While regulations are being rolled back at the federal level, the state of California is implementing new ones, including a regulation aimed at protecting the state’s health care workers from on-the-job violence that takes effect on April 1, 2017.
Beginning Monday, health care industry employers who are covered under the rule must develop and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, report violent incidents to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), keep a “violent incident log” containing details about every incident of workplace violence and keep records concerning training and workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation and correction.
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board regulation goes far beyond an earlier Senate bill that directed the board to adopt regulations requiring licensed hospitals to adopt violence prevention plans. The new rule applies to any health facility meant for diagnosis, care and treatment of illness to which people are admitted for a minimum stay of 24 hours.
Home health care and home-based hospice workers are covered under the rule, as are Emergency medical services and medical transport personnel (including firefighters and EMTs), drug treatment program employees and people who provide outpatient medical services to patients in correctional institutions.
Employers have a year to finalize and implement the written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, but will need to comply with the violent incident logs and reporting provisions as of April 1, 2017.