Not all employers know that they need a comprehensive, written Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) for their business, but many employers that are aware of this OSHA requirement still put off creating the document. Why? They don’t see it as a priority. They are focusing on other things that seem more important to their business operations. In addition, they reason that the chances are low that an OSHA or Cal/OSHA representative will show up at their place of business and ask to see their IIPP, and if someone does ask to see it, it won’t be that big of a deal if they don’t have one.
Here’s why it’s a mistake to put off creating an IIPP for your Orange County business:
Visits from Cal/OSHA Are Increasing
As an employer in Orange County, you may be thinking, “Cal/OSHA hasn’t paid me a visit yet. Why would they start now?”
While it’s true that many small businesses in Orange County have never had a Cal/OSHA inspector knock on their door and ask to see their IIPP, that could soon change. In recent years, Cal/OSHA instituted a Targeting and Programmed Inspection program, and also created a High Hazard Unit and a Labor Enforcement Task Force to crack down on industries they consider to have high rates of injuries and illnesses. This means that more businesses than ever will receive visits from Cal/OSHA representatives—especially those in industries like construction and manufacturing. If you have been banking on the fact that Cal/OSHA will never show up and ask to see your IIPP, you might want to reconsider and get your business prepared soon for a visit from an inspector.
You Will Be Cited for Not Having an IIPP
Year after year, failure to have an IIPP is the most frequent Cal/OSHA citation given. In other words, Cal/OSHA gives out more citations under the IIPP standard than any other standard on the books! If Cal/OSHA shows up at your workplace, one of the first things they will ask to see is your IIPP, and your business will almost certainly be cited if you can’t produce one. Cal/OSHA and OSHA representatives don’t typically give out warnings or give you time to remedy the situation—they just slap you with a fine for non-compliance. Pleading ignorance won’t work either. The IIPP requirement has been in effect since 1991. It is expected that every employer is aware of it.
Fines for Non-Compliance with OSHA Regulations Can Be Steep
Some business owners assume that a Cal/OSHA or OSHA fine for failure to have an IIPP in place will amount to not much more than a slap on the wrist. But they are very wrong! Violating this standard can result in hefty fines—often thousands of dollars, or even upwards of $10,000!
What to Do If You Need an IIPP for your Orange County Business
If your Orange County business is out of compliance with the IIPP requirement, it’s important to have an IIPP created as soon as possible. You could create one internally, if you or someone on your staff is familiar with workplace health and safety protocols, or you could hire a company like Diamond Touch Strategies in Orange County that specializes in creating IIPPs.
If you choose to create an IIPP on your own, make sure you follow the OSHA guidelines carefully and include all of the necessary information. If you don’t, you could still get cited by an OSHA inspector for having an IIPP that’s incomplete. The IIPP templates you find online are often not sufficient and likely won’t satisfy a Cal/OSHA inspector, so be wary of using those.short url: