California Workplace Violence Prevention – SB 553

Sources from our partners at TrustMineral.com, CAL/OSHA, and AskHR.

Workplace Violence Prevention Plans

Starting on July 1, 2024, employers of all sizes will be required to have a written workplace violence prevention plan, maintain a violent incident log, and provide workplace violence prevention training to employees. These requirements will apply to nearly all California employers and employees. Exceptions include healthcare employers covered by the state’s workplace violence prevention plan standard, remote employees working at a location not controlled by the employer, and worksites with fewer than 10 employees that are not open to the public.

Under the new law, workplace violence means any act or threat of violence that happens at the workplace. This includes the use or threat of physical force against an employee that causes or is highly likely to cause injury, psychological trauma, or stress, as well as the threat or use of a firearm or weapon, whether or not the employee is injured.

There is no one-size-fits-all workplace violence prevention plan, but it is important for organizations to develop and tailor a plan and training to their specific industry, culture, and location.

Prevention Plan Requirements

Employers must develop and maintain a written workplace violence prevention plan that all employees can access and that is tailored to address the hazards and corrective measures in each work area and operation, and include the following:

  • Names and titles of people responsible for the plan.
  • Plan development procedures that include employee involvement.
  • Implementation and training methods.
  • Response procedures and antiretaliation protections.
  • Compliance procedures for supervisory and nonsupervisory employees.
  • Communication methods to include processes for reporting and investigation.
  • Hazard identification and correction procedures.
  • Post-incident response and investigations procedures.
  • Efficacy and annual review procedures.

The plan can either be incorporated into the employer’s existing written injury and illness prevention program (as a stand-alone section) or maintained as its own document. Employers are required to review the plan regularly and conduct periodic inspections to identify workplace violence hazards.

Cal/OSHA has created a general workplace violence prevention plan template for employers to use. Every employer/organization will need to tailor it to their specific work area or operation.

View the Template

Violent Incident Log

Employers must keep a violent incident log with specific information about each workplace violence incident. The information in the log must come from employees who experienced the incident, witness statements, and investigational findings. Personal identifying information (such as names and addresses) that would allow someone to identify those involved in the incident should be excluded from the log. The log must be reviewed annually when a violent incident occurs and when a deficiency arises.

Employers may develop their own violent incident log, as long as the information recorded in the log complies with the requirements.

View all Violent Incident Log requirements on Page 2 of the SB 553 FAQ Sheet.

Training

Employers must provide workplace violence prevention training to employees when their plan is first established and annually after, as well as when new hazards are identified and/or when changes are made to the plan. The training is to include information regarding:

  • Familiarizing employees with the plan, how to get a copy, and how to participate in the development and implementation of the employer’s plan.
  • How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns without fear of retaliation.
  • Understanding job-specific violence hazards and preventative measures.
  • Purpose of the violent incident log and how to get copies.
  • The opportunity for interactive discussions and a chance to get answers from an individual with knowledge of the employer’s plan.

Currently, there are no specific requirements regarding the length of the training.  We will provide any updates if CalOSHA gives additional guidance on this topic before the July 1st, 2024, effective date.

For Church & Casualty customers: Mineral offers a training course for both Managers and Employees called “Workplace Violence Prevention in California “. This course is a good starting point and uses OSHA guidelines and recommendations to reduce employee exposures to this hazard. This training provides the employee with information on how to recognize workplace security hazards and risk factors, how to prevent workplace assaults, and what to do when an assault occurs, including emergency action and post-emergency procedures.

Keep in mind that while this course is CA-specific, it is not fully compliant on its own. You will still need to educate employees on the bullet points not covered in any third party training course.

To sign up for Mineral, contact your Account Manager or fill out this authorization form.

Recordkeeping

  • Records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction must be created and maintained for a minimum of five years.
  • Training records must be created and maintained for a minimum of one year.
  • Violence Incident Logs must be maintained for a minimum of five years.
  • Records of workplace violence incident investigations must be maintained for a minimum of five years.
  • Cal/OSHA Form 300 for five years.

Training records, including training dates, contents or summaries of the sessions, names, and qualifications of those who conducted the training, and names and job titles of training session attendees, must be kept for one year.

Resources

Our partners at Kingdom One have developed a toolkit that includes SB 553 specific plans and templates.

View the SB 553 Fact Sheet SB 553 Frequently Asked Questions

For questions and free technical assistance, employers should contact the Cal/OSHA Consultation Services Branch at (800) 963-9424 or by email at InfoCons@dir.ca.gov.

 

For more safety resources, visit our Safety Resource Center page.