Calif. Hospital Violence Prevention Draft Regulation Released

By Roy Maurer Feb 27, 2015
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The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) released draft language for a workplace violence prevention regulation for health care workers.

The September 2014 enactment of S.B. 1299 requires the state to have a standard issued by July 1, 2016. Provisions include requiring health care employers to develop workplace violence prevention plans, train their employees on identified workplace hazards and keep records related to workplace violence incidents.

The proposed regulation defined the scope of covered employers to include:

  • Health facilities, including acute care hospitals and psychiatric hospitals.
  • Outpatient medical offices and clinics.
  • Home health care and home-based hospice services.
  • Paramedic and emergency medical services.
  • Mobile clinics, dispensing operations and medical outreach services.
  • Drug treatment programs.

“All personal protective equipment, training and medical services shall be provided at no cost to the employee, at a reasonable time and place for the employee, and during the employee’s working hours,” Cal/OSHA said.

Workplace violence is being defined as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite.” It includes the use of physical force against an employee by a patient or a person accompanying a patient “that results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in, injury, psychological trauma, or stress, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury.” It also includes any incident involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury.

Workplace Violence Prevention Plans

Employers will be required to “establish, implement and maintain” an effective written workplace violence prevention plan, which will include procedures for:

  • Actively involving employees in the plan, as well as the methods employers will use to coordinate implementation of the plan with contingent workers.
  • Ensuring compliance.
  • Communicating about workplace violence matters, including communicating between shifts and units, reporting violent incidents and threats, and investigating employee concerns.
  • Assessing environmental risk factors for each facility, service or operation.
  • Correcting workplace violence hazards in a timely manner.
  • Post-incident response.
  • Developing and providing training. All employees, including temporary workers, will need to be trained on the workplace violence hazards identified in the facility, corrective measures the employer has implemented, and activities employees are reasonably anticipated to perform. All new employees and employees given new job assignments must receive training when the plan is first established. Employees and their supervisors would be required to receive refresher training in violence prevention while performing patient-contact activities at least annually. Employers will also provide additional training when new equipment or work practices are introduced.

Reporting, Recordkeeping Requirements

General acute care and psychiatric hospitals will be required to report each violent incident to Cal/OSHA within 24 hours, “if the incident results in an injury, involves the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or presents an urgent or emergent threat to the welfare, health or safety of hospital personnel.” All other violent incidents shall be reported within 72 hours, according to the draft regulation.

All covered employers will be required to keep and maintain records identifying, evaluating and correcting workplace violence hazards.

Training records shall be created and maintained for a minimum of one year and include: training dates, contents or a summary of training sessions, names and qualifications of persons conducting the training, and names and job titles of all persons attending the training. Records of violent incidents shall be maintained for a minimum of five years.

Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Follow him @SHRMRoy

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