As of April 1st, California requires employers in the health care field to adhere to Section 3342, or the Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care rule. The following areas must be in compliance with Section 3342: all health care facilities, home health care programs, drug treatment programs, emergency medical services, and outpatient medical services to correctional and detention settings. This new legislation is far more expansive than the current Federal OSHA guidelines when it comes to the prevention of workplace violence in the health care industry.
The new rule requires a written workplace violence prevention plan. This prevention plan can be added into the Injury Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) that is already required in California. Section 3342 outlines the requirements of a fully realized workplace violence prevention plan:
- Names and/or job titles of individuals responsible for plan implementation
- Procedures for active involvement of employees in developing the plan
- Lines of communication with other employers whose employees work in the same facility, service of operation in regards to implementation of workplace violence plans
- Procedures for:
- Obtaining the assistance of law enforcement during all shifts
- Accepting reports of workplace violence from employees, including implementing anti-retaliation provisions
- Ensuring compliance with the plan
- Communicating with employees regarding workplace violence matters
- Training employees on workplace violence and its mitigation
- Identifying patient specific risk factors, such as a patient’s mental status, medications, history of violence, disruptive or threatening behavior. Potentially, a difficult portion of the rule for a medical insinuation as many providers may not have a full history when a patient is first admitted, or if the facilities has mandated that providers are to accept patients regardless of the patients past history
- Assessment methods to identify risk factors for workplace violence. Currently, there are nine (9) requirements under this heading. Several of which may prove difficult to adhere to such as physical barriers between employees and person at risk of committing workplace violence even when treating patients. For home health care, requiring an assessment of environmental risk factors which could prove difficult for an employer to implement and maintain standards on.
- Policy and steps to correct workplace violence hazards in a timely manner. While there are 10 parts under this provision, the general theme revolves and relates to staffing levels at a facility at any given time. However, there is no clear answer on whether compliance with state regulations related to staffing is sufficient to meet the requirements outlined in Section 3342 or if a new metric is needed to be considered adequate. Additionally, policy dictates that security personnel to be specifically present to maintain order and to respond quickly to workplace violence. Furthermore, what is not clarified is whether security personnel will be expected to respond to patients exhibiting violence or non-patient violence.
- Maintaining a Violent Incident Log, even in cases where no injury occurs. This provision specifically quires an employer not to maintain certain personal identifying information (PII) in these logs, such as social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, etc.
- Annual review of the plan, as well as annual training of employees on the plan
- Report to CalOSHA any use of physical force against an employee whether an injury occurs or not. If there is an injury or use of a weapon, reports to CalOSHA must be made within 24 hours of the incident. If there is no presence of injury or a weapon, the report must be filed within 72 hours.
- Records that must be maintained include
- Records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation and correction
- Training records for all employees to be maintained for one year
- Records of violent incident shall be maintained for five years
- All of these records shall be made available upon request by CalOSHA, as well as by employees and their representatives
Workplace Violence Mitigation Training
Alamom Consulting Inc. Security & Safety Solutions provides the training you need to remain in compliance with the new Californian policy. Prior to training, we recommend is scheduling an Onsite Risk Assessment will help your team understand the different risks for your organization and get tips for improving your current security measures and response plan. Our team has experts ready to work with you on building the solution that works best for your health care organization.
Alamom offers half-day courses at training centers or online to ensure that employees are best prepared to deal with an Active Shooter situation. The goal of the training program is to build a culture based on a community approach to preventing situations from occurring, as well as encouraging quick responses to efficiently to end threats. Notable training courses are Situational Awareness Training, Self Defense Techniques, and Emergency Response Planning.
Additionally, you can research private Active Shooter mitigation instruction for your organization. These are conducted through webinars, at a training site, or privately at your location so that your entire team or department can be trained on how to prevent, respond to and mitigate an emergency
Course materials can be customized to suit your needs based on your location setup, emergency policies, and other factors. By combining specialized training with an Active Shooter response plan you accomplish your goal of providing employees with resources and education that can help keep everyone safe.