Policy

There are several tools or strategies to prevent injuries and violence. Policies such as state laws, community ordinances and changing organizational practices to improve health and safety can be effective in changing individual behavior and creating a culture of safety.

Not all policy changes are punitive (like fines and license revocation), although these are effective. Many policy changes intend to create positive incentives for safe behavior – such as insurance discounts for smoke alarms, fire sprinklers, and safe driving records. Many policies also aim to build in safer practices, making injury prevention automatic. For example, laws that set limits for the temperature of hot water heaters manufactured can prevent scalding injuries. Additionally, not all policies are set by government. Nongovernmental organizations – insurance companies, chambers of commerce, professional associations, and others – also make decisions with positive effects in terms of injury prevention for their clients, constituents, or memberships. Often, the impact of nongovernmental policy changes is underestimated; nonprofit agencies and businesses can set internal policies that have significant external effects. For example, one of the benefits of business injury prevention policies can be to decrease absenteeism of workers if they practice injury prevention at home and work (Safe States 2003).

Preventing Injuries in Texas: A Resource for State Policy Makers was developed to provide factual information on injuries and violence in Texas, as well as information on scientifically-proven policies that are effective in reducing injuries and deaths.

Injury Free Texas is a website that has the best available information related to preventing injuries and violence in Texas. The site’s content is designed to convey information about evidence-informed or evidence-based injury and violence prevention strategies, and to encourage the implementation and adoption of initiatives that are proven to save lives.   Go to http://injuryfreetexas.org for more information.  

 

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