In California every employer has a legal obligation to provide and maintain a safe and healthful workplace for employees, according to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973. As of 1991, a written, effective Injury and Illness Prevention (IIP), Program is required for every California employer.
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A primary tool you should be using in an effort to identify and recognize the areas responsible for accidents is a thorough and properly completed accident investigation. It should be in writing and adequately identify the cause(s) of the accident or near-miss occurrence.
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The required hazard assessment survey of your establishment, when first developing your Injury and Illness Prevention Program, must be made by a qualified person. This survey can provide the basis and guide for establishing your hazard assessment and control system. The survey produces knowledge of hazards that exist in the workplace, and conditions, equipment andprocedures that could be potentially hazardous.
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By putting your action plan into operation at your workplace, you will have taken a major step toward having an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Remember, an Injury and Illness Prevention Program is a plan put into practice.
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Under Cal/OSHA recordkeeping requirements, information on accidents is gathered and stored. Upon review, causes can be identified and control procedures instituted to prevent the illness or injury from recurring. Keep in mind that any inspection of your workplace may require you to demonstrate the effectiveness of your program.
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An action plan is a specific, written description of problems and solutions-it can and should be changed to correspond with changes in the workplace.
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After all the facts are gathered, look at how the information on your workplace corresponds with the standards, and with the critical components of an Injury and Illness Prevention Program: management commitment/assignment of responsibilities; safety communications system with employees; system for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices; scheduled inspections/evaluation system; accident investigation; procedures for correcting unsafe/ unhealthy conditions; safety and health training and instruction; recordkeeping and documentation.