It is a brave and often difficult endeavor to begin a business. The fact that a business owner decides to start up in California can be an even more daunting task. California employers know that the state can often place multiple stringent requirements upon employers in efforts to protect employees. California has been a leader in workplace safety programs and banning of dangerous conditions in work places for decades.
It will likely come as no surprise that California has existing state law which requires employers in the state to maintain records of all employee injuries and, further, create employee injury prevention programs if the employer falls into certain categories.
The following is mandatory and the employer may not plead ignorance as to its requirements:
Employers in California are required by Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, to have an effective written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). An effective IIPP improves the safety and health in your workplace and reduces costs by good management and employee involvement.
To be effective your IIPP must:
- Contain the 8 required Injury and Illness Prevention Program elements
- Fully involve all employees, supervisors, and management
- Identify the specific workplace hazards employees are exposed to
- Correct identified hazards in an appropriate and timely manner
- Provide effective training
The Program shall be in writing and, shall, at a minimum:
- Identify the person or persons with authority and responsibility for implementing the Program.
- Include a system for ensuring that employees comply with safe and healthy work practices. Substantial compliance with this provision includes recognition of employees who follow safe and healthful work practices, training and retraining programs, disciplinary actions, or any other such means that ensures employee compliance with safe and healthful work practices.
- Include a system for communicating with employees in a form readily understandable by all affected employees on matters relating to occupational safety and health, including provisions designed to encourage employees to inform the employer of hazards at the worksite without fear of reprisal. Substantial compliance with this provision includes meetings, training programs, posting, written communications, a system of anonymous notification by employees about hazards, labor/management safety and health committees, or any other means that ensures communication with employees.
Employment law in California is ever-changing and evolving. Laws such as this are very much needed in some instances. The obligations placed upon the employer are intelligent choices that any business owner should want to adhere to in order to ensure the safe and efficient operation of his or her company.
Putting a program together is vital, but even more important, is putting that program into action. The wise employer will not only promptly correct any unsafe condition, but will document all efforts to do so in a complete and timely manner.
If you are asking yourself as a business owner, “How do I get this done”? The answer is simple, you contact one of our business consultants! Whether you have a program currently in place that needs to be updated or you are a new business owner who doesn’t have anything currently in place and needs to start from scratch, we will be able to create a program that works for your business operation while also keeping you compliant with the state requirements.
One of the main goals of most, if not all, business owners is to provide for their family and to create an environment that allows their employees to do the same. We can help you maintain that as a very realistic and attainable goal for you and your business.