Joe Whiteman, Director of Safety Services, The Voice Newsletter, March 2024

Attention ASCC member companies operating in California:

California's recent enactment of SB 553/California Labor Code Section 6401.9 mandates comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans for almost all employers in the state. This development, often exemplified by the saying "as goes California, so goes the country," may signal a trend for other states to follow suit with similar legislation.

Key Points for Companies operating in California:

Compliance Deadline: Companies in California must develop and implement a written prevention plan and conduct annual employee training by July 1.

Collaboration and Coordination: In multi-employer settings, companies must coordinate efforts to ensure all employees understand their roles in the plan, including training and incident reporting. This coordination includes determining which employers are responsible for specific aspects of the plan, such as training, investigation, and record-keeping.

Employee Engagement: Active involvement of all employees, including remote workers, is crucial in plan development and training to identify potential hazards effectively. The plan must provide mechanisms for employees to report concerns and receive appropriate training on recognizing and responding to workplace violence incidents.

Detailed Provisions: The plan must include procedures for:

  • Identifying and evaluating workplace violence hazards, including conducting periodic worksite inspections and compiling employee reports and concerns.
  • Responding to actual or potential workplace violence emergencies, such as warning employees of imminent danger, contacting law enforcement, and providing support resources for affected employees.
  • Ensuring employee compliance with the plan, including methods for evaluating compliance, recognizing compliant behavior, and addressing non-compliance through additional training or disciplinary measures.

Future Implications: Other states may eventually adopt similar laws. ASCC member companies operating outside California should view this as a "heads up" for potential future requirements and prepare accordingly.

Taking proactive steps now will not only ensure compliance with California law but also position ASCC member companies for potential future legislation nationwide and be better prepared and ensure compliance with similar requirements while also promoting a safer work environment.

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