As previously addressed by the OSHA Law Blog, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Standards Board”) considered a proposed standard that would allow employee access to their employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (“IIPP”). During its January 16th, 2020 meeting the Standards Board approved the proposed rule, which is now expected to take affect on January 1, 2021.

The new standard will require employers to provide their employees with access to their written IIPP within five days of a request. The standard provides employers with some flexibility as to how they provide access to the IIPP. Employers have two options to comply with the standard. First, they can provide requesting employees with a printed or electronic copy of the program. Second, in lieu of providing a copy of program, employers can also allow employees “unobstructed access through a company server or website, which allows an employee to review, print, and email the current version of the Program.”

Employers are provided with additional flexibility in how they implement processes and procedures regarding employee requests for the IIPP. The proposed standard states that “[t]he employer shall communicate the right and procedure to access the Program to all employees.” In response to employer comments, the Standards Board stated this subsection is intended to provide “employers with flexibility in determining the best method for providing [] access.”

Given the Standards Board’s approval of the proposed standard, employers should begin considering how they will comply. While this standard is not technically complex, it is best for employers to develop processes and train their management officials ahead of time. That way, when Cal/OSHA begins enforcing this standard, they will be ahead of the curve.