|
May 13, 2024

What you need to know about California's Senate Bill 553

In this post, we provide an overview of California's Senate Bill 553, including key provisions, the businesses it affects, and recommended safety and compliance considerations.
Envoy logo
Product Marketer
What you need to know about California's Senate Bill 553

In an effort to address the growing concerns surrounding workplace violence, the California legislature has enacted Senate Bill 553 (SB 553). This legislation imposes new safety obligations on the majority of businesses operating within the state.

Effective July 1, 2024, most California employers will be required to implement comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans (WVPPs). These plans must include procedures for identifying and addressing potential security risks, emergency response plans, and annual employee training on these measures.

It's important to note that SB 553 does not grant a grace period for compliance. Employers will need to have a WVPP in place by July 1st or face serious legal and financial consequences. Fines start at $18,000 per violation and rise as high as $25,000. Before the big date, employers should review SB 553's specific requirements, assess their current WVPPs, and make necessary adjustments to ensure full compliance.

Let's explore what you need to know about California's SB 553 before the big date.

Breakdown of CA SB 553

SB 553 is a milestone in labor law legislation that mandates employers to create their own WVPPs as part of their California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA) Injury and Illness Prevention Plans (IIPP). These plans must be customized to each employer's workplace, with the primary goals of prevention, intervention, and employee assistance. The Cal/OSHA is tasked with enforcing SB 553. 

Below are some of the critical aspects of the new law to keep in mind when developing your employer's WVPP.

Key provisions

  1. Customized prevention plans. Employers must develop violence prevention plans specific to their workplaces and integrate them into their IIPP framework. These plans should also specify the names and/or job titles of those responsible for carrying them out.
  2. Employee engagement and involvement. A cornerstone of SB 553 is the active participation of employees in developing, implementing, and reviewing these violence prevention strategies.
  3. Training and awareness. Employers must provide their personnel with annual training on the following:some text
    • The employer’s plan.
    • The definitions and requirements of the law.
    • How to report workplace violence incidents or concerns.
    • Workplace hazards specific to the employees’ jobs, corrective measures the employer has implemented, how to seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence, and strategies to avoid physical harm.
    • The violent incident log and how to get copies of violent incident records.
    • The training must include “an opportunity for interactive questions and answers with a person knowledgeable about the employer’s plan.” 
    • And employers must keep records that reflect the dates, content of the training sessions, and the names and job titles of all trainers and attendees.
  4. Comprehensive reporting. The law outlines procedures for reporting workplace violence incidents, with a sharp focus on follow-up measures and intervention strategies.
  5. Protocols for high-risk situations. Employers must develop processes for violent incidents, including emergency response and establishing procedures with emergency response agencies.

Additionally, under existing laws, employers can seek temporary restraining orders for employees facing violence or credible threats at work. SB 553 expands this by allowing union representatives to also file restraining orders on behalf of employees. Before doing so, they must ask the employee if they prefer to stay anonymous in the order.

Who is impacted?

The statute applies to all California employers with at least one employee, with a few notable exceptions:

  • Employers who are already abiding by Cal/OSHA’s Violence Prevention In Health Care standard (typically healthcare facilities).
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employers and law enforcement agencies.
  • Employees who carry out their work remotely from a location outside the employer’s control.
  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees working in a location not open to the public.
  • Employers whose employees are located outside of California. The law only applies to California employers and their California employees.

How Cal/OSHA ensures compliance with CA SB 553

Cal/OSHA is tasked with enforcing SB 553, with violations leading to civil fines and possibly misdemeanors. The regulatory body uses various methods to spot and identify violations, including:

  1. Routine inspections. Cal/OSHA conducts regular inspections and may more frequently target industries with higher risks of workplace violence.
  2. Employee complaints. Employees can file complaints with Cal/OSHA if they believe their workplace is not following SB 553, triggering an inspection.
  3. Incident reporting. Cal/OSHA may investigate serious incidents to check for compliance with safety laws, including violence prevention rules. Failure to report can lead to Cal/OSHA further violations, fines, and other penalties.
  4. Follow-up inspections. OSHA may revisit workplaces previously cited for violations to ensure corrective actions have been taken and the workplace remains compliant.

Compliance and safety considerations

It's not just about complying with this new legislation—this is a golden opportunity for employers to demonstrate their commitment to creating a safer work environment. As the July 1st date approaches, we recommend prioritizing these considerations:

  • Leadership buy-in and commitment. An effective WVPP begins with leadership's firm commitment to its implementation and continual fine-tuning.
  • Community and industry collaboration. Engage with industry peers and community organizations to share insights and learn from a broader network.
  • Experienced legal counsel. Seek counsel from professionals with expertise in California laws to ensure your workplace is fully compliant.

We encourage you to explore Cal/OSHA's official resources and legal advisories for more comprehensive guidance on crafting a prevention plan.

How Envoy can help you with CA SB 553

You're not alone. Envoy can help California employers prepare for and comply with many of the provisions within Senate Bill 553. More specifically, here's how:

  • Workplace maps for training and awareness. With Envoy, you can create interactive workplace maps for all your sites and make them accessible on mobile phones. These maps clearly show emergency exits, first aid stations, and fire extinguishers, making it easy for people to quickly find important information. Plus, you can update the maps in real time to reflect any changes in the environment, like blocked passages or areas to avoid.
  • Emergency notifications as part of a response plan. Designated admins can instantly send mass emergency notifications to every employee onsite or associated with the affected facility. These alerts can provide essential details about the nature of the emergency, such as workplace violence and the number of people involved. With Envoy, you can also streamline two-way communication and share urgent information during emergencies to keep everyone safe and organize evacuations if needed.
  • Real-time occupancy data for accurate reporting. Envoy allows you to automatically maintain an up-to-date log of every employee and visitor expected or currently onsite at every facility. This helps with generating detailed reports of who was onsite at any given time to coordinate with emergency response teams more efficiently.

Envoy offers solutions to facilitate training, response planning, and reporting, ensuring compliance with SB 553 while also improving overall safety. 

Do you still have more questions about California's SB 553? Tune in to our upcoming webinar, "Acting on SB 553: Prioritizing workplace safety," for a live discussion with CPPS's Chief Operations Officer Jake Newton on the new legislation.

Heading

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
Button TextButton Text
AUTHOR BIO
Product Marketer

Helen is a marketer at Envoy who loves helping customers create great experiences throughout the workplace and discover new features to make their lives easier. Outside of work, you can find Helen knitting oddly-sized blankets, going to hot yoga at the crack of dawn, or finding new hiking spots with her Frenchie.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Demo
Contact