Every organization in Washington, whether it is for-profit or nonprofit, is required to have an Accident Prevention Program (an “APP”) to keep workers safe and healthy. With the APPapp, we have simplified the process of creating this vital, living document.
The APPapp asks you a series of questions and generates a customized, easy-to-use Microsoft Word file. You’ll use that file to create your organization’s Accident Prevention Program plan, bringing your team together to address all the hazards in your workplace.
Step 1: Understand the requirements
- What is an Accident Prevention Program?
From the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries: “Every employer in Washington State is required to create a written Accident Prevention Program (APP) to address the safety and health hazards found in their workplace. Many employers consider their APP as their cornerstone safety program.”
Identifying hazards is the first step to creating an APP. On this site, we’ve provided a tool to help you determine what needs to go into your APP. The tool will generate a Word document you can use as the outline for your unique, custom safety program.
- How is the APP document used?
Everyone in your facility or organization needs to be familiar with it, since it contains critical information about how to stay safe and what to do in an emergency. It is important to include it in employee orientations and whenever an employee’s role or responsibilities change. It should be reviewed regularly in safety meetings, and any changes should be communicated to all staff. The APP is a living document that keeps your employees and volunteers safe from harm.
Step 2: Gather the information.
- What information goes into the Accident Prevention Program?
The document contains information about how employees at your facility can stay safe from hazards at work, including safety procedures and contact information for people who are responsible for safety training and equipment. It documents what to do in the event of an emergency, and it contains details about the specific safety issues at your location.
- What you’ll need to have on hand to use the APPapp.
You’ll need to gather information about the people and procedures that keep employees and volunteers safe. We’ve put together a checklist (PDF) of all the information that the tool captures to help you prepare.
- Who creates it?
That depends on the size and structure of your organization. If you are a small nonprofit, the Executive Director or Board might create it. If you have more employees, there might be a designated safety officer, an employee whose role includes safety orientations and the APP. You may also have a safety committee that creates a safety program and keeps it updated. The APP needs to be created by someone who understands the work and the hazards of your particular organization and worksite.
Step 3: Use the APPapp to create your customized document.
- In the APPapp, we’ll ask you a series of questions about hazards in your organization. Your answers will populate a Microsoft Word document, which we’ll send to you via email.
Step 4: One last step: Complete the Accident Prevention Program with your team.
- Once you have downloaded the Word document, there’s still more to do! You’ll need to work with your board, staff, and volunteers to review and complete the details of your safety procedures.
- Add the details to the Word document and set a schedule for reviewing and updating it. Remember, the APP is a living document that will change with your organization.
- Start using the APP document
Share the document with everyone at your organization and include it in your staff, volunteer, and board orientations.