The Ultimate Guide to Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) Development

Getting Started

Ultimate Injury and Illness Prevention Program Guide

IIPP stands for "injury and illness prevention program" and is required for most businesses operating in the state of California. When creating an injury and illness prevention program, it is important to understand that not every entity who asks for your IIPP is looking for the same thing. For instance, a Cal/OSHA enforcement officer is looking for an IIPP that meets the precise requirements outlined in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (T8CCR) section 3203. This guide will help you achieve compliance with this requirement and 97% of all other requirements you will face.

You may also be asked to provide your injury and illness prevention program to a workers’ comp insurance provider, a general contractor, a client you are working for or even a government municipality you are bidding to do work for. These entities can sometimes expect you to have more or different subject matter than what is usually expected or they may want to see specific activities addressed or procedures evidenced that are not necessarily required by Cal/OSHA. These cases are rare, but you do need to understand that the requirements may be different depending on who you ask and there's no single IIPP that will satisfy them all - out of the box.


Knowing Cal/OSHA's IIPP Requirements


IIPP Requirements

According to Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 3203, an injury and illness prevention program is an effective, basic, written, workplace safety program that every employer must develop and implement. The basic outline of the IIPP must consist of at least the following required elements:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Compliance
  3. Communication
  4. Hazard Assessment
  5. Accident/Exposure Investigation
  6. Hazard Correction
  7. Training and Instruction
  8. Recordkeeping

Furthermore, the IIPP must do the following in order to be effective:

  • Fully involve all employees, supervisors, and management
  • Identify all specific workplace or site hazards employees may be exposed to
  • Correct all hazards in an appropriate and timely way
  • Provide effective training to all employees.

Your IIPP must contain the above elements and it must be effective, as defined by Cal/OSHA. Using the above criteria will ensure you’re IIPP is not only effective but compliant as well!


Believing In Your IIPP

IIPP Templates

An injury and illness prevention program without the commitment of the organization's owners and management is ineffective. There are good reasons to commit to safety and your newly developed IIPP. Some people commit out of "fear of consequence" and others out of "good faith" or a desire to keep workers safe and operations efficient. If you don't have a reason, here are a few you might consider:

  • It’s The Law w/ Penalty For Non-Compliance
  • Reduces Injury and Illness Frequency and Severity
  • Keeps Workers Comp Insurance Premiums Low
  • Increases Operational Efficiency
  • Reduces Employee Turnover Frequency

Regardless of which reasons motivate you, it is critical to understand that it's really just about people going home each day - alive. Almost every evening in the U.S., someone goes to bed with the knowledge that their father, brother or child will never come home again, because they were killed on the job. It's a statistical fact, but our IIPP is going to help reduce the chances of that happening to our employees! That's something every person should want to believe in.

Things To Know Before You Start

IIPP Samples

Developing and implementing an IIPP has challenges. Here are some things other businesses have faced during the process. Hopefully, you can learn to avoid the most common challenges by having the following list of "need to know's":

  1.  If you do not assign responsibility to an individual person for the IIPP's execution, it will absolutely fail.
  2. If the person you assign this responsibility to is incompetent, not committed or does not have the time to execute the IIPP, it will fail.
  3. If you do not hold this person accountable for the execution of the IIPP, it will start out strong, but will ultimately fail within a few months.
  4. If the IIPP is too long and complicated, no one will read or use it.
  5. You must distribute the IIPP to all employees at the time of hire.
  6. A copy of the IIPP should be available at all times on permanent and temporary work sites so employees can access it at any time.
  7. Your IIPP may need to be accompanied by other safety documents such as a heat illness prevention program or site-specific safety plan; which can be purchased and downloaded on this site.
  8. In the state of California, all construction industry companies are required to perform a documented safety meeting/toolbox talk. The safety meeting topics and sign in sheets you need for this are also available for instant download here if you don't already have safety meeting topics.

Using Our IIPP Templates

IIPP Templates

Our injury and illness prevention program templates are specifically designed for small businesses headquartered in or operating in the state of California. They were carefully designed to meet Cal/OSHA basic requirements as per Title 8 CCR Section 3203 and they meet 97% of all other requirements you'll face from insurance companies, clients, general contractors, government entities, etc. - out of the box. Each template comes with the option to download a Spanish / Espanol version as well. If you do not have non-English reading employees, you don't need to worry about having a Spanish version. It is required only if you have employees who cannot read English.

When you purchase and download one of our IIPP templates, you will be automatically directed to an order confirmation page where you may download the templates you chose instantly. All IIPP's are delivered as a completely editable Microsoft Word document so you can edit as much or as little as needed. You will also receive an email from us with a download link to your product. This is perfect if you're ordering on a mobile device now but want to download later on.

Once you're on a device that has Microsoft Word, you can download and begin editing.


Editing The IIPP Content

 Editing the IIPP

When it comes to injury and illness prevention program templates, it's better to have one that contains "more" content instead of one that doesn't contain "enough" content.  Mainly because it's easier to "delete" non-applicable content than it is to "write" missing content. For this reason, our templates contain "more" than what you'll find with the usual model programs. This allows you to identify areas that are not applicable, then simply delete that content before saving and printing or emailing.

Although it is rare, sometimes customers need additional content or additional documents. If at any time you realize that you need more content, simply contact us through the contact page and we'll advise on what to do next. Usually, we have something on hand that we can email you and that satisfies any extra requirements.

Finalizing and Distributing The IIPP

Updating the IIPP

Once you have completed the editing phase of your IIPP, you are ready to finalize it and distribute it. First, finalize it by ensuring all company names, individual names and dates are complete and accurate. Then, save the Microsoft Word document "as" a PDF. Now you can distribute a PDF version of your IIPP to employees or anyone else that is more protected. You don't want to give editing privileges to anyone outside your organization's management team.

Now, go ahead and email the PDF version to anyone who has requested it or print the IIPP on your local printer. You may save some paper by printing on both sides of the paper or you can let your printing company print it for you by emailing it directly to them.


Keeping Your IIPP Updated

Revising the IIPP

Contrary to popular belief, the IIPP document requirements set forth by Cal/OSHA do not actually change that often. Furthermore, when updates to the standards happen, they usually don't impact your IIPP because the updates are most often not covered in the IIPP due to its basic nature. 

However, this does not mean updates are not necessary. So the best approach to updates is to perform an annual review of your IIPP to see if there are any conflicts with your current operations. You never know when or how often your scope of work is going to change. In addition to this, you will want to keep an eye out for any Title 8, Section 3203 changes that are published on the Cal/OSHA updates page. When changes do affect your IIPP, it will be widely published there.



Creating your own injury and illness prevention program (IIPP) using our templates is the quickest and most efficient way available today. However, it does require some work on your part. The implementation of the IIPP is the hardest part. So once your IIPP is distributed, remember to assign responsibility for implementation to someone, hold them accountable and continue improving safety in the workplace. Failure to establish and maintain an effective injury and illness prevention program could result in an employee injury, illness or fatality. It happens every day in the U.S. workplace.