California’s New OSHA Standard on Workplace Violence (SB 553) and How It May Impact You
Background of SB 553
- Initiation: The enactment of Senate Bill (SB) 553 into law in California was significantly influenced by the tragic 2021 massacre at the Valley Transportation Authority railyard in San Jose. This event highlighted the urgent need for enhanced safety protocols to prevent workplace violence.
- Development: SB 553 emerged from extensive negotiations involving workers, businesses, and Cal/OSHA. It builds on previous measures, like SB 1294, which established transit worker wellness centers across the state.
Key Provisions of SB 553
- Workplace Violence Prevention Plans: The law mandates that employers develop workplace violence prevention plans. These plans are to be integrated into their existing Cal/OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP).
- Employee Involvement: Employers are required to inform their employees about these plans and ensure proper preparation.
- Implementation Timeline: Businesses must start complying with this law by July 1, 2024.
- Broader Context: Cal/OSHA has been working on a general industry draft for workplace violence prevention for six years. SB 553 accelerates the implementation of these standards.
Implications for Businesses
- Understanding the Law: Businesses need to be aware of the specifics of SB 553 and how it integrates with existing OSHA standards. Misinformation, especially related to alterations to the IIPP, was a significant issue during the bill’s development but was eventually clarified and resolved.
- Compliance and Training: Businesses should start preparing for compliance with the new standards. This includes developing detailed workplace violence prevention plans and ensuring that all employees are adequately trained and informed about these plans.
- Seeking Assistance: Employers may seek guidance from OSHA and other relevant bodies to understand the requirements and best practices for implementing effective workplace violence prevention strategies.
SB 553 represents a significant step in enhancing workplace safety in California. Businesses need to proactively engage with this new standard, focusing on developing comprehensive violence prevention plans and ensuring all employees are well-informed and prepared. This proactive approach will not only comply with legal requirements but also foster a safer work environment. If you would like assistance in walking through how this may impact your business, contact ROI Safety Services today at