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California's Injury & Illness Prevention Program & Procedures

Instructor: Millicent Kelly

Millicent has been teaching at the university level since 2004. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Human Resources.

This lesson will educate you on California's Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) and Procedures and discuss best practices when developing an IIPP plan for your organization.

What's an IIPP?

So you've just been asked by your HR supervisor to develop a new Injury and Illness Prevention Program plan for your organization, and you find yourself wondering, what exactly is this? What needs to be included? How do I get started? Well no worries, in this lesson you will learn all about California's Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). As of 1991, it is a legal requirement for every employer in the State of California to have one. The only exception is made for the household services business sector.

After completing this lesson, you will know all about California's IIPP requirement, why it will benefit your organization, and what to include in your IIPP to ensure it is effectively written. Are you ready to get started? Let's go!

IIPP Benefits!

The California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 stipulates that every employer needs to ensure that their workplace environment is safe for employees. This act was formalized in 1991 when it became a legal requirement for every California employer to have a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program. It is important to note that your IIPP is beneficial to your organization because accidents are costly to organizations in a number of ways, including:

  • Lost productivity and increased absenteeism
  • Disruption of the continued workflow of business operations
  • Retraining employees to replace injured workers
  • Replacement cost of items damaged in accidents
  • Upsets of employee morale

As we all know, money talks! So, any plan that can be put into place that can improve the bottom line of an organization is always a good thing. Now, let's take a look at what should be included in a well-written IIPP.

Writing an Excellent IIPP

The Injury and Illness Prevention Program has to be a detailed written plan and must include procedures. There are several areas that need to be addressed as you write your plan. These include:

  • Responsibilities of management
  • How safety information will be communicated to employees
  • How employees' compliance to safe work practices will be enforced
  • IIPP evaluation and inspection plans
  • How accidents will be investigated
  • Procedures to address unsafe or unhealthy situations
  • Conducting safety training
  • How to document anything related to the plan
  • Identifying key areas where the plan will be posted

Where Do I Begin?

Sometimes taking on a comprehensive project like writing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program can seem a bit daunting. Often the hardest part is asking yourself the question: Where do I begin? Well, good news. OSHA in California has a consultation service in case you just can't seem to get started on your own. But if you're willing to give it try without their help, it's sometimes best to start with assigning responsibilities and assessing your current organizational needs.

First, you need to decide who will be in charge of your IIPP. Keep in mind that the higher the person's involvement in the organization, the more support the IIPP will have. It's possible that programs that don't receive support from top management may not be received well by employees. In addition to that, anyone who has responsibilities under the IIPP should be supportive of the initiative and clearly identified in your plan.

Next, consider conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of your workplace. Take a look at what practices and initiatives are currently in place and which ones seem to be more effective than others. Conducting a company-wide survey on health and safety practices will help you identify both strengths and weaknesses within your organization. Take a look at the data. How many accidents have taken place in the past few years? Where do most of the accidents take place? What training initiatives have been implemented for safety and health purposes?

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