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Cal/OSHA Update: Senate Bill (SB) 553
Cal Safety Solution would like to inform you about the recent developments regarding workplace violence prevention in California, called SB 553.

On September 30, 2023, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 553 into law. This bill introduces a requirement for employers to establish, implement, and maintain an effective workplace violence prevention plan (WVPP). The WVPP includes provisions such as maintaining a violent incident log, providing training on workplace violence hazards, and conducting periodic reviews of the plan.

It's worth noting that certain controversial provisions from earlier versions of the bill have been removed. For example, the requirement that prohibited retailers from confronting suspected shoplifters unless through dedicated safety personnel.

However, there are exemptions to the WVPP requirement for specific entities. These entities include healthcare facilities (already covered by Cal/OSHA's Violence Prevention in Health Care standard), facilities operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, employers in compliance with law enforcement agencies and the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training Programs, employees who are teleworking, and places of employment with fewer than 10 employees that are not open to the public and comply with the Injury Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP).

Under this bill, a collective bargaining representative of an employee who has experienced unlawful violence can seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) and an order after hearing on behalf of the employee.

Most of the bill's requirements, including the development of the WVPP, will go into effect on July 1, 2024. The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) will enforce these requirements. Additionally, SB 553 mandates Cal/OSHA to propose standards for the WVPP by December 1, 2025, and for the Standards Board to adopt such standards by December 31, 2026.

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