The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a continuing decline in all measured categories of injuries and illness rate sin the private sector since 2003. Frankly, Federal, State and Local government employees would benefit more from an I2P2-type program based on their statistics.
I realize several safety and health organizations have advocated to OSHA’s Assistant Secretary to implement I2P2, but layering another set of regulatory requirements on the private sector at this fragile economic and geopolitical moment in time, when the evidence shows it is not necessary, will only lead to higher costs of goods and services and a further increase in unemployment.
Federal and state OSH agencies have a plethora of laws and regulations at their disposal to enforce safety and health in workplaces. For those safety and health professionals who think requiring I2P2 will endear them to their employer, you might want to revisit that thought.
One area that is finally beginning to gain attention is stress in the workplace. With all the competitive and governmental pressure companies are facing and the anxiety employees are dealing with from the grocery store, to the gasoline pump, to tuition, to layoffs, reducing workplace stress is an area ripe for a great deal of attention.
Systems thinkers strive to find leverage points within a system that, if dissolved, will lead to the eliminating problems in the system. For me, focusing on workplace stress is one of those leverage points that will have concomitant effects leading to a more productive, safer, healthier, and environmentally responsive workplace.
Posted by James Leemamn, Ph.D., is clinical assistant professor in Tulane University’s Center for Applied Environmental Public Health, and is president of the Leemann Group LLC, Scottsdale, AZ.