Effective April 1, 2017 as Section 3342 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, Cal/OSHA’s Violence Prevention in Health Care regulation requires specified health care facilities to establish workplace violence prevention plans to protect health care personnel from aggressive and violent behavior. The new requirements apply to all health facilities to which persons are admitted for a 24-hour stay or longer, including hospital-based outpatient clinics; home health care and home-based hospice; emergency medical services and medical transport; drug treatment programs; and outpatient medical services, including dental clinics, to the incarcerated in correctional and detention settings. Note that this new regulation does not apply to most outpatient dental offices.
Specifically, covered health care facilities must comply with the following.
- By April 1, 2017
- Implement and maintain a violent incident log listing all incidents, post-incident responses, and investigations of workplace violence injuries. All personal identifying information must be kept off of the log.
- Establish recordkeeping practices of workplace hazard identification, evaluation, and correction, training records, and records of violent incidents.
- Report any incident involving the use of physical force against an employee by a patient or person accompanying a patient, regardless of whether the employee sustained an actual injury, as well as any incident involving a firearm or other dangerous weapon. Depending on the incident, the report must be made to Cal/OSHA within 24 or 72 hours.
- By April 1, 2018
- Develop and implement a written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan*, to be included as part of an employer’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). The Plan must be reviewed at least annually.
- Provide effective training on workplace violence prevention to employees as part of the employer’s IIPP.
- Provide all necessary protective equipment and tools to employees as needed for protection against workplace violence.
For Covered Health Care Facilities:
Additional Information about the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan
Section 3342 details quite extensively how the written Plan should be developed and implemented. The Plan must include the name and title of the person responsible, information on how the Plan will be communicated to employees, how to notify law enforcement, and methods for documenting and reporting employee concerns. The Plan must be in effect at all times, within all units of the health care facility. Employees and employee representatives must have a hand in developing, implementing, and reviewing the Plan.
The regulation contains numerous, detailed instructions the employer must consider in developing the site-specific Plan, from patient specific risk factors such as patient use of drugs or alcohol, to creating a security plan. Because of the number and specificity of the requirements implementing an effective Plan, employers should review the requirements of Section 3342 extensively and initiate them where required to ensure compliance for all units and operations.
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