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Understanding California Senate Bill 553 - Workplace Violence Prevention

Understanding California Senate Bill 553 - Workplace Violence Prevention

In response to increasing concerns over workplace safety, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 553 (SB 553) into law, a significant step towards ensuring a safer work environment for all employees. This new legislation, effective July 1, 2024, mandates all employers establish, implement, and maintain an effective Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP). SB 553 underscores the state’s commitment to enhancing workplace safety by requiring employers to proactively address and mitigate the risks associated with workplace violence.

Empowering Cal/OSHA

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) enforces the requirements outlined in SB 553, which are now codified in California Labor Code Section 6401.9. This puts the responsibility for compliance and enforcement in the hands of a dedicated regulatory body.

Cal/OSHA published a Model WVPP, similar to existing models such as the Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) and COVID-19 Prevention policy. Model WVPP serves as a valuable resource for employers, specifically designed to aid employers in formulating their own customized workplace violence prevention plans. While not mandatory, the Model WVPP offers a structured framework that employers can adopt as a template for their individualized plans.

The Model WVPP provides a comprehensive set of questions and examples, enabling employers to conduct a thorough risk assessment of their workplaces. This empowers employers to identify potential risks and tailor their prevention plans accordingly.

Navigating Requirements

Cal/OSHA has also released a Fact Sheet for Employers, offering a clear overview of the requirements set forth by SB 553. The fact sheet provides an overview of the following criteria:

  • Creating a workplace violence prevention plan
  • Maintaining a violent incident log
  • Employer responsibilities in workplace violence record keeping 
  • Training employees on workplace violence 

By providing detailed guidance on the essential components of compliance, the fact sheet equips employers with the necessary knowledge to navigate the intricate landscape of workplace violence prevention.

The Assistance Of A PEO

As the implementation date for SB 553 draws closer, California business owners are seeking reliable support to ensure compliance with new WVPP requirements. This is where a professional employer organization (PEO) like Group Management Services (GMS) comes into play. PEOs offer tailored expertise in HR solutions, including specialized guidance on workplace safety protocols and regulatory compliance. By partnering with GMS, California business owners can tap into tailored support for developing and implementing effective WVPPs, ultimately creating a safer and more secure work environment for their employees. Are you interested in learning more? Contact our safety experts today.

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