The enactment of California SB 553, which takes effect July 1, 2024, creates the first general industry workplace violence prevention safety requirements in the United States. California SB 553 requires California employers to develop their own workplace violence prevention plans as part of their Cal/OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Plans or as a standalone Violence in the Workplace Prevention Program. Businesses must begin complying with the law on July 1, 2024.
Most organizations have either a partial Workplace Violence Prevention Program or an Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) in place as required for all organizations under OSHA’s jurisdiction. OSHA, however, does not have specific requirements for a Workplace Violence Prevention program.
Many US organizations conduct business in California and must comply with this requirement. As an industry best practice and to ensure compliance, organizations should consider rolling out the plan to their entire organization, not just for their California-based operations. So goes California, the rest of the states have a strong tendency to follow suit in due time.
To ascertain the current state of your program, your organization must conduct a program assessment to develop a strategic plan to ensure compliance with California SB 553. Key provisions of this would include:
- Reviewing existing HR, Security, Workplace, Business Continuity, and Injury Illness program policies, procedures, and business processes that have a nexus to the California SB 553 requirement.
- California SB 553 minimum requirements to be assessed, to the extent they are available, include:
1. Program roles and responsibilities
2. Identification of workplace hazards
3. Reporting methods without fear of reprisal
4. Remediation of workplace incidents and hazards
6. Employee communications
7. Plan compliance
8. Emergency Response
9. Post-incident response and investigation
The uniqueness of your organization should be addressed through the program assessment findings. Once your organization identifies the gap between the current state of your program and California SB 553 compliance items, you can work on addressing the items you may be deficient in. This phase of the endeavor will be more technical in defining the elements and recording them in a formal program document.
Should you require outside assistance in addressing your California SB 553 program compliance, please do reach out to us to begin a discussion on how Premier Risk Solutions can help.