Worker safety group wants more emphasis on prevention

September 14, 2011

Oakland, CA – In a report released Aug. 31, worker advocacy group Worksafe called for California employers to shift from a focus on safety problems to a prevention mindset.

That would mean using the word “prevention” instead of “controls,” emphasizing health along with safety and rewarding workers for prevention efforts, according to the report (.pdf file).

The group cited cost estimates and stories of employees who were unable to return to work after on-the-job injuries. Worksafe also argued that rather than being “job killers,” prevention measures spur innovation, lower workers’ compensation costs, and save and create jobs.

The advocacy group offers several recommendations for developing a statewide prevention program, such as:

  • Track and evaluate injuries and illnesses to determine where problems exist
  • Assess which industries need help implementing safer practices
  • Conduct field-based research to test prevention approaches