COMMAND “Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders.” T O M P E T E R S , B U S I N E S S A U T H O R A N D S P E A K E R COMMAND HEALTH AND SAFETY OFFICER A n important aspect of an organizational cancer prevention effort is developing the comprehensive accident, injury, illness and exposure policies and procedures as required by WAC 296-305-01501 and 01503. Such policies and procedures meet the dual needs of managing on-the-job injury processes, as well as providing organizations with data that may prevent future events. In the context of cancer prevention, it is desirable that an organization’s policy and culture support precautionary reporting of exposure to carcinogens as a way to identify and mitigate hazards. Similar to near miss reporting, precautionary reporting of exposure to carcinogens allows organizations to identify the root causes of the exposure and to design and implement corrective interventions. In developing policy that encourages precautionary reporting, it is important to clearly define the parameters of the organization’s reporting system. The Washington State Council of Fire Fighters’ Personal Injury, Illness and Exposure Reporting System (PIIERS) allows members to record all incidents where there is the potential to have been exposed to the products of combustion. An organizational reporting system, however, should only be used when an exposure actually occurs. For example, acting as a pump operator upwind of a large commercial fire may warrant a PIIERS report, but may not warrant the filing of an organizational precautionary report. On the other hand, if the wind shifts and the pump operator suddenly finds himself engulfed in acrid smoke, then the member needs to fill out a PIIERS report as well as an internal report. These distinctions are clearly not black and white, and must be supported by good policy along with a culture of mutual trust within an organization. From Labor’s perspective, a robust organizational reporting system may reinforce the organization’s commitment to transparency and safety. Labor must also recognize, however, that Management may feel exposed to increased scrutiny if every “routine” fire call generated a wave of exposure reports. Because of this, a collaborative effort between Labor and Management can be undertaken to clearly define the formal and informal parameters of reporting policy. After all, both groups 6