February Industry Highlight: Complying with SB 553
California has enacted a new workplace violence prevention law (SB 553) requiring almost all employers to have a written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP), train employees, and have a log of workplace violence incidents by July 1, 2024. In order to meet this deadline, employers should start preparations now including meeting with stakeholders to perform a workplace violence hazard assessment and developing a WVPP.
There are three important elements to SB 553.
Coordinating Compliance with Other Employers
In multiple-employer settings, everyone is required to coordinate implementation. Examples include:
- Leased office spaces – coordination with the property owner and other offices is crucial.
- Construction projects – the general contractor would need to coordinate with the site owner and all other subcontractors.
Involving Employees in Plan Development
The law requires employers to offer employees the opportunity to be involved in the development and implementation process. These employees must also be trained on how to address workplace violence hazards. Remote employees are exempt from this requirement but it is best practice to include everyone. All supervisors must be able to answer questions from employees.
Determining Plan Elements and Procedures
The law requires the WVPP include procedures for:
- Identifying and evaluating workplace violence hazards;
- Responding to an actual or potential workplace violence emergency; and,
- Ensuring employee compliance with the plan.
SB 553 is a proactive strategy to enhance the safety of employees. Starting the process now will ensure you are prepared to prevent workplace violence and avoid the costs that go along with it. Contact your C3 broker for a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan template and training materials.