Cal/OSHA Releases Revised Draft of Workplace Violence Prevention Regulation

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) released a revised workplace violence prevention regulation draft. If Cal/OSHA adopted the regulation, it would become a part of the General Industry Safety Order (GISO) of the California Code of Regulations. Cal/OSHA seeks interested parties to submit written comments on the draft no later than July 18, 2022.

Changes to Definitions

Some of the revisions to the proposed regulation involve changes to key terms. For instance, the definition of “threat of violence” would eliminate the requirement that a threat involves a reasonable possibility of “physical” injury. The proposed regulation would broaden the definition of “workplace violence” to include: “any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs in a place of employment.”

Plans for Workplace Violence Prevention

Workplace violence prevention plans must be in writing and available to employees. Cal/OSHA has proposed that employers make plans available to “authorized employee representatives.” The proposed regulation also would allow these “authorized employee representatives,” not just union representatives, to participate in the development and implementation of their plans. The employer also would be required to include methods to coordinate implementation of the plan with other employers when applicable. 

Procedures to respond to workplace violence emergencies include help from staff, if any, assigned to respond to these emergencies. Employers also would have to have procedures in place to review their plans periodically and after workplace violence, rather than only after incidents of violence resulting in injuries. 

Workplace Violence Employer Incident Logs

Employers must already maintain violent incident logs. Cal/OSHA is proposing that employers include the following in the logs as to all violent incidents in the workplace, not just those that result in injuries:

  • Date, time, and location of the incident;
  • Description of the incident; and
  • Consequences of the incident.

These revisions remove some of the more detailed log requirements and the employer’s requirement to include the post-incident response and investigation in the log. 

Training Requirements

The proposed regulation would require employers to provide employees with training on workplace violence that includes:

  • The employer’s plan and how to obtain a copy of the plan;
  • How to participate in the development and implementation of the plan;
  • The definitions and requirements in the regulation concerning workplace violence; and
  • How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns without fear of reprisal.

Employers who have had an incident of workplace violence within the past five years would be required to provide employee training that includes specific workplace violence hazards associated with their positions. They also must provide training on what corrective measures they have implemented since the last incident and how employees can seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence and avoid physical harm. 

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