Environmental Health and Safety Training
October 18, 2023
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence is the second leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the US, affecting nearly two million American workers annually.
On September 30, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 553 requiring virtually every California employer to take steps to prevent and respond to workplace violence. The law goes into effect on July 1, 2024 and mandates employers to establish, implement and maintain a workplace violence protection plan that includes logs of violent incidents and worker training on how to report incidents. The bill also authorizes collective bargaining representatives to seek temporary restraining orders on behalf of workers who are victims of violence or threats of violence.
The new law creates a California general industry standard to complement the existing Cal/OSHA Violence Prevention in Health Care standard for healthcare facilities.
The California law follows Texas’ Workplace Violence Prevention Act, signed into law earlier this year to address workplace violence in healthcare facilities. Although the Act took effect on September 1, 2023, healthcare facilities subject to the Act have until September 1, 2024 to comply. They include home healthcare service providers, licensed hospitals and nursing facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, free standing emergency medical centers, and licensed mental hospitals.
The Texas law requires healthcare facilities to establish a Workplace Violence Prevention Committee to develop a workplace violence prevention plan with input from at least one registered nurse, one licensed physician and one security services employee. In addition to developing a workplace violence prevention plan, healthcare facilities must create workplace violence prevention policies, implement response protocols for incidents of workplace violence and provide annual workplace violence prevention training.
Along with the Workplace Violence Prevention Act, the Texas Legislature also recently passed the Reporting Workplace Violence Act, that requires employers to post for employees the contact information for reporting instances of violence or suspicious activity to the [Texas] Department of Safety.
- California and Texas employers should act now to develop a workplace violence protection plan for all types of violence, whether it’s an active shooter or confrontations with aggressive customers.
- Employers should maintain an OSHA 300 log of all violent incidents against employees and post-incident investigations, as well as explain to employees how to report violent incidents without fear of retaliation.
- Employees should identify and evaluate workplace violence hazards, including scheduled periodic inspections to identify unsafe conditions and work practices and employee reports and concerns.
- Employers should provide employee training on how to identify early warning signs and behavioral indicators of workplace violence. Managers should be trained in how to effectively communicate workplace violence prevention policies and should know how to respond to incidents.
Click here for more information on Traliant’s Preventing Workplace Violence training.
Join Traliant’s webinar, “California’s New Workplace Violence Requirements: What Employers Need to Know to Comply,” on November 7, 2023 at 2 pm ET. Led by Traliant Chief Strategy Officer and former US Department of Justice attorney, Michael Johnson, the webinar will address the specifics of the new law to help employers understand what they need to do to comply.