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Is Your Business Ready for California’s Workplace Violence Prevention Law?

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Nearly all business owners in California with more than 10 employees* have a new legal requirement from Cal/OSHA regarding workplace violence prevention that needs to be in place as of July 1, 2024. The recently passed California law SB 553 mandates that covered employers implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans, provide training to employees, and maintain detailed incident logs. The goal is to proactively identify risks and establish protocols to better protect workers from violence occurring in the workplace.

As small business owners, it’s crucial to understand these changes and ensure your company is prepared to meet the new standards. Here’s what you need to know and how Pacific Crest Group can assist you in navigating these requirements effectively.

What Does the Law Require?
By July 1, 2024, you must have a written workplace violence prevention plan that covers items such as:

  • Designating responsible parties for the implementation of the plan
  • Procedures for employee involvement in developing the plan
  • Methods for reporting violent incidents or concerns without retaliation
  • Emergency response protocols like evacuation plans
  • Procedures for investigating incidents and correcting hazards

The plan needs to be readily available to all employees at all times. You must also provide worker training on the prevention plan initially and annually thereafter. This law also requires employers to include an opportunity for question-and-answer protocols with employees.

Detailed Record-Keeping Is Critical
One of the more demanding aspects of SB 553 is the record-keeping requirements. You must log every workplace violence incident with extensive details like date, time, location, descriptions of the incident, classifications of the violence type and circumstances, and more. These logs must be maintained for five years.

You’ll also need to document hazard assessments, incident investigations, and worker training sessions for five years and one year, respectively. Properly capturing and retaining all this information will be critical for compliance.

How Pacific Crest Group’s HR Consultants Can Help
Interpreting the intricacies of this new law and developing prevention materials from scratch could quickly become overwhelming for a small business owner. That’s where our experienced HR consulting team can provide guidance and solutions tailored to your organization’s needs.

We can work closely with you to:

  • Craft a comprehensive workplace violence prevention plan
  • Develop training programs and materials for your staff
  • Implement efficient systems for reporting, record-keeping, and investigations
  • Conduct risk assessments and hazard analyses
  • Ensure your policies and practices are fully compliant with SB 553

Our clients benefit from having an HR partner who knows their business, employees, operations, and tools to effectively and efficiently put the necessary pieces in place for compliance. Katrina Fehring, Partner and Senior HR Advisor at Pacific Crest Group shares the importance of approaching this as a business objective. “Creating a safe work environment is not just a regulatory requirement but a fundamental commitment to your employees’ well-being. By proactively implementing a comprehensive Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, small businesses can foster a culture of safety, trust, and productivity. This plan should be tailored to address specific workplace hazards and actively involve employees in its development and execution, ensuring everyone feels secure and valued,” she said.

Don’t let this new mandate catch your small business unprepared. Reach out today to learn how our HR experts can partner with you on workplace violence prevention, saving you time and potential liabilities and giving you peace of mind that your employees and business are protected. Together, let’s prioritize safety and security in the workplace.

*SB 553 applies to most California employers, with specific exemptions for Locations with fewer than ten employees that are not accessible to the public, telecommuters working from locations not controlled by the employer, and certain healthcare, law enforcement, and detention facilities covered under other regulations.

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