California is home to some of the toughest workplace health and safety standards and the most comprehensive injury and illness Prevention Program (IIPP) regulations in the country. In California, every employer has a legal obligation to provide and maintain a safe and healthful workplace for employees. The IIPP regulation also requires every California employer to have a written, effective IIPP that meets the requirements of T8 CCR Section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders. The IIPP is an employer’s written plan that specifies the policies and procedures for identifying and correcting workplace safety and health hazards.
To comply with the California regulation, the IIPP must:
- Identify the person or persons with the authority and responsibility for implementing the safety and health program;
- Establish policies, procedures, incentives and disciplinary actions to ensure employee compliance with safe and healthful work practices;
- Include a system for communicating with employees – in a form readily understandable by all affected employees – on matters relating to occupational safety and health, including provisions designed to encourage employees to inform the employer of hazards at the worksite without fear of reprisal;
- Include procedures for identifying existing or potential hazards in the workplace, including performing periodic inspections by qualified personnel;
- Establish procedures for correcting workplace hazards and identifying steps to prevent their recurrence;
- Require written accident investigation procedures focusing on understanding why the accident occurred and what actions can be taken to prevent recurrence;
- Include written safety and health rules and work procedures, and update the rules when new exposures are introduced;
- Require safety and health training of both supervisors and employees when the program is established, to new employees and employees on new job assignments, and when new processes and procedures are introduced or in the event of a new workplace hazard.
Developing and maintaining an effective IIPP given the changing nature of the workforce, operations, equipment, and exposures is a continuing responsibility. Employers who need help developing, improving or maintaining their IIPP can obtain free professional assistance and materials from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services by calling the toll-free assistance number at 1(800) 963-9424, contacting the nearest Cal/OSHA Consultation Services office listed here, or by visiting the Cal/OSHA Consultation Services website here.