Cali drafting workplace violence regulation and protecting your workers from Covid-19

By January 5, 2021 No Comments

California drafting a workplace violence regulation

Three members of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Board) have requested a workplace violence prevention standard for general industry for the state of California.  

The latest draft, although an improvement in some ways, according to the Phylmar Regulatory Roundtable (PRR), was of significant concern because it include two new elements: a Workplace Violence Incident Log requiring specific details of every incident and post-incident response, with the name of the employee. 

The previous draft required the employer to only provide access to investigative documents if there was a Workplace Violence incident that was reportable.  

The latest draft requires significant expansion of access and is a great concern for employers.  PRR understands another draft has been developed and is working its way through approvals and will be issued for consideration by an Advisory Committee.

Ways to protect your workforce and supply chain partners from COVID-19 risks

A comprehensive and effective workplace safety platform provides businesses the risk mitigation structure they need to maintain successful operations at all locations, according to Supply & Demand Chain Executive

As organizations attempt to re-open their workspaces, they can best address emerging risks internally and across their supply chains by implementing a contingency and mitigation action plan that uses powerful, easy-to-use digital information tools for employees and leadership. Enterprise-ready, return-to-work platforms should have a central dashboard of workflow procedures to ensure management makes timely decisions and provides employees with the confidence to return safely to work.

To reduce the possibility of costly disruptions and work stoppages across their supply chain, key personnel and health officials need to have full insight into the wellbeing of those working and visiting their facility. This requires enhanced employee health and safety training focused on the virus and its effects and provides leadership with integrated safety solutions that can be swiftly carried out when necessary.

A comprehensive and effective workplace safety platform provides businesses the risk mitigation structure they need to maintain successful operations at all locations. Organizations can leverage the use of technology, smart solutions and health and safety best practices such as:

  • Using a mobile app, employees can fill out a CDC questionnaire about their symptoms and self-report their temperature. If the questionnaire spots an issue, the employee will be instructed to stay home and set up a medical appointment, while an HR administrator is immediately notified.
  • One of the most telling indicators of COVID-19 is fever. Adopting a no contact thermal temperature scanner keeps employees safe and facilities operational. Employees will be issued a QR code to activate a thermal temperature scan to gain access into the facility. These scanners can detect symptoms and ensure employees, vendors and other visitors are complying with mask requirements before being allowed to enter. 
  • Distance monitoring and contact tracing enables leadership to detect potential and existing risks more effectively and quickly reduces the likelihood of exposing other employees. Wearable devices continually track employees’ movements, recording the distance and duration of interactions and alert individuals in real-time when they are at increased risk. If an employee does test positive, having a contact tracing solution in place takes the guesswork out of which areas were contaminated and who the employees may have interacted with. This ensures exposed personnel are contacted in a timely manner and sanitation protocols are properly performed.
  • Using a dashboard can help leaders seamlessly track pandemic-related activity across the facility, quickly review temperature checks and CDC questionnaire results, all while keeping data private and secure. 

The system can analyze the data and issue notifications (text and email) based on information gathered, which is crucial for identifying outbreaks and notifying health officials of a potential hotspot. 

Additionally, organizations can ensure social distancing measures and local occupancy regulations are being followed. With this insight, organizations can address staffing levels and improve their efforts to promote workplace safety by installing physical barriers, creating new pathways, scheduling staggered shifts and breaks and extending work hours (if needed).

States become worker safety watchdogs as pandemic worsens

States are increasingly bypassing the federal government and imposing their own rules to protect workers from the coronavirus, creating a patchwork of regulations that could serve as a blueprint for new national standards promised by President-elect Joe Biden., according to Politico.

In all, 14 states have instituted their own comprehensive restrictions as the federal worker safety watchdog, OSHA, has come under fire for its lax enforcement during a pandemic that has turned America’s most mundane jobs into dangerous, frontline deployments.

Experts say Biden could borrow heavily from the states that have crafted their own policies, and the most stringent local requirements could give the new administration a baseline for those standards. But negotiating with industry groups could take months, and labor leaders say any delay will only result in more cases and, in turn, more deaths.

“If a national standard isn’t feasible or isn’t well-written, it could be worse than the presently evolving patchwork,” said Rob Moutrie, policy advocate and workplace safety lead for the California Chamber of Commerce.

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