Running a small business in California has a lot of requirements. There are licenses to acquire, taxes to pay, insurance policies to buy, forms to file, and more. Here’s one more requirement for any California business that has employees: they need to have a written Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) in place.
If you ask most small business owners in Anaheim, Orange, or Newport Beach if they have an IIPP, they probably won’t have any idea what you’re talking about. But an IIPP is a requirement of Cal/OSHA, the organization that governs workplace health and safety practices in California. A representative from Cal/OSHA can show up at your place of work at any time and request to see a copy of your IIPP, and not being able to produce one can result in steep fines.
What Is an IIPP?
An IIPP is a written plan that addresses a business’s procedures with regard to workplace health and safety. The plan must cover things such as procedures for identifying potential hazards, employee training and instruction plans, a system for investigating and documenting workplace injuries or illnesses, and more. All the requirements for an IIPP that will meet Cal/OSHA’s standards are outlined in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 3203, although there are additional requirements for industries like construction and petroleum.
According to Jim Diaz at Diamond Touch Strategies (DTS), a company that helps businesses in Anaheim, Orange, and Newport Beach produce IIPPs, an IIPP that will meet Cal/OSHA’s standards needs to be tailored to the specific business. Diaz says, “An IIPP cannot be generic or cookie cutter. OSHA and state safety inspectors have seen all forms of IIPP books. They know what a good IIPP looks like. They have seen the IIPPs from multimillion-dollar companies and highly professional construction companies, as well as those of local subcontractors. They also know when somebody has bought a bargain basement IIPP template to try and cover the minimum requirements. OSHA inspectors cannot be fooled, and the fines are steep when an IIPP doesn’t pass muster.”
How to Produce an IIPP That Meets OSHA and Cal/OSHA Requirements
Employers in Anaheim, Orange, and Newport Beach that don’t already have an IIPP should start by looking at the requirements listed in the Title 8 document. Cal/OSHA has also put out a guide that is meant to help employers develop an Injury & Illness Prevention Program. However, Diaz says that “Most small business owners take one look at the guide and realize that putting together a program like this is not a good use of their time and start to look for someone who can do it on their behalf. That’s where my company, Diamond Touch Strategies, comes in. We produce thorough and easy-to-implement Injury & Illness Prevention Programs for small businesses. They meet OSHA and Cal/OSHA’s requirements and can also help businesses improve productivity by keeping their employees healthy and injury-free.”
A detail-oriented small business owner or employee could certainly produce an IIPP on their own, but with all the other tasks a small business typically has to complete on a daily basis, outsourcing the development of an IIPP is something that is attractive to many companies. For a relatively low price, a company like Diamond Touch Strategies can produce an IIPP that will give a business owner the peace of mind that they are in compliance with this OSHA requirement.