Worker’s Memorial Day 2012 and OSHA’s I2P2 Initiative

Worker’s Memorial Day, April 28, is an international day of remembrance for workers killed, disabled or injured while at work.

Also called the International Workers Memorial Day or International Commemoration Day (ICD), the Worker’s Memorial Day provides a focal point for highlighting the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and injuries — a day to promote workplace safety.

According to the Wikipedia

Workers’ Memorial Day was started by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in 1984. The Canadian Labour Congress declared an annual day of remembrance in 1985 on April 28, which is the anniversary of a comprehensive Workers Compensation Act (refer to the entry Workplace Safety & Insurance Board), passed in 1914. In 1991, the Canadian Parliament passed an Act respecting a National Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace; making April 28, an official Workers’ Mourning Day.

Workers Memorial Day has been recognised in the US since 1989.

The AFL-CIO is commemorating the day with planned activities and has provided a set of resources on their web site to help people participate in the day of remembrance and to support the promotion of safety on the job.

In the US, OSHA statistics show that nationwide the number of work-related injuries averages 4.1 million per year and that 12 work-related deaths occur every day – 4,500 people die from a work-related accidents and injuries every year.

Over the years progress has been made in improving job safety, and although the overall trend in the US is downward, OSHA and other workplace safety advocates feel that additional effort should be made to reduce the numbers even further.

OSHA is leading the way by encouraging employers to participate in the Injury and Illness Prevention Programs.

Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, known by a variety of names, are universal interventions that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and alleviate the associated financial burdens on U.S. workplaces. Many states have requirements or voluntary guidelines for workplace injury and illness prevention programs.

Also known as I2P2, the Injury and Illness Prevention Programs constitute a major ongoing initiative launched by OSHA in 2011 for employers to adopt programs for finding and fixing hazards in their workplaces.

OSHA has published a FAQ about the I2P2 initiative and is moving methodically to have I2P2 adopted as a workplace requirement.

Of the 34 states that have adopted the Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, OSHA reports that the adoption of the program resulted in higher productivity, less turnover, lower number of injuries and higher employee satisfaction.