California requires that every employer has an Injury and Illness Prevention Program that outlines workplace safety mandates. The purpose of the program is to ensure that employees are working and complying with safe work practices. An effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program should involve all employees, not just supervisors and management. The program should outline specific workplace hazards that employees may be exposed to and how to correct those hazards promptly. Also, the plan should outline a training program to prevent injury and illness.
Cal/OSHA has published a model program that employers can use to develop their programs. There are eight elements required to be covered in a company’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Under each component are questions that should be answered to create an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
- Responsibility: The responsibility section should detail the name and contact information is of the person who is responsible for managing the Injury and Illness Prevention Program. It should also note where copies of the plan are located for employees to read.
- Compliance: The compliance section should detail the company’s disciplinary process as well as how the company will recognize employees who comply with safe work practices.
- Communication: The communication section deals with how the company conveys safety and health standards to its employees. Each company can decide whether or not to use a safety and health committee to ensure compliance and what the company’s schedule is for safety meetings. It also should detail the process for employees to inform the management of safety and health concerns anonymously.
- Hazard Assessment: The hazard assessment section should assign the person who is responsible for conducting inspections to identify workplace hazards and what the schedule is for holding the inspections.
- Accident / Exposure Investigation: The accident/exposure investigation section should designate the name of the person is that is responsible for investigating workplace accidents.
- Hazard Correction: The hazard correction section should detail how the company will address and correct hazards when they are found during a hazard assessment.
- Training and Instruction: The training and instruction section should explain how the company’s workplace training program.
- Record-keeping: The record-keeping section should explain the company’s system for keeping records of scheduled inspections, training, and hazard corrections.
A successful Injury and Illness Prevention Program benefits both employers and employees to help prevent costly injuries. However, even if your employer has an Injury and Illness Prevention Program, accidents do happen.