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Are Employers in California Required to Have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program?

An Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) is a formally written plan that covers the steps that an employer will take to help ensure the safety of their workers. In the state of California, every employer is required to have an effective IPP.

Think of it this way, when you drive your car you are implementing your own IIPP. By wearing your seatbelt and only driving while sober, you are preventing injury and accidents. By refusing to drive under the influence, you are avoiding collisions caused by delayed reaction times or poor judgement. Even if you are hit by another driver, the seatbelt will help prevent major injury. These same prevention principles apply to every workplace in California.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that every IIPP contains eight main elements:

  • Responsibility – employers must state their responsibility for the working environments they provide to their employees.
  • Compliance – employers must outline how they remain in compliance with both federal and state labor law.
  • Communication – employers must communicate safety concerns and procedures to their employees.
  • Hazard Assessment – employers must assess anything that may be considered hazardous to employee health.
  • Accident Investigation – employers must fully investigate an safety incidents in a thorough and timely manner.
  • Hazard Correction – if a hazard is discovered, employers must take steps to fix it.
  • Training – employees must be trained on safety procedures.
  • Recordkeeping – everything must be recorded.

Basically, these eight tenants insure that every employer puts some thought into things that may be hazardous to their employees, and requires employers to take reasonable action to both prevent illness and injury.

It is important for California workers to understand that IIPPs are required by law, even if their office seems to prevent a low-risk environment. Sadly, many California employers who believe that they present low-risk working environments have failed to put together an IIPP. If you fear that your employer does not have an effective IIPP in place, then call us today to discuss the details of your working environment. We can help you to ensure that your working environment is a safe and hazard free place.