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Workplace Violence Prevention: Have a Plan by 7/1/2024 then Provide Training

Cal/OSHA has issued its model WVPP form and guidance under SB 553.   Now it is up to every California employer (with at least one employee) to create a plan and implement training.  

Employers who are covered are required to create, put into practice, and keep up an effective Workplace Violence Prevention Program (WVPP) in writing. It is essential for employers to collaborate with employees and their authorized representatives during the formation and execution of the WVPP. The program must be documented, and it should be readily accessible to employees, their authorized representatives, and Cal/OSHA officials at any given time. Additionally, employers are obligated to keep a log of violent incidents, provide training for employees on the WVPP, and periodically assess the program's effectiveness.

More guidance by Cal/OSHA is provided here, specifically for:

  • Health Care and Community Service Workers

  • Agricultural Employers

  • General Industries (non health and non-ag)

All employees, including managers and supervisors, must have training and instruction on general and job-specific workplace violence practices once the plan has been established and then annually thereafter. Training can involve presentations, discussions, and practical exercises.

Training must include: 

•    The employer’s plan, how to obtain a copy of the employer’s plan at no cost, and how to participate in development and implementation of the employer’s plan

•    The definitions and requirements as spelled out in Labor Code Section 6401.9

•    How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns to the employer or law enforcement without fear of reprisal

•    Workplace violence hazards specific to the employees’ jobs

•    The corrective measures the employer has implemented

•    How to seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence

•    Strategies to avoid physical harm

Additional training on the WVPP must be provided when “… a new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazard has been identified and when changes are made to the plan. The additional training may be limited to addressing the new workplace violence hazard or changes to the plan.”

While there is no set duration of training like the mandated harassment prevention training.   Training must include the components listed above.

Workplace violence includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The threat or use of physical force against an employee that results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in, injury, psychological trauma, or stress, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury.

  • An incident involving a threat or use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, including the use of common objects as weapons, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury.

The following are the four types of workplace violence:

  • Type 1 violence - Workplace violence committed by a person who has no legitimate business at the worksite and includes violent acts by anyone who enters the workplace or approaches employees with the intent to commit a crime.

  • Type 2 violence - Workplace violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or visitors.

  • Type 3 violence - Workplace violence against an employee by a present or former employee, supervisor, or manager.

  • Type 4 violence - Workplace violence committed in the workplace by a person who does not work there but has or is known to have had a personal relationship with an employee.

Talent Authority Training Tip:  Because of the annual nature of Workplace Violence Prevention training, we recommend incorporating workplace violence training into your regular facilitator-led harassment prevention training and extending the training to allow for the additional content.   It is critical that employees and supervisors alike get the opportunity to ask questions and be engaged so that they are prepared to handle such situations. 

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