If your business is getting ready to re-open, you need to consider yet another item on the re-opening checklist: an Injury, Illness and Prevention Plan (“IIPP”) to address COVID-19. Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations section 3203 requires every employer to develop a written IIPP that protects employees from workplace hazards. As a result, it is likely that you must now consider COVID-19 as a workplace hazard, to which employees are now exposed. The failure to create and implement an appropriate IIPP can lead to serious legal consequences.
Luckily, the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health (“Cal-OSHA”) provides guidance and easy to modify forms and checklists that can help you create and develop an IIPP that addresses COVID-19:
Step-By-Step Guidance On How To Create Your Own Written IIPP Customized To Your Workplace:
Sample IIPP Forms and Checklists:
Cal-OSHA’s Consultation eTools with Action Kits:
Cal-OSHA’s Guide to Developing Your Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program With Checklists For Self-Inspection, describes the employers’ responsibilities in establishing, implementing, maintaining, an IIP Program:
An IIPP must be written and include the following elements:
An effective IIPP is not just a paper program. For your IIPP to be effective, Cal-OSHA identifies four items to put into practice in your workplace:
Your workplace assessment needs to identify the workplace hazards posed by COVID-19 and measures to prevent or reduce the spread of the virus based on your operations. You should assess and implement the following basic measures: cleaning and disinfecting; good hand hygiene; when and what PPE is needed or appropriate; physical distancing; and training employees on COVID-19 infection prevention methods. Implementing your prevention measures could incorporate Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Fed-OSHA”), state and local guidelines and orders. Good sources to incorporate into the written IIPP include:
Cal-OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus:
Fed-OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 publication
Identifies different COVID-19-related risk categories for workers, including higher-risk industries, and provides specific guidance for workplace safety for those industries.
As has been the case so far with the innumerable legal issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers must pay close attention to the constantly changing rules and guidance related to this pandemic. The attorneys at Garcia & Gurney, ALC can help with that, including assisting you with modifying your IIPP, as needed.