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Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program to Reduce Workplace Hazards and Protect Employees
The Semester-in-Residence project was conducted at Advanced BioMatrix under the direction of President David Bagley for the Human Resource department. Located in Carlsbad California, Advanced BioMatrix is a biotechnology manufacturing facility that produces highly purified extracellular macromolecules, such as proteins and proteoglycans, to researcher universities and institutions around the world. Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations (T8CCR) section 3203, states that “every employer to develop and implement an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).” Advanced BioMatrix currently has four employees. As the company begins to grow, a more established IIPP is needed to help maintain a safe working environment. Cal/OSHA, a California state program responsible for workplace health and safety was used to help build the IIPP for Advanced BioMatrix. An effective IIPP program contains 8 required elements including: responsibility, compliance, communication, hazard assessment, accident/exposure investigation, hazard correction, training and instruction, and recordkeeping. Each department at Advanced BioMatrix discussed the potential hazards found within their department. Items discussed include workplace ergonomics, emergency action and fire response, and chemical hazard communication. New office furniture was purchased to improve ergonomics including chairs and a standup desk. An emergency evacuation map was created to inform visitors and employees of multiple points of exits. The map also contained locations of fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are inspected monthly complying with standards set in T8CCR section 6151. A list of over 150 different chemicals found at Advanced BioMatrix was developed to gather all necessary Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s). Employees were trained to understand SDS’s and identify chemicals with potential hazards using the Global Harmonizing System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Standard Operation Procedures were written to prevent injury while working with bovine hide trimmers and handling liquid nitrogen The creation of an IIPP program will help identify and resolve potential workplace hazards. It is a foundational program that will encourage employees to communicate and give feedback on how to improve health and safety in the workplace.