by Isabel Flores Garcia, Education and Outreach Representative
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S. Farmworkers suffer high rates of fatal and nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses annually. Having an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) is not only required by Cal/OSHA, but also helps to create a safe work environment for employees.
Assessing the work environment for health and safety hazards is important to prevent injuries and illnesses from happening. While there are various methods to identify hazards in the workplace, the following three will help you begin the process of creating an effective IIPP:
- Conduct regular worksite inspections. Walk through the worksite and visually assess the types of equipment, work practices, and any potential hazards that could be harmful to workers.
- Interview workers and managers. This allows workers to express concerns that may not be as obvious when conducting only worksite inspections. Involving workers in the process of identifying hazards also increases staff morale and compliance with safety practices.
- Create a hazard map. Draw a large outline of the worksite(s) and mark existing and potential hazards. Involve workers in this activity to solicit feedback and to increase awareness of the importance of safety in the workplace.
It is important to have several different methods of identifying health and safety hazards to ensure a safe work environment for employees. Taking the necessary steps will make the difference and help to create a health and safety culture that will be beneficial for everyone.
Learn more about our free Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) trainings.