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Cal/OSHA and UC Berkeley offer workplace safety training for small businesses

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and Cal/OSHA have joined forces with the University of California, Berkeley's Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) and partners in business, insurance and public health sectors to provide small businesses in California with training so that they can address workplace hazards and prevent injuries and illnesses.

California requires that all employers carry out effective injury and illness prevention activities on the job. The requirements include a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) with specific elements that include assessing hazards on the job, implementing control methods to prevent accidents and illnesses, maintaining safety records, and providing an effective training program for workers. IIPP-related violations continue to be among the most frequently cited by Cal/OSHA. 

"Many small business owners do not know where to turn for help when they receive a citation for a deficient IIPP," said DIR Director Christine Baker, "this program reaches out to small businesses to inform them of what can really work to protect their employees on the job. We are working with partners in workplace safety to keep prevention at the top of everyone's agenda." 

The Taking Action for Safety and Health training course has already taken place in Pleasanton and Vacaville; upcoming November sessions will be held in Salinas on the 14th, Sacramento on the 18th and another is planned for February 2014 in Santa Ana.  Since its initiation in December 2012, facilitators from LOHP have convened employers with 50 or fewer employees for the free, half-day program.   Participants learn how to promote a healthy workplace by identifying common safety problems and complete a template which serves as a model for writing their business' unique IIPP.  Cal/OSHA consultants are available during the training to explain technical aspects of Cal/OSHA requirements and answer questions. A day-long training program is also available from LOHP for larger businesses.

Julianne Sum, acting chief of Cal/OSHA, emphasized that one goal of a successful IIPP is to "engage workers in recognizing hazards and developing solutions as part of a living safety program."  The course provides small business owners and managers the opportunity to interact with experts in occupational safety as well as share industry-specific challenges and approaches to prevention with their peers. 

For more information on the course, visit the Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program website; to sign up for a training session, email [email protected] or call (510) 643-8902. 

Cal/OSHA, a division of DIR, also provides an IIPP Online Tool  which includes a variety of resources for employers to improve and evaluate the effectiveness of their workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Plan.

Kathleen Hennessy
[email protected]

SOURCE Department of Industrial Relations

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