Cal/OSHA Publishes Model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan for New Law

Posted on: April 9th, 2024 by Leaders' Choice Staff No Comments

Cal/OSHA has published a model plan to help California employers comply with a new law requiring that they have in place a workplace violence plan.

The model is designed to provide structure for employers to create their own plans. Businesses have the option to use the model plan, create their own or use another plan template. Alternatively, they may incorporate workplace violence prevention into their current injury and illness prevention plan.

The new requirements are the result of SB 553, which was signed into law last year in response to increases in workplace violence incidents around the country.

Cal/OSHA has posted the model plan and a fact sheet for general industry here. The model plan is written for a “broad spectrum of employers,” and companies will need to revise it and add their own information to address the specific needs of their workplace.

Cal/OSHA notes that employers who plan to use the model, should identify an individual or individuals to be responsible for implementing the plan, and ensure that they:

  • Review the full requirements of the new law (Labor Code sections 6401.7 and 6401.9).
  • Review the requirements for each of the elements found in the model plan and fill in the parts that will focus the plan on their particular workplace.
  • Obtain the active involvement of employees and their authorized employee representatives in developing and implementing the plan.
  • Make the plan available and easily accessible to affected employees, authorized employee representatives, and representatives of Cal/OSHA upon request.


Cal/OSHA has also created a page on its website that is dedicated to the new law and provides guidance for employers to follow. It recommends that whomever you appoint to implement the plan familiarize explore the page for further guidance.

Employers should not just fill in the blanks, save the file in the company database and forget about it. The law also requires you to train your staff on the details of the plan to ensure they know what to do in case of an incident or if they want to report a threat of violence in the workplace.

To ensure the plan is effective requires planning, evaluating the workplace, putting in place procedures and training.


The legal requirements

The law requires that an effective workplace violence prevention plan:

  • Identify who is responsible for implementing the plan.
  • Involve employees and their representatives in its creation.
  • Include details for how to accept and respond to reports of workplace violence.
  • Prohibit employee retaliation.
  • Include details for communicating with employees regarding workplace violence matters.
  • Lay out instructions for responding to actual and potential emergencies.
  • Require the employer to develop and provide effective training. Employees must be provided with initial training and then an annual refresher.
  • Require the employer to identify, evaluate and correct workplace violence hazards.
  • Require the employer to post incident response and investigations.


Getting started

Employers who are unsure how to proceed with a workplace violence prevention plan should visit the Cal/OSHA website and download the model plan. The same page has a fact sheet that provides further guidance on:

  • How to create the plan.
  • How to create and maintain a workplace violence log.
  • How to train employees on the plan.
  • How to comply with the law’s record-keeping requirements.
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