Workplace Violence Prevention Law Effective April 1, 2017

WPV Hearing LR

Nurses and healthcare workers participated in a Cal/OSHA Standards Board hearing in February 2015. SEIU 121RN President Gayle Batiste (at left in purple), in addition to other 121RN members, came to speak to the Board.

Employers must begin implementing the three recordkeeping and reporting requirements in the new Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Standard for Healthcare by April 1, 2017.  The Workplace Violence Prevention Plan itself, training employees on the Plan, and reviewing the Plan will be implemented by April 1, 2018.  The Plan and training must be unit-specific as identified hazards will be different in every facility, service category and operation.

In 2012, SEIU Local 121RN and the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California led healthcare workers in the petition to Cal/OSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board for a Workplace Violence Prevention Standard for Healthcare Workers.

“SEIU nurses and healthcare workers and our allies are so proud to have been a part of this historic moment. By being willing to share personal stories and experiences of workplace violence, not only do we now have a comprehensive and enforceable safety regulation in place, but violence as just ‘part of the job’ is no longer accepted for any healthcare worker in California.  And, like leading the work on safety needle regulations, our goal will be for this to be a model for the nation and a national regulation to protect all healthcare workers around the country from workplace violence.”

— Kathy Hughes, RN, SEIU 121RN Liaison to the SEIU Nurse Alliance of California, who worked extensively on getting the regulation enacted.

The Standard requires that employees and their representatives (their Union) be part of each of these phases: hazard assessment, developing the Plan, training, and reviewing the Plan.

SEIU Local 121RN representatives will be reaching out to management at each of our facilities to find out when they will begin each phase. If management completes any phase without employee and Union involvement, they are not in compliance and the phase will have to be readdressed with employee and Union participation.

SEIU Local 121RN is currently developing training for our staff and member leaders to begin in early 2017. We are also working with allies on a five-year research grant to study implementation in order to identify what may need to be modified and/or addressed in the future.

The term “health facility” includes facilities with the following bed classifications, as established by the California Department of Public Health:

  1. General acute care hospital
  2. Acute psychiatric hospital
  3. Skilled nursing facility
  4. Intermediate care facility
  5. Intermediate care facility/developmentally disabled habilitative
  6. Special hospital
  7. Intermediate care facility/developmentally disabled
  8. Intermediate care facility/developmentally disabled-nursing
  9. Congregate living health facility
  10. Correctional treatment center
  11. Nursing facility
  12. Intermediate care facility/developmentally disabled-continuous nursing (ICF/DD-CN)
  13. Hospice facility

Click here to read the full text of the Workplace Violence Prevention in Healthcare regulation.

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