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How to Use the CVMA Guide to Cal/OSHA Compliance

This guide is divided into several sections that are listed in the menu bar above. The sections are as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Instructions
  • My Guide
  • Implementation
  • Training
  • Recordkeeping

In addition, access to a sample guide, forms, and frequently asked questions will be available throughout the guide in the right hand column.

Getting Started

The guide is designed for you to progress through each section. Start with “My Guide” in the middle of the menu bar. After that section is complete, progress to Implementation, then Training, and finally Recordkeeping.

When you go to “My Guide,” you will be prompted to enter some basic practice information to get started. Complete the necessary entry fields using the information below:

Owner Information

Complete all required fields indicated by a * to identify the owner of the veterinary practice and his or her email address.

Practice Information

Complete all required fields indicated by a * to identify the veterinary practice name and contact information.

Safety Coordinator Information

Complete all required fields indicated by a * to identify the coordinator(s) for each plan or program contained in your practice’s written safety plan. The law requires that a coordinator be named for each plan or program. The same person can be named as the coordinator for every plan or program. Although not required, it is permissible to have an alternate coordinator for each program. You will learn more about what each plan or program entails as you progress through the guide. You can come back to this section any time to change or update coordinator names.

Additional Questions

Answering these questions will result in a custom written safety guide specific to your practice. The answers that you provide will determine which, if any, of the additional sections of the guide will be required for your written plan.

Progressing Through the Guide

After completing the Practice Information page, you will be taken to the Table of Contents.

The first step is to print the sample written safety plan as well as all of the forms associated with the plan. In the right hand column at the top of this page, you will find a box which allows you to view the sample plan. Once the sample plan is open, you may print a hard copy for reference. To print all additional forms, select the “Download Additional Forms” link in the box on the right-hand side of the page. Having a printed sample plan and forms on hand before you progress through the guide will be a helpful reference for you to be able to complete the process. NOTE: the sample safety plan will not be accepted by Cal/OSHA because it does not contain your specific practice information.

Once you have your sample plan and forms in hand, go to the Table of Contents and get started. To the left of each section title in the Table of Contents, you will see a status indicator check mark to help you track your progress. It will either be gray when a section is incomplete, or green when all the required fields in the section are populated. To access each section, click the button to the right of the section title to either “Complete Now” or to “Update and Review” the section. When you click this button, you will be taken to an introduction page which will provide the information needed to correctly complete the section.

The sections are as follows:

Details: Practice Information

Chapter 1: Written Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP)

Chapter 2: Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

Chapter 3: Fire Prevention Plan (FPP)

Chapter 4: Hazard Communication Program (HCP)

Chapter 5: Zoonotic Disease Prevention Program

Chapter 6: Emergency Eye Wash

*Chapter 7: Anesthetic Gas Monitoring Program (only for practices that utilize halothane or isoflurane)

*Chapter 8: Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP) (only for practices with outdoor workers)

*Chapter 9:Wildfire Smoke Inhalation Protection (only for practices with outdoor workers)

Chapter 10: COVID-19 Worker Protection Policy (Updated February, 2023)

Chapter 11: Other Plan Components (Cal/OSHA programs which may, but are rarely, applicable to veterinary practices).

The IIPP, EAP, FPP, HCP, Zoonotic Disease Prevention and Emergency Eye Wash chapters are considered essential to veterinary practices and will satisfy Cal/OSHA’s requirements. The remaining chapters may be necessary, depending on the nature of each practice.

*Anesthetic Gas Monitoring, Heat Illness Prevention and Wildfire Smoke Inhalation Protection may or may not appear on your Table of Contents depending on how you answer the additional questions on the Practice Information page.

The Reset Tool

In the Table of Contents there is a red button called “Reset Guide”. By selecting this button, you will reset all of the policy statements to their original formats. Any edits that you make to the existing statements, additional statements that you add in, or deletions will be reset after you verify that you want to reset your guide. The practice and chapter information that you have entered will not be lost.

In individual policy sections, you will see a “Reset Tool” red button. This button will only reset the policy statements for the section that you are in.

Once Your Plan is Complete

You will be able to print your personalized Cal/OSHA written safety plan only after all chapters in the Table of Contents are complete and show green check marks. To download and print your plan, go to the box at the top of the Table of Contents page and click the button “Download My Plan”.

NOTE: Cal/OSHA regulations require that your plan be revisited and updated at least annually, but the plan should be updated whenever any changes to your plan are made. Each time you login to the CVMA Guide to Cal/OSHA Compliance and make changes, the date and time will be automatically captured and reflected on the newly printed version of the your plan. Any time you make changes to your guide, it is recommended that you print a new version to have on hand in your practice.

You should periodically review your IIPP, revise/update, reprint, redistribute to employees, train employees on changes, and document training as needed. At a minimum, you should do this annually. Even if you have no changes, logging into your guide and reprinting it at least once yearly will ensure that you have a current copy on hand in the event of an inspection.


With your written plan now complete, you can progress to the implementation section by selecting “Implementation” in the menu bar. This will provide you with instructions on how to initiate and implement your workplace safety and health plan. Implementation includes the following:

  • Informing your staff of your new Cal/OSHA Safety and Health policies and plans
  • Conducting a workplace inspection
  • Completing hazard corrections
  • Creating an employee training program
  • Initiating recordkeeping


Employee training should take place on an ongoing basis and can cover a variety of relevant workplace health and safety topics. The training section provides guidance on what is required in a training program, including topics, methods of delivery, topics and documentation.

This section provides sample training modules applicable to veterinary practice. You are encouraged to expand training to fit the specific needs of your practice.


  • Treatment of infection
  • Treatment for second- or third-degree burns
  • Sutures
  • Foreign body embedded in the eye
  • Complicated foreign body removal (more than a simple sliver)
  • Prescription medications
  • Surgical debridement
  • Positive X-ray diagnosis
  • Hospitalization for treatment

Recordkeeping is a crucial ongoing component of Cal/OSHA compliance. Each Cal/OSHA regulation can have distinct recordkeeping requirements. This section will help you to establish a recordkeeping system that complies with Cal/OSHA requirements.

View and print a sample of the CVMA Cal/OSHA Safety Plan

View Sample