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Cal/OSHA Releases Model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

Workplace Violence

This week, Cal/OSHA finally released its much-anticipated model workplace violence prevention plan.

Since the passage of last year’s landmark workplace violence prevention law — SB 553 (Cortese; D-San Jose) — employers across California have been struggling to make sense of its complicated provisions before the July 1, 2024 effective date.

Because of the complexity and novelty of SB 553’s requirements, many employers (particularly smaller employers) have been awaiting model documents from Cal/OSHA to help employers in preparing their materials.

Most significantly, employers have been waiting on Cal/OSHA’s model workplace violence prevention plan, which staff had been indicating an intention to release since late 2023, but no such release had occurred until this week.


A little background on SB 553 and workplace violence is key to understanding the task in front of California’s employers in complying with SB 553.

Until SB 553 was passed in 2023, the only employers who were subject to a workplace violence regulation were hospitals, who were covered by their own, industry-specific workplace violence rule. That regulation (Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 3342) requires hospitals to, among other obligations, create a workplace violence prevention plan, analyze their workplace for potential workplace violence hazards, implement changes to their workplace to address those hazards, train employees on workplace violence issues and procedures, and implement a recordkeeping structure around workplace violence events.

Notably, the vagueness and reach of Section 3342’s requirements compelled hospitals across California to spend considerable sums to remodel their internal spaces and install additional safety measures, including installing additional cameras, installing or providing additional panic buttons to staff, adjusting layouts, and more.

Given the significant differences between hospitals and other workplaces in California which are covered by SB 553 — ranging from open-field agricultural workplaces to private manufacturing plants — employers have struggled to apply the provisions of SB 553 (many of which are similar to the hospital regulations’ provisions) to their own, very different workplaces.

As a result, California employers (and their attorneys) have been waiting for Cal/OSHA to provide a workable example so that they can be prepared for July 1.

Model Plan

On March 5, Cal/OSHA finally released its much-anticipated model workplace violence prevention plan, giving employers just a few months to review it with counsel, modify it for their workplace, and implement it, including providing training to their workforces.

Employers should be careful, however, not to simply copy Cal/OSHA’s model plan, because Cal/OSHA’s model plan is not sufficient to meet employers’ obligations under SB 553. The model plan has numerous “fill in the blank” sections and will thus require employers to work with counsel to ensure they are using it correctly and that their plan fits their workplace realities and is in compliance with SB 553.

Cal/OSHA’s model plan is available among their website publications, along with supporting documents, including fact sheets for employers and workers, and agriculture-specific fact sheets.

All these documents are available under the Workplace Violence Prevention heading at

Staff Contact: Robert Moutrie

Robert Moutrie

This post was originally published on this site

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