Updates were made to the IIPP Safety Orders (Section 3203 of the California Code of Regulations) that went into effect at the beginning of this quarter, to ensure employee access to their employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) and specify who can request such access, what information is to be provided, and a timeframe for requests to be fulfilled.
Prior to this amendment, Section 3203 Injury and Illness Prevention Program did not explicitly state that employees are entitled to receive, review, or copy their employer’s IIPP. Although the change seems small, non-compliance can be a big deal for a small business. Cal-OSHA has been frequently issuing citations and fines to employers that are not correctly implementing their IIPP.
What Are Employers Required to Provide?
1. Access: The employer shall provide any employee (or designated representative) who requests it with access to the company’s IIPP. Access is defined as the right and opportunity to examine and receive a copy of the Company’s IIPP. Access must be provided in a reasonable time, place, and manner, but not later than 5 business days after request. If an employee, as part of their regular work duties, routinely uses the electronic means to communicate with management and co-workers, then unobstructed access to IIPP may be provided through a company server or website. Employee must be able to review, print or email IIPP.
2. Communication: The employer must communicate these employee rights and request procedures to all employees. Employers should include this information in their IIPP training content.
Employers are not required to provide any of the records or steps taken to implement and maintain the written program. If an employer has distinctly different and separate operations with distinctly separate and different programs, the employer may limit access to the program (or programs) applicable to the requester.
How Can Employers Ensure Compliance?
In most cases, a simple addendum can be added to the existing IIPP and communicated to employees to satisfy the new requirement. For more information on utilizing an addendum to update your IIPP, please reach out to your HR Representative.
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