Federal agencies I2P2

Stakeholders debate potential benefits, disadvantages of I2P2 standard

Washington – Four stakeholders recently debated the merits of an OSHA injury and illness prevention program standard.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association hosted the debate on Oct. 20 during its fall conference in Washington.

Thomas Lawrence, a consultant with Safety and Compliance Management in Ballwin, MO, claimed that the standard is part of a political agenda for OSHA to cite employers. “They will come after you,” he said.

His partner in the debate, attorney David Sarvadi of Washington-based Keller & Heckman LLP, asserted that I2P2 works well for large employers but breaks down in small organizations. Small-business employers want specific solutions for their hazards, Sarvadi said.

But small-business employers are the very ones that could benefit from I2P2, said James Thornton, director of environmental, health and safety strategy and regulatory affairs for Newport News, VA-based Newport News Shipbuilding. According to Thornton, I2P2 could provide a fresh approach to combat the current plateauing injury, illness and fatality figures.

Charles Redinger, president of Harvard, MA-based consulting firm Redinger 360, agreed that an I2P2 standard would present challenges but called it a “beautiful” approach with the potential to reduce injuries.

At the start of the Obama administration, an I2P2 standard was considered OSHA’s top priority; it has since been moved to “long-term action” on the agency’s agenda.