have reached ... the importance of correctly using a meat thermometer. The videos feature University of ... on consumer food safety habits. Dr. Bruhn explains the variety of meat thermometers ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... 21 Middle East ... (EF) has selected 21 leaders from government, business and civil society in 11 countries ... the U.S. this fall, engaging in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... PureLife Dental is pleased to announce that California ... members. As part of the amalgam separator endorsement, all CDA members may purchase an ... off the retail value. This partnership between PureLife and CDA is especially timely as ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... American Farmer, will feature ... which is slated to air fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET ... a Danish pharmacist, founded Chr. Hansen in Denmark in 1874 after a groundbreaking discovery ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/9/2017)... AirXpanders, Inc. (ASX: AXP) (AirXpanders or Company), ... sale and distribution of the AeroForm® Tissue Expander System, ... commercial roll-out in the United States ... hundred (100) medical institutions and health systems, located throughout ... alternative for women who choose reconstructive surgery following a ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... June 8, 2017   Responding to Heath Ledger,s ... the death of singer Chris Cornell in May, ... International offers a free online psychiatric drug ... and families about psychotropic drug risks. The ... died from an accidental overdose, has called for tighter rules ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... , June 7, 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: ... two Phase 2 trials of its RSV F protein recombinant ... bearing age have been published in the journal ... been shared in prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced ... 2014. Novavax is developing the RSV F Vaccine with the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: