Workplace Violence Prevention: New Bills and What You Must Know

May 6, 2024
Workplace violence prevention is something every company strives for. Unfortunately, incidences of workplace violence have been increasing.

The National Safety Council attributes assault as the fifth leading cause of death in the workplace. Between 2021-2022, there were 57,610 injuries attributed to assaults in the workplace, resulting in 525 fatalities. This should be a stark reminder that workplace violence can happen anywhere, at any time.

For this reason, states are beginning to pass legislation to help curb these incidents and make them easier to respond to. Specifically, Texas and California have both passed their own versions of workplace violence prevention bills set to take effect this year. Both bills outline clear guidelines for planning, reporting, responding, communicating, and training for workplace violence prevention and accountability. Preparis sits uniquely ready to tackle the specifics of these new bills and help bring organizations into compliance with its comprehensive software. 

What Are These New Bills?

While these bills are similar, the key difference is that California will require all businesses to take action to prevent workplace violence. In contrast, the Texas bill only affects “covered facilities” for the time being, such as nursing homes and most medical facilities. California Senate Bill 553 and Texas Senate Bill 240 both require written workplace violence prevention plans accessible to all employees and their representatives. Businesses in California must begin complying with this new law on July 1st, 2024, and businesses in Texas must begin complying by September 1st, 2024. 

The other main difference is that Cal/OSHA will oversee SB 553 and outlines penalties ranging from $18,000 to $25,000 per incident. In addition to financial penalties, California also opens the door for businesses to be held liable for lawsuits, damages, and legal fees. SB 240 lacks a punitive structure until OSHA provides guidance at the federal level. However, regulatory bodies within the Texas healthcare system may take disciplinary actions for non-compliance.

How Do These Laws Affect My Organization?

If you don’t operate in Texas or California, you may ask, “How does this affect me”? It’s no secret that once California adopts new legislation, the rest of the country tends to follow suit. Now that Texas and California have workplace violence prevention laws on their books, it’s only a matter of time before other states begin adopting their own. Since the beginning of the year, bills mentioning workplace violence have been introduced in 27 other states. That means now is the time to start proactively planning for your organization. Aside from potentially fulfilling a future legal obligation, keeping your workforce safe should be a top priority.

What the Plan Requires:

  • A written workplace violence prevention plan that’s accessible to all employees and representatives.
  • Review and update the plan annually, when deficiencies are observed, or after a workplace violence incident occurs.
  • Coordinate plan implementation with other employers/vendors.
  • Develop appropriate evacuation or sheltering plans for the worksite.

Communication Requirements:

  • Establish a system for communicating with employees about workplace safety without fear of reprisal.
  • Implement effective procedures for receiving and responding to reports of workplace violence.

Evaluating Hazards Requirements:

  • Regularly identify and evaluate workplace violence hazards through inspections and employee feedback.

Training Requirements:

Incident Log Requirements:

  • Maintain a violent incident log for each workplace violence incident.
  • Record incident details such as date, time, location, types of violence, circumstances, consequences, and information about the person completing the log.
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How Can Preparis Help?

Fortunately, Preparis is well-positioned as an all-in-one software solution that addresses these requirements. Our continuity software will help your organization remain or achieve compliance with its guided workflows and built-in tools like Preparis Planner, Incident Manager, and Alerts. This will remove the guesswork and make your workplace violence prevention plan easily accessible. Here’s how Preparis addresses each of the new requirements.

Meeting Plan Requirements:

  • Build a company-level plan for workplace violence prevention or include these sections in your existing company-level BC plan.
  • Plans are accessible via the mobile app, web platform, and downloadable copies.
  • Enable multiple users to participate in plan edits.
  • Incorporate risk assessment results into the plan to highlight identified hazards.
  • Add a plan review log to the plan template.
  • Include evacuation or sheltering plans as stand-alone plans or incorporate them into location-based planning.

Meeting Communication Requirements:

  • Bi-directional messaging where you can track responses from your workforce in real-time during an incident.
  • Incident details can be documented in the plan and shared with employees.
  • Saved message templates can be used for different hazards.

Meeting Hazard Mitigation Requirements:

  • Conduct risk assessments per location to identify workplace violence hazards.
  • Implement risk mitigation initiatives based on the findings of the risk assessments.

Meeting Training Requirements:

  • Conduct tabletop exercises to train teams and build muscle memory to activate the plan and follow correct procedures.
  • Utilize training resources to educate employees on best practices for dealing with various threats and incidents in the workplace.

Meeting Incident Logging Requirements:

  • Incident Manager allows you to generate customizable reports with incident details and timestamps when closing an incident.
  • Capture all relevant information in the incident audit report.
  • Omit personal information from report copies while storing it for review.


Workplace violence prevention is critical as incidents continue to rise, posing serious risks to employee safety. Moreover, legislation in states like Texas and California underscores the urgency for companies to address this issue proactively.

Preparis stands ready to assist organizations in navigating these new requirements. Our expert consultants offer guidance for plan review and creation, ensuring adherence to legal obligations. Leveraging our all-in-one software solution, Preparis provides tools for plan building, communication, hazard mitigation, training, and incident logging, making workplace violence prevention accessible and efficient. As more states follow suit with similar legislation, now is the time to prioritize safety and compliance.

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