Every employer in California must have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) that complies with Cal/OSHA’s safety standards. A well-thought out and specific IIPP can mean the difference between life and death for your employees. A great IIPP assigns specific responsibilities and sends a message to all employees that their health and well-being is a priority in your company.  Creating, revisiting, and updating the IIPP with changes that streamline and clarify your procedures supports a healthy, collaborative and dynamic safety culture in any company.  The IIPP should be a living, breathing guide for your employees’ safe behavior and should provide a comprehensive foundation for all other company safety programs.  Employees should receive periodic training on the content, purpose, and location of the IIPP and be encouraged to participate in evaluating its effectiveness.

When was the last time your IIPP was audited?

At minimum, an annual audit insures that the IIPP reflects the status of your company’s:

  • Employees
    • Are there new hires needing basic safety training in addition to on-the-job training?
    • Have job assignments changed due to attrition or work volume?
    • Should employees be cross-trained to implement job rotation and reduce the exposure to repetitive motion injuries?
  • Work tasks
    • Are there new processes, jobsites, or company functions not reflected in the current program?
  • Equipment and materials in use
    • Is it time to evaluate age and condition of all vehicles and tools?  Are replacements needed?
    • Is there a process in place for monitoring and phasing out older tools and equipment?
    • Is your staff handling a new product or process that requires evaluation?

Are all of the following items up to date?

  • The safety committee members
    • Are many or all departments/levels represented?
  • The resources and contacts
    • Previously identified individuals may have promoted or left the company.
  • The responsibilities assigned to each employee
    • Previously identified individuals may have promoted or left the company.
  • All company locations and operations
  • Safety documents for communications, trainings, hazard identification, and corrective actions
    • Keep simple templates for supervisors to use for safety meeetings, training, job hazard analysis, and disciplinary actions.
    • Be clear about where completed forms should be kept and by whom.

Set the tone for safety in the introduction of your IIPP document.

  • Have your company owner or manager write a company introduction and Code of Safe Work Practices that can also be presented as part of the new hire employment packet.
  • Clearly and simply state the overall goals and expectations of safety behaviors in the company

Review critical processes and equipment specific to your company to identify, control, and implement corrective steps to control hazards, and document them in your IIPP.

  • Outline how frequently site and equipment inspections should take place. Provide step-by-step instructions on how to conduct inspections, and document them.  Supply inspection form examples and templates in an easily accessible and usable format.
  • Identify the process for conducting job hazard analyses (JHA). Provide a template for evaluating job classifications and tasks to control and prevent hazardous exposures.
  • Give easy-to-follow steps for accident, incident reporting, and investigation. Include forms and report templates to make the investigations useful and beneficial to prevent future incidents.
  • Make hazard-reporting forms available for employees to communicate safety hazards and concerns; ensure this process has a clear chain of command to evaluate and respond to the reports and employees.

Evaluate other resources that may help ensure that your IIPP is an effective document that employees can reference for safety advice, actions, procedures, policies and evaluations?


  • Ways to enhance communication about safety hazards, implementing corrections, and training activities
  • Developing additional, specific safety programs for your unique workplace hazards
  • Adding language directly to the IIPP to address hazards that do not require a fully separate written program but still need to be addressed
  • Providing safety and hazard training using various methods, trainers, materials, and ideas to ensure employee retention and understanding
  • Tracking safety indicators like injuries and equipment failures to discuss and measure your company’s safety effectiveness and to focus safety meeting topics

It is unlikely that any company IIPP will be perfect!  However, the action of working to continually evaluate and improve workplace safety, gather feedback, and train employees sends a clear message that they are valued.  This, in turn, will set the foundation for a healthy company safety culture in which individuals are motivated to stay safe and encourage others to do so.  Having an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program provides a clear, dynamic roadmap to identify and correct safety issues, and steady and continuous improvement in safety performance can be achieved.

The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.