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Creating and Maintaining a Safe Work Environment

Have I Taken the Proper Safety Precautions?

Create your Injury and Illness Prevention Program.  The IIPP is a basic written workplace safety program.  Every employer in the State of California is required by law to develop and implement an effective IIPP.  Cal/OSHA has created an e-tool to assist employers create theirs.  That e-tool can be found here

Confined Spaces can be deceiving and often appear to be harmless.  If your business requires that employees work in or around confined spaces, you are required to provide:

  • A written confined space plan, including recognizing and marking all confined spaces on site;
  • Procedures to test and monitor the air inside confined spaces before and during all employee entries;
  • Procedures to prevent unauthorized entries and to have an attendant outside the space at all times;
  • Effective controls of all existing atmospheric or safety hazards inside the confined space;
  • Employee and supervisor training on safe work procedures, hazard controls, and rescue procedures; and
  • Effective rescue procedures which are immediately available on site.
  • For more information on the risks of working in confined spaces and how to ensure workplace safety please see the Confined Spaces page on the Cal/OSHA website.

 Heat Illness Prevention: If your business requires that workers be outside for long periods of time, especially in warm weather, it is mandatory that you provide adequate water and shade space for them.  There are four steps employers are required to take to prevent heat illness:

  • Training – Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
  • Water – Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, and encourage them to do so.
  • Shade – Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes.  They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  • Planning – Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.
  • Further Heat Illness Prevention information is available here, as well as dates and locations of upcoming trainings, and educational resources such as the Employer Training Kit. 

Cal/OSHA provides a Consultation Service to employers through on-site visits, telephone support, publicationseTools and educational outreach.

Cal/OSHA is always adding and updating workplace safety publications to their website as well to help employers as well.  Everything from construction safety, to ergonomics and bloodborne pathogens is covered at the Cal/OSHA Publications Page

Employee Injury and Workers' Compensation

  • If an employee should get injured or sick at work, it is required by law that the injury or illness be reported to Cal/OSHA.  Follow this flowchart to better understand the claims process.
  • It is understandable that you may have many questions about the Workers’ Compensation process and regulations.  This FAQ will help answer questions you might have, and use the ZIP code locator tool to help find the Division of Workers’ Compensation office nearest you. 

Small Business Portal Homepage

April 2012

The Department of Industrial Relations is a resource for small businesses. Contact us for information and assistance with workplace requirements.

Get resources on workplace safety and health requirements.

Know how to pay workers properly.

Learn about having an insurance plan to cover workplace injuries and illnesses.

Find workforce solutions by developing an approved apprenticeship program.