Get Ready for CalOSHA's Health Care Workplace Violence Regulations
If you work in the health care industry in California, we are sure that you have caught wind of the upcoming regulations regarding workplace violence within your sector, but have you done everything that you need to do to make sure that you are compliant? With April 1st, the deadline for compliance, quickly approaching, we thought it was important to provide a blog post that highlights the essentials of the new regulations, not only so that you can adhere to these regulations, but also so that you can keep yourself and your employees safe within an environment where workplace violence continues to be an increasing threat.
Following below is the information that you need to know regarding CalOSHA’s new regulations centered around workplace violence within the health care industry.
Who it affects:
Clearly, as we have mentioned, these new CalOSHA regulations focus on those in health care. More specifically, this includes employees in any of the following:
- Correctional and/or detention environments (for those in health positions)
- Drug treatment programs
- Emergency medical services
- Health care facilities
- Home health care programs
- Outpatient medical services
If you fall under any of the above categories, you’ll want to know the following information.
An overview of the most important CalOSHA requirements includes the following:
- A documented plan specific to workplace violence prevention
Within the plan Cal/OSHA requires:
- Appointment and documentation of those responsible for executing the plan
- A strategy for the engagement of employees during plan development
- Practices around receiving law enforcement backup during work shifts
- Tactics for coordinating the application of the plan among employers within the same facility
- Methods for handling any workplace violence reportings received by employees
- Workplace violence training procedures
- How workplace violence issues will be communicated to employees
- Plan enforcement procedures
- Instructions for the identification of risks for:
- Workplace violence in general*
- Specific patients*
- Steps for how workplace violence hazards should be reformed*
- Steps for how a violent issue will be responded to and examined after it has already occurred
Your workplace violence prevention plan can be included within your existing Injury Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP), already required in California.
- A violence incident log
This differs from an injury and illness log because all violence incidents must be reported regardless if an injury results from the violent occurrence or not. This requirement has privacy restrictions as well. For instance, identifying employee information should not be included.
- Yearly review and employee training on the plan
- Reporting to CalOSHA
CalOSHA must be informed of:
- Workplace violence without the use of a weapon within 72 hours
- Workplace violence with the use of a weapon within 24 hours
Similarly to your violence incident log, CalOSHA must be informed whether or not an injury has occurred.
- The following records available to CalOSHA and employees upon request:
- Records of all violent incidents- 5 years
- Records of workplace violence training- 1 year
- Records of workplace violence hazard recognition and corrections
Some concerns have arisen regarding the possibility of difficulty when complying to certain specifics regarding these regulations. Some hospitals worry that the definition of “workplace violence” still remains too unspecific. There are also concerns around some of the patient aspects of the regulations. For instance, health care professionals worry about the sometimes limited history of their patients. If limited information is available, it may be more difficult to perform a thorough risk analysis regarding specific patients as required by the regulations. Additionally, the requirement of identifying sources of potential workplace violence includes an element that calls for creating barriers between the health care employee and any person that presents a potential workplace violence risk. This may be difficult to implement, as many times health care professionals must physically interact with their patients who may cause a threat. While concerns similar to these have arisen, overall these new CalOSHA regulations are viewed as something positive, especially with an increasing amount of patients with mental issues. See CalOSHA’s Section 3342 Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care in its entirety for more information.
SoloProtect regularly works with those in home health care to actively help mitigate workplace violence risks and recognizes the hazardous conditions specific to the industry. For more information on how SoloProtect can help you comply with CalOSHA’s new health care regulations and perhaps to help curb some of its associated concerns, visit www.soloprotect.com/us.
*The asterisked items involve several elements under that particular regulation. One should review CalOSHA’s Section 3342 Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care for specifics regarding these elements.