SB 553: Definition, Importance, Requirement, and Law Applicable

SB 553

Senate Bill (SB) 553, California’s new law aimed at preventing workplace violence, has several complex requirements for California-based firms. Attend this webinar to learn about the legal requirements for investigations, written plans, training, recordkeeping, and other topics.

We’ll talk about how these employer responsibilities relate to risk management, safety procedures, human resources, and the governing legislation.

SB 553

What is California’s SB 553 law?

Companies must develop plans for preventing workplace violence as part of their Cal/OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Plans, as mandated by SB 553. For employees to prepare, they must be informed of these plans. Businesses will be able to use the law as of July 1, 2024.

WHAT DOES SB 553 IMPLY, AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Essentially, SB 553 mandates that by July 1, 2024, all California companies (with ten or more employees on-site) create a thorough written plan for preventing workplace violence, offer specialized training in this area, and keep a record of violent incidents. The California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA) has the authority to cite noncompliant companies, and infractions will result in both misdemeanor and civil penalties.

Exploring Workplace Abuse

Violence in the workplace extends beyond physical confrontations. Any act or threat of physical violence, intimidation, harassment, or disruptive behavior that puts the security and well-being of staff members at risk falls under this category. Coworkers are not the only people who can commit these kinds of workplace violence; guests, contractors, family members, and even “outsiders” with no affiliation with the business can also commit these crimes. This includes everything from scenarios with active shooters to verbal harassment.

SB 553 Requirements

The development of a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) is the central idea of SB 553. Important components consist of:

  • Determining the accountable staff
  • Including workers in the creation of the plan
  • Recognizing, assessing, and mitigating risks
  • coordinating the execution of the plan
  • reporting events to police enforcement and within the organization
  • Effective employee communication
  • Taking emergency action in cases of workplace violence
  • educating staff
  • stringent requirements for recordkeeping
  • Response and investigation following an incident
  • routine evaluation and revision of the plan
  • Steps to guarantee adherence to the WVPP

Recommendations for Employers

Whether or not SB 553 applies to your company, the best course of action is probably going to be to develop and implement a proactive workplace safety plan. Prioritizing workplace safety is something that employers should do on purpose to safeguard their staff, clients, business, and reputation. For anyone in California affected by the laws, compliance is now mandatory. Here are some beneficial recommendations from our team:

Early Adherence:

Before the July 1, 2024, deadline, businesses subject to SB 553 should implement a violence prevention plan to guarantee smooth compliance and prevent last-minute scrambling.

Customized Training:

We advise enlisting subject-matter experts to assist in creating and delivering a training program specific to your organization’s needs, particularly if it has never created or utilized a workplace safety policy. For instance, your team may benefit most from an on-site session; alternatively, a series of virtual trainings may be more appropriate. During this allotted training period, define workplace violence, highlight warning flags, and stress prevention and response.

Vulnerability Assessment:

To identify internal and external risks, perform an on-site vulnerability assessment. This entails assessing the design, security protocols, and current plans of a facility.

Continuous Vigilance:

Although it may seem simpler, preventing workplace violence is a deliberate, continuing activity that requires both employers and employees to be watchful. It is not something you can cross off your list and forget about. SB 553 mandates that you evaluate and update your WVPP regularly to make sure it keeps up with the demands of your company.

FAQs on SB 553:

What does California Labor Code Section 6401.9 mean?

Section 6401.9 – Plans for preventing workplace violence in general (a) The following definitions are applicable for this section: (1) “Emergency” refers to unexpected events that may be fatal or present a serious risk of harm to workers or other individuals.

Is Section 2802 of the California Labor Code applicable to public employees?

Public employers should be aware that they may still be liable for an employer’s required costs associated with allowing an employee to work from home, even though Labor Code Section 2802 does not specifically or implicitly state that it applies to government organizations.

What section 2800 of the Labor Code is that?

In every situation, an employer is required to reimburse their staff for damages resulting from the employer’s negligence.

In Summary of SB 553 :

California companies are mandated to establish a workplace violence prevention plan in compliance with the specific standards outlined in California Labor Code Section 6401.9 by July 1, 2024.

By July of next year, you should have a workplace violence prevention plan in place, even if your company is not covered by the new law. Most businesses in the state have a policy, and it’s essential to refer to it when making a claim.

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