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Newly Issued DOSH FAQs Confirm All Employees Must be Trained on New Workplace Violence Prevention Obligations by July 1, 2024

CATEGORY: Special Bulletins
CLIENT TYPE: Nonprofit, Private Education, Public Education, Public Employers, Public Safety
PUBLICATION: LCW Special Bulletin
DATE: Apr 03, 2024

On March 27, 2024, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“DOSH”) published Frequently Asked Questions about Workplace Violence Prevention in General Industry (Non-Health Care Settings) (“FAQs”), which provide responses to a number of questions related to the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (“WVPP”), including implementation, customization, training, and recordkeeping.

Notably, the FAQs clarify the requirements and duties of employers and employees under Labor Code section 6401.9 as follows:

  • All of the new requirements, including training employees on the employer’s WVPP, must be completed by July 1, 2024. There is no grace period, meaning that DOSH enforcement will start immediately on that date.
  • Employers are only responsible for providing WVPP training to employees located in California.
  • Employers are required to establish and maintain a written WVPP specific to the workplace hazards and corrective measures for each work area and operation.
  • DOSH provided a model WVPP. However, use of DOSH’s model WVPP does not ensure legal compliance, as the employer must tailor the model WVPP to address issues specific to its work areas and operations. Employers are liable for any legal violations regardless of their use of DOSH’s model WVPP.
  • Employers may either include their WVPP as a stand-alone section in their existing Illness and Injury Prevention Program (“IIPP”) or maintain their written WVPP as a separate document.
  • While employers must have a system that allows employees to inform the employer of workplace violence related hazards at the worksite, employers do not have to implement an anonymous workplace violence reporting system.
  • In addition to recording workplace violence incidents in the violent incident log, employers must also fulfill other applicable recording obligations, including those related to the log of work-related injuries and illnesses (Cal/OSHA Form 300).
  • Incidents involving unintentional violent acts by minors (e.g., students, program participants) towards employees should be considered as “Type 2 violence,” and may trigger reporting requirements.
  • DOSH is developing regulations related to workplace violence prevention and will be providing opportunities for public comment on those regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Standard Board (“OSHSB”) anticipates holding its first advisory meeting on the proposed regulations during the second quarter of 2024.

As the effective date for these statutory requirements rapidly approaches, LCW has developed several resources to help employers develop and implement a WVPP and training for their employees. For information about the resources offered by LCW, including an annotated model WVPP, template WVPP training materials, and detailed instructions and guidance on how to customize the materials, please visit LCW’s website.

LCW is also available to work with employers to conduct WVPP trainings for their employees using training materials that align with the employer’s customized WVPP.

Please see LCW’s previous post, Workplace Violence Prevention Plan Implementation: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, for additional FAQs related to the WVPP requirements.

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