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CA Workplace Violence Regulation

Understanding California's New Workplace Violence Act: SB 553

Governor Gavin Newsom has taken steps to improve workplace safety by signing SB 553 into law, which focuses on preventing and addressing incidents of violence in the workplace. Starting July 1, 2024, California employers will need to adhere to these regulations to better protect their employees.

Here's what you need to know about SB 553:

Workplace Violence Prevention Plan: Employers must establish a detailed plan with 13 essential components, such as appointing responsible personnel, setting up incident reporting procedures, and defining protocols for post-incident assessment. By having these guidelines in place, companies can take proactive steps to reduce risks and create a safer work environment for their employees.

Training: All employees must undergo comprehensive training on the workplace violence prevention plan. This training will cover various aspects of the plan, including understanding reporting mechanisms, identifying potential hazards, and mitigating threats. Importantly, the training will be tailored to accommodate different literacy levels and language proficiencies to ensure that everyone can fully grasp the information provided. By equipping employees with the necessary knowledge and skills, organizations can enhance their preparedness and response to workplace violence incidents.

Incident Log: Employers must maintain a detailed log of workplace violence incidents. This log will capture essential details of each incident while safeguarding the personal identifying information of those involved. With nine legally mandated components, including descriptions of events and types of violence, employers can keep comprehensive records of incidents while prioritizing confidentiality and privacy.

Definition of Workplace Violence: SB 553 defines workplace violence broadly to encompass a wide range of behaviors, from physical altercations to verbal threats, regardless of resulting injuries. This inclusive definition aims to address various potential hazards, ensuring comprehensive protection for employees.

Training Delivery: The training sessions will be accessible to all employees, regardless of language or literacy barriers. Trainers, well-versed in the prevention plan, will play a crucial role in delivering effective training and addressing questions from employees, thereby enhancing overall preparedness.

Exemptions: While most employers must comply with SB 553, certain exemptions exist. For example, healthcare employers governed by separate workplace violence prevention rules and smaller worksites with fewer than 10 employees are exempt. Additionally, remote workers operating outside employer control are excluded. However, all employers must remain vigilant and adhere to relevant regulations to ensure comprehensive workplace safety.

By mandating proactive measures, comprehensive training, and incident logging, California aims to create environments where employees feel secure and protected. As the enforcement date approaches, employers should begin taking steps to implement the necessary measures to comply with SB 553, demonstrating their commitment to maintaining a violence-free workplace.

SB 553 brings significant changes to workplace safety requirements, and Krogh & Decker is here to support your organization through the transition. Our experienced legal professionals can provide personalized guidance to ensure your compliance with the law. Reach out to us for expert assistance in protecting your employees and maintaining a safe working environment. Ph. (916) 498-9000 / info@kroghdecker.com

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