Accident Prevention Plans: Why Employers Need Them

accident preventionAs we were buying our turkeys and cranberries and preparing to enjoy Thanksgiving with families and friends, a roofing contractor in Mason County was fined and sentenced to jail for a felony charge of not providing his employees with workers’ compensation insurance.

While you may be shaking your head at this, wondering why any business owner would take such a big risk, there could be another L&I requirement that your business is unaware of.

You might be at risk of receiving some fines and penalties yourself! 

Your company must have an Accident Prevention Plan:

All businesses with employees are required to have a written Accident Prevention Program (APP).

The purpose of an Accident Prevention Plan is to:

  • Identify any hazards that might exist in the business that could affect employee safety
  • Address ways to reduce or eliminate the hazards
  • Provide a basic safety orientation to employees so they are aware of the hazards and how to work safely

This is a requirement, whether you own a manufacturing business, are in construction, or simply have a small office with clerical and administrative personnel.

Resources for creating an Accident Prevention Plan:

Creating an APP for your small business might sound intimidating. Never fear! L&I offers many online resources to help.

L&I even has sample templates you can start with. All you have to do is customize the information to fit your unique work environment.

We know far too many businesses lack Accident Prevention Plans:

As a staffing agency, we are required to request a copy of a client’s APP before we send one of our temporary employees to their workplace. That’s part of our duty to ensure our employees’ safety.

It’s not at all uncommon for us to be told that no written safety plan exists.

The beginning of a new year is a good time to correct this, especially before L&I drops in unexpectedly and asks to see a copy, which they have the right to do. The lack of a written safety plan can bring hefty L&I fines. I know all of us agree that’s a waste of our hard earned money!

Don’t let a missing Accident Prevention Plan cost you:

Speaking of a waste of money: that Mason County roofing contractor owes L&I $29,000 in unpaid fines; more than $134,000 in unpaid workers’ compensation premiums, penalties and interest; $4,500 to a client; and is now a convicted felon.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to comply with the regulations to start with?

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