Grand Jury orders Truckee to update illness prevention program

Scott Hess

The Nevada County Grand Jury has reviewed Truckee’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program and has determined that it needs to be updated.

Backed by California Senate Bill 198, Labor Code Section 6400 and the California Code of Regulations, the California Grand Jury interviewed Alex Terrazas, Truckee’s Assistant to the Town Manager, and the Administrative Services Director at the time, Jill Olsen, about Truckee’s IIP program. Also, the grand jury studied Truckee’s current IIP program, which has been in place since 1996, when Truckee’s General Plan was established.

According to the report, SB 198 “mandates that employers be accountable for the occupational safety and health of their employees.” Likewise, Labor Code Section 6400 “requires every employer to provide ‘a safe and healthful workplace for his/her employees.'” Also, the CCR “requires every California employer to have an effective injury and illness prevention program in writing that must be in accord with Title 8 CCR Section 3203 of the General Industry Safety Orders.”

After the study was conducted, the grand jury listed 20 items that it felt contributed to the need of an updated IIP program. These items included issues surrounding all aspects of Truckee life, including the 2001 addition of a police department, which the report says will significantly increase Truckee’s employee base.

The report also says that Truckee’s IIP program has not been updated since its creation in 1996, the town’s safety committee has “fallen into disuse” and, “The Safety Officer was unable to confirm if supervisors in the departments adhere to the record keeping requirements.”

Terrazas said that the Town of Truckee had already been investigating its IIP program before the grand jury’s report, and that they have been working with the Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California to create a new IIP program.

“We are moving forward and we are taking this very seriously,” Terrazas said. Among the changes that are being made, Terrazas mentioned the town is going to reestablish the safety committee, which should be up and running “in a couple weeks.” Also, it is conducting safety meetings, trying to find ways to properly train employees about safety and “create a higher sense of safety awareness,” Terrazas said.

The Grand Jury concluded that Truckee’s original IIP Program was established to have just enough of an IIP Program at the time of Truckee’s incorporation. The grand jury’s report says, “Given the town’s growth and the addition of a police department, an effective and comprehensive safety program is critical.”

At several points in the report, the grand jury mentioned the lack of “training of the trainers” in Truckee. Terrazas said that is something the town is looking at – a possible solution would be to train a “core set of employees” who would train the trainers.

The report also recommended Truckee “update publish and distribute the revised safety program manual to all employees by the end of 2003.”

Terrazas said PARSAC has drafted a model, and he estimates that a new IIP Program could be finalized in approximately two months.

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