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Home » California Gets Serious on Workplace Violence: New Law Enforces Prevention Plans and Training
April 10, 2024

California Gets Serious on Workplace Violence: New Law Enforces Prevention Plans and Training

California has taken a significant step towards protecting workers from violence in the workplace. Senate Bill 553, which goes into effect on July 1, 2024, requires most employers in the state to implement a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan (WVPP) and provide annual training to employees.

Why the New Law?

Workplace violence is a significant issue that can have devastating consequences for employees, their families, and businesses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two million private-sector workers experience workplace violence annually in the United States. California’s new law aims to proactively prevent such incidents by raising awareness and establishing clear protocols for handling potentially violent situations.

What Employers Need to Do

Here is a quick rundown of the key requirements for California employers under this new law:

  • All workplace violence incidents must be documented in a violent incident log:  Information recorded in this log must be based on statements from employees who experienced the violence, witness statements, and any subsequent investigation findings. To ensure confidentiality, all entries must omit any personal identifying information that could potentially reveal the identities of those involved in the incident.
  • Develop a Written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP): This plan should outline procedures for preventing violence, reporting incidents, and responding to emergencies. Cal/OSHA, the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, has published a helpful model WVPP that employers can use as a starting point.
  • Provide Annual Training to Employees: The training program should educate employees about the company’s WVPP, including how to recognize and report warning signs of violence, and what steps to take during an incident. The training materials must be easy to understand and cater to the employees’ education level and preferred language.
  • Maintain Records: Employers are required to keep records of workplace violence incidents for five years and training documentation for one year.

Who is Exempt?

There are a few limited exceptions to the law. Employers exempt from implementing a WVPP include:

  • Certain healthcare facilities with their own established plans
  • Employees who exclusively telework from a location outside the employer’s control
  • Workplaces with fewer than 10 employees with no public access

Why This Law Matters

Workplace violence is a serious concern, and this new law is a positive step towards creating safer work environments for California employees. By taking proactive measures to prevent violence and ensuring employees know how to respond to threats, employers can help reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities.

Taking Action

If you are a California employer, it is crucial to take action now to comply with SB 553. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Review the Cal/OSHA Model WVPP: Familiarize yourself with the recommended elements of a workplace violence prevention plan.
  • Develop or Update Your WVPP: If you do not already have a plan in place, use the model plan as a guide to create your own.
  • Train Your Employees: Schedule training sessions to educate your workforce about the WVPP and how to recognize and report potential workplace violence.

By taking proactive steps to prevent violence in the workplace, California employers can create a safer and more secure work environment for all their employees.

Resources for Employers

Cal/OSHA has released various resources to help employers comply with the new law, including a model WVPP, fact sheets, and FAQs. Employers can find this information on the Cal/OSHA website:

Stay Informed, Stay Safe

If you are a California employer, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the requirements of Senate Bill 553. By taking proactive steps to implement a workplace violence prevention plan and train your employees, you can help create a safer and more secure work environment for everyone.

We are Here to Help

At Don Ramatici Insurance, we understand the importance of risk management. Here are some ways we can assist you with SB 553 compliance:

  • Provide resources and information about the law and its implementation.
  • Review your current insurance coverage to ensure it adequately addresses potential workplace violence risks.

Contact Us

Categories: Commercial

Tags: business insurance, california, commercial, insurance, liability, north bay, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, workplace violence prevention

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