California employers may soon be required to provide their workers with access to the company’s written workplace injury and illness prevention plans (IIPP), if the state’s Occupational Safety And Health Standards Board moves forward on a proposal that would mandate it. The change would amend a requirement that employers have IIPPs that has been in effect since 1991.

The Employee Access to Injury and Illness Prevention Program is on the agenda for today’s Standards Board’s public and business meeting. When an employee requests access to the IIPP, a company would be required provide it by either giving a printed or electronic copy to the employee or their designated representative within five business days of a request or by allowing an employee to review it via the company’s server or website.

Five days, $10

Comments received about the proposed rule objected to the five day requirement as being too brief for compliance, and the estimated cost of compliance with the regulation ($10) as being too low.

In responding to the cost argument, the Standards Board noted that “reviewing regulatory requirements is a cost of doing business and is not unique to safety and health regulations. The proposed amendments clarify that employers must make the IIPP available to employees and their designated representatives, but do not place significant additional requirements on them…providing the access need not be a complex procedure requiring costly development.”

Timely responses

A for the timeline, the Board said it recognized that employees being out of the office and other challenges can make timely responses to requests for access to the IIPP “less convenient,” but it aimed to give employers “the flexibility to respond to such situations by creating their own procedure for responding to such requests.”