Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Building a Safety Foundation

By Theresa Kiehn, President & CEO, AgSafe

Since 1991 all California employers with ten or more employees are required to have a written Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP). Even though it has been over 30 years since the regulation went into effect, the IIPP is still one of the most cited violations by Cal/OSHA across all industries, including agriculture. The citations under this code vary greatly, from not having a plan at all to failing to review it with your employees on a regular basis. The beginning of the new year is a great opportunity to give your IIPP time and attention before the season kicks off. In this article, we will cover the basic elements of the IIPP and pitfalls you should avoid.

Basic Elements of an IIPP

An effective IIPP improves the safety and health in your workplace and reduces costs through good management and employee involvement. The eight required Injury and Illness Prevention Program elements are:

  • Responsibility – this section identifies who in your operation has the authority and responsibility for implementing the provisions of the IIPP.
  • Compliance – this component outlines the system that ensures all workers comply with the rules for maintaining a safe work environment.
  • Communication – this element captures the plan for facilitating a continuous flow of two-way communication between management, supervisors and employees.
  • Hazard Assessment – periodic inspections of the workplace are essential to evaluating and reevaluating safety concerns; this section outlines the formalized plan for timely assessments.
  • Accident/Exposure Investigation – this section identifies the actions to be taken in the case of an actual incident or near-miss to help identify the root cause and then take corrective action.
  • Hazard Correction – this component identifies the process for correcting unsafe or unhealthy workplace conditions, practices or procedures.
  • Training and Instruction – as with any plan, there needs to be training to aid in implementation. This element provides details as to who, when and what needs to be trained.
  • Recordkeeping – this section outlines documentation requirements.

To be effective your IIPP must address the following areas:

  • Fully involve all employees, supervisors and management.
  • Identify the specific workplace hazards to which employees may be exposed.
  • Correct identified hazards in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Provide effective training.

In addition to your IIPP, operations are required to also have a Heat Illness Prevention Plan and a COVID-19 Prevention Plan.


It is important to develop an IIPP that fits the unique needs of your operation. When including specifics in your plan, ensure you can meet those benchmarks and appropriate documentation is occurring. Cal/OSHA will cite an operation based on what was included in their IIPP and review your training records. Additionally, make sure to review the plan with your teams annual and make it available upon request.

For useful tools in creating or updating your IIPP, take advantage of Cal/OSHA’s IIPP e-tool found at: www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools/09-031/how.htm.

Article provided by AgSafe