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Law Compliance Scales

California Workplace Violence Prevention Law SB 553 – Ways to Prepare

Law Compliance Scales

June 7, 2024 Posted by in Mass Notification, Internal Communications

Many businesses are working on preparing for the California Workplace Violence Prevention Law deadline this summer. Having a plan in place is critical – and so is communicating about it. 

An incident that disrupts normal day-to-day business can strike an organization at any time. In fact, crisis management and business continuity threats impacting businesses are growing. In particular, California’s violent crime rate is up by 13.5%To mitigate the impact, companies must have an actionable crisis communication plan and tools in place BEFORE the threat arrives, which is part of the purpose of this law. Understanding the background, implications, and solutions around this initiative will not only ensure your compliance, but also safety. 

What is the California Workplace Violence Prevention Law SB 553 and Who is it For?

SB 553 is a response to the growing trend in workplace violence: “The journey of SB 553 began in the aftermath of the 2021 massacre at the Valley Transportation Authority railyard in my district in San Jose. On that horrible day, we quickly realized how safety protocols can and must be enhanced. In the following days and months, more solutions for preventing workplace violence emerged,” said Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose).”

SB 553 requires employers to develop their own workplace violence prevention plans as part of their Cal/OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Plans. Employees must be informed of these plans and prepare accordingly. Businesses must begin complying with the law on July 1, 2024. This will apply to nearly all employers, with specific exemptions for particular healthcare facilities and non-public workplaces with fewer than ten employees.

Key Elements of SB 553

Nearly all California employers must meet a July 1, 2024 deadline to comply with the law. This includes:

  • Developing and implementing a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP)
  • Keeping a violent incident log
  • Required employee training on workplace violence
  • Following record keeping requirements

Cal/OSHA will have the ability to enforce these requirements through inspections, penalties and abatement requirements.

How Can Your Business Comply with California Bill 553?

A one-size-fits all approach will not be successful in being compliant. Plans and execution need to be specific to an industry and a business’s’ unique areas of risk possible prevention measures. This holds true in three areas:

  • Plan development: Draft the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan to your business and site location(s), and involve employees in development and implementation.
  • Training: Provide interactive training for all employees when the plan is first implemented, and then annually. Training should include an introduction to the WVPP and participation methods, and be tailored to different roles and risk levels.
  • Oversight: Document meetings, training materials, risk assessments, and plan updates for reference and potential audits. Regularly check Cal/OSHA resources for updated regulations and best practices. Encourage employees to report potential hazards and concerns without fear of retaliation.

How RedFlag Can Help

While the law has several areas of compliance, one of the most essential components of any emergency action plan is an emergency notification system for your business.

Using a multi-channel, mass notification system allows you to send a message that is disruptive enough to get immediate attention. In a critical situation, this is the best way to ensure communication that minimizes negative impacts on your employees, business, and compliance.

RedFlag can support your compliance with our emergency mass notification system through various methods, including:

  • Facilitate real-time communication and emergency response coordination: RedFlag’s mass notification system enables real-time communication & effective emergency response coordination during workplace violence situations. Messages can be sent via voice, email, SMS, desktop alerts, app notifications, Teams alerts and more.
  • Training and drills: Once your plan is developed, use RedFlag to conduct workplace violence procedure drills and disseminate training announcements. RedFlag can help track and ensure that all employees receive the alerts.
  • Reporting: With RedFlag’s reporting and analysis, you can keep accurate communication records of all training, incidents, and responses.
    Employee engagement with two-way chat: RedFlag enables two-way communication giving you direct insight into the field by empowering employees to provide direct input, including incident reporting.

A good plan with a mass notification system is like insurance – you hope you never need it, but are very glad when you do.

Looking for an ally to support your company’s compliance?

RedFlag’s award-winning mass notification system features multi-channel notifications including Microsoft Teams, has geo-targeting ability, meets SOC II requirements, and has SSO capabilities. We’d love to show you how we can help.

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