APP: Making Workplace Safety Simple

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During the past few years, there have been an average of 3.1 recordable workplace injuries or illnesses per 100 UW employees. That means UW employees experience over 1,000 serious work-related injuries or illnesses every year.

The Environmental Health & Safety Department (EH&S) has developed the Accident Prevention Plan (APP), a new resource to help reduce the rate of workplace accidents and injuries at the UW. This document replaces the template for Departmental Health and Safety Plans and covers general health and safety information applicable to all employees.

“Our goal was to develop a core document that would cover the basic health and safety information all employees need to know,” says Emma Corell, Accident Prevention Manager at EH&S, who helped develop the new plan. “It should hopefully reduce the administrative burden associated with customizing department-specific plans for those departments with minimal exposure to hazards in the work environment.”

All employers in Washington state are required to have an accident prevention plan that details the occupational hazards present in their work environment and how their employees are protected from these hazards. The Accident Prevention Plan developed by EH&S satisfies this requirement and includes basic health and safety information critical for all employees.

Departments with hazards that extend byeond what is covered in the APP are still required to maintain documentation that addresses how their employees are protected from these additional hazards. The Accident Prevention Plan will be kept as a PDF document on the Environmental Health & Safety website.

“EH&S can help departments understand how to use the new plan and supplement it with more information if needed,” Corell says, adding that EH&S developed the following introductory health and safety video, which covers important health and safety information topics within the Accident Prevention Plan.

All new UW employees should view this video to learn general health and safety information such as:

  • Topics covered in the new employee safety orientation
  • Resources available to address health and safety concerns
  • How to report an work-related injury, illness, near miss, or hazardous condition
  • Roles and responsibilities related to health and safety at UW

Departments and supervisors can integrate the new plan and video into their on-boarding process, ensuring that our new employees understand basic health and safety information that will help them work safely.

Corell says her hope is that these new tools will “clarify the roles all employees have in maintaining a safe and healthy place for advancing learning, teaching, research and service at the UW.”