In Oklahoma every employer is required to provide a safe and healthful workplace to his/her employees. In accordance with the Oklahoma Code of Regulations, employers of 25 or more full-time and/or part-time employees must have a designated Safety Coordinator and an effective written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) or as it is better known a written Safety and Health Policies and Procedures manual. What should you expect to see in an IIPP or Safety and Health P&P manual? It is a written plan that has the following elements:
• Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities
• Safety communications system with employees
• System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices
• Scheduled inspections/evaluation system
• Accident Investigation procedures
• Procedures for correcting unsafe/unhealthy conditions
• Safety and health training and instruction program
• Recordkeeping and documentation
The IIPP includes procedures that the employer puts into practice. Part of the employer’s responsibility is to control potential workplace hazards and correct hazardous conditions or practices as they occur or are recognized. The program includes a system for the employer to communicate with employees on matters relating to occupational safety and health, including provisions designed to encourage employees to inform the employer of hazards at the worksite without fear of reprisal.
The safety communications system, one of the elements of the IIPP, should be in a form readily understandable by all affected employees. The safety communication system may include:
• Training programs
• Written communications
• A system of anonymous notification by employees about hazards
• Labor/management safety and health committees, and
• Other means of ensuring communication with employees
In addition to the above an IIPP or Safety & Health P&P recommends that supervisors conduct
“tailgate” or “toolbox” safety meetings with their crews at least every 10 working days to emphasize safety. Supervisors also need to hold periodic meetings to discuss safety problems and accidents that have occurred in their departments. The goal of an IIPP is to ensure that worker safety and health are not compromised.
Contact OMAG Risk Management Services if you have questions or suggestions for other topics related to Municipal Workplace Safety Issues. 1(800) 234-9461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.