Workplace Violence Rules Could Soon Come To California

BY: Koszdin | Friday, March 23, 2018.

Operating as workplace injuries attorneys in Van Nuys means we are very familiar with just how often employees get injured, or fall ill, due to working conditions, or accidents while working. Workplace violence is just one of the scenarios that could lead to injury, and it is something that should be avoidable. You deserve to go to work, and do your job, without fear of injury through violence, making the proposals by Cal/OSHA to introduce workplace violence rules very welcome indeed. At present, workplace violence hazards are only covered by the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1970, which states that employers must create a workplace that is “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious harm”. Should the current proposals come to fruition, specific protection against workplace violence will be offered to employees in Van Nuys, and elsewhere in California.

What Would a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan Involve?

The regulations currently proposed by Cal/OSHA would mean that employers are legally obliged to:

  • Develop a workplace violence prevention plan
  • Provide all employees with workplace violence training
  • Maintain records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, correction, training and investigations

For the purposes of the workplace violence rules, violence has been defined as “any act of or threat of violence that occurs at the worksite”, excluding any act of self-defense.

When devising and writing up the workplace violence prevention plan, employers must be certain to include each of the following aspects:

  • Persons responsible for implementing the plan
  • Procedures to obtain involvement of employees and representatives in developing, implementing, and reviewing the plan
  • Methods the employer will use to coordinate the implementation of the plan with other employers, where applicable
  • Procedures for accepting and responding to reports of workplace violence, and prohibiting retaliation against employees
  • Procedures to ensure employees comply with the plan
  • Procedures to communicate with employees regarding workplace violence matters without fear of reprisal
  • Procedures to develop and provide the training
  • Procedures to identify and evaluate workplace violence hazards
  • Procedures to correct workplace violence hazards in a timely manner, including emergency procedures
  • Procedures for post-injury response and investigation

The provision of adequate employee training, and accurate record-keeping would also become obligatory under the new rules. As the proposal is currently in such early stages, it could be around two years before it would come into effect, if approved, but it is sure to be welcomed by employers and employees alike.

Sustained a Workplace Injury? Speak to a Van Nuys Attorney Today

While the points mentioned above are still at the proposal stage, your employer has a duty to protect you from workplace violence. If you have sustained a workplace injury, whether through an act of violence or an unrelated incident, you may be entitled to compensation for the economic and non-economic costs incurred as a result. For example, your medical expenses and the wages you have lost while recovering from your workplace injury.

To discuss your circumstances with a Van Nuys workplace injuries attorney today, schedule your initial consultation by calling us on 818-812-5639.

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