SB 553 Requires Workplace Violence Prevention Plans

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SB 553 Requires Workplace Violence Prevention Plans and Trainings

December 01, 2023

SB 553 (Chapter 289, Statutes of 2023) was signed into law during the 2023 legislative session. This legislation mandates employers to add to their injury and illness prevention program (IIPP) and include a workplace violence prevention plan (WVPP), effective July 1, 2024, unless exempted. According to the bill’s author, the objective of SB 553 is to “expedite workplace violence prevention standards for non-healthcare workers and offer all workers the same protections that healthcare workers enjoy.” By expanding the IIPP, SB 553 authorizes Cal OSHA to enforce the WVPP’s and its associated requirements through citations and notices. Cal-OSHA’s enforcement underscores the importance for employers to ensure that their IIPP not only complies with existing requirements, but also aligns with the newly enacted SB 553.

Creating a WVPP will require the following:

  • The plan must be in writing and easily accessible to employees, authorized employee representatives, and to Cal-OSHA representatives at all times.
  • The WVPP can be incorporated as a standalone section in the IIPP.
  • The WVPP must clearly identify the names or job titles of the individuals responsible for implementing the plan.
  • Establish an effective procedure for active participation in identifying, evaluating and correcting workplace violence hazards as well as training, reporting and investigations.
  • Define methods that the employer will use to coordinate implementation.
  • Develop effective procedures to accept and respond to reports of workplace violence concerns, ensure compliance, and communication.
  • Establish employee reporting methods.
  • Implement effective means to alert employees of workplace violence emergencies, evacuation or sheltering plans, and obtaining assistance from staff.
  • Develop procedures to provide trainings for employees, including identification and evaluation of workplace violence hazards and procedures to correct the hazards. Ensure that training materials are appropriate in content and vocabulary to the educational level, literacy, and language of the employees.
  • Establish procedures for post-incident response and investigations, and review of the effectiveness of the plan at least annually.
  • Maintain training records for a minimum of one year, including training dates or a summary of the sessions, names and qualifications of the individuals conducting the training, and names and job titles of all persons attending the sessions.

In addition to the specific requirements listed above, the WVPP must include an incident log for every workplace violence incident. The violence incident log must be maintained for a minimum of five years and made available to Cal-OSHA upon request. The information required in the log includes:

  • Investigation findings and statements from employees who experienced the incident. However, personal identifying information, alone or in combination with other publicly available information revealing the person’s identity, should be omitted.
  • Date, time, and location of the incident.
  • The type of violence (refer to the table below) and a detailed description of the attack. (e.g., physical attack, attack with weapon, sexual assault, animal attack, etc.)
  • Classification of the perpetrator. (e.g., client, customer, friend, coworker, etc.)
  • Classification of circumstances at the time of incident. (e.g., working regular job duties, rushed, working during low staffing, etc.)
  • Classification of the location where the incident occurred.
  • Whether security or law enforcement was contacted.
  • Actions taken by the employer to protect the employee or other hazards identified because of the incident.
  • Information about the person completing the log, including name, job title, and date completed.

 

Workplace Violence Types Description

Type 1

Workplace violence committed by a person who has no legitimate business at the worksite, and includes violent acts by anyone who enters the workplace or approaches workers with the intent to commit a crime

Type 2

Workplace violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or visitors

Type 3

Workplace violence against an employee by a present or former employee, supervisor, or manager

Type 4

Workplace violence committed in the workplace by a person who does not work there, but has or is known to have had a personal relationship with employee

 

SB 553 requires Cal-OSHA to propose standards to be adopted regarding the WVPP along with any additional requirements the division deems necessary and appropriate, to protect the health and safety of employees, no later than December 31, 2026. Because these standards have not yet been developed, employers should make good faith efforts to comply with SB 553.

It is important for employers to adhere to these new requirements, as a failure to comply may result in civil penalties enforced by Cal-OSHA. Currently, Keenan SafeSchools and Keenan Safe Colleges offer the following workplace prevention trainings:

  • Workplace Violence: Awareness and Prevention
  • Threat Assessment
  • Terrorism: Awareness and Response
  • Active Assailant Preparedness
  • School Intruders
  • School Violence: Identifying and Addressing
  • Visual Weapons Screening

Additionally, IMRready offers a variety of workplace safety trainings including:

  • Threat and Physical Security Assessment (TaPS)
  • Crisis First Responder for Schools (CRF-S)
  • Comprehensive School Safety Plan Development (CSSP)
  • Conflict De-Escalation (CD-E)

If you have questions about workplace prevention training, please contact your Keenan Account Manager.

 

Keenan is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Clients are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities, and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the clients’ business activities.