When we set out to get a Cal/OSHA workplace violence prevention regulation in place to cover all healthcare workers in the state of California, many people said it would be 10 years or more before we saw anything like that. Some said it was just flat out impossible. Our response then was the same as it is today: We will not only get this done, we will do it in less than 4 years … and guess what? We are right on target!
This past year, we’ve gone from submitting our petition to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board, to having it accepted, to moving quickly into the process of getting the actual regulation written. Along the way, we’ve educated, mobilized, and organized around the hazard of workplace violence in the healthcare industry.
We are now in the first weeks of our third full year of the campaign and we believe that a draft of the regulation will go to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board by the first week of June. They will then take a few months to review that language and bring it to committee and public comment before voting. The good news is that Governor Brown signed into law SB 1299 requiring Cal/OSHA to have a workplace violence prevention regulation for healthcare workers promulgated by July 1, 2016 (a law that we were successful in amending to ensure that the scope of our regulation would not be limited).
We hit the ground running in 2015. We anticipate reviewing the first draft of the regulation very soon and are coordinating a task force of healthcare workers to do a first read with us. (If you are interested in being part of that group, please email or call Richard at 626-375-6426.)
Aside from working on the regulation itself, we are gearing up for two actions that will coincide around Workers Memorial Day – one in the Los Angeles area and one in Sacramento. When we have the details in place, we’ll post the information here. For now, save the dates of April 29 (Los Angeles) and May 6 (Sacramento) for these “Safe Workers Save Lives” actions.
Finally, Cal/OSHA’s next meeting about the regulation is scheduled for Thursday, February 5, at the Caltrans Building (100 South Main Street) in Los Angeles from 10am to 3pm. This will be a critical meeting for everyone to attend because it is to discuss the first draft of the regulation. Please save the date and email Kathy to let us know you’ll be there.