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D&O Insurance Policies Are Essential in Cannabis.

By | Cannabis Community, Featured Article, HR, Insurance, Risk Management | No Comments

Cannabis businesses run a higher risk of facing a “D&O claim,” or a lawsuit aimed directly at the directors and officers of the company rather than at the company itself.

While directors and officers of cannabis-touching companies may no longer have to worry about losing their freedom for choosing to work in the industry, they still have to worry about losing their personal assets through civil litigation. That’s right—their personal assets!

Cannabis businesses run a higher risk of facing a “D&O claim” or a lawsuit aimed directly at the directors and officers of the company rather than at the company itself. In some cases, fighting a D&O claim is so expensive it can bankrupt both a company and its owners. D&O claims in all industries have been steadily increasing for the last two decades and unsurprisingly, more and more of these claims are now popping up in cannabis. It is essential for any business taking the risks of working in the industry to plan ahead and protect themselves from this sort of expensive and damaging litigation.

Fortunately, cannabis businesses have the ability to safeguard their business with specialized D&O insurance coverage. D&O insurance coverage provides broad balance sheet protection for the organization in addition to asset protection for the directors and officers who may be held personally liable for their actions. Lawsuits can be filed by a variety of stakeholders, which is why potential claims can arise from various scenarios. Some common D&O risk scenarios include:

● Shareholder actions or derivative claims

● Reporting errors

● Misrepresentation of prospectus

● Failure to comply with regulations or laws

● Insolvencies

● Creditor claims

● Divestitures

● Competitor claims

Why D&O Coverage is Essential for Cannabis Companies

Any business has the potential to be sued by its employees, competitors, or shareholders. In the cannabis industry it is even more perilous for directors and officers who must also navigate constantly evolving regulations and limited banking resources.

Due to federal law, state-legal companies operate in a grey area, making it difficult to access capital, use banking services, obtain adequate insurance coverage, and access other services that make traditional businesses competitive. Most insurance carriers will exclude claims that fall within federal jurisdiction, so it is important for any cannabis business to seek out coverage that is catered to the industry by people who understand and support it.

While D&O claim insurance is still rare in this emerging sector, it is available—and essential—for cannabis companies. D&O liability insurance protects the personal assets of directors, officers, and their spouses if a suit is ever filed. Most policies cover defense costs, legal fees, and settlements.

Traditional business financing is not available in the cannabis industry, which forces businesses to seek out capital from outside investors, private equity sources and/or venture capital. If an investor feels they were misguided, deceived, or wronged, they may decide to file suit directly against the company’s directors and officers. Any time a business takes on a new investor, they increase the pool of people who could file a D&O claim against them.

All of these factors contribute to a vulnerable industry with steadily increasing D&O class action lawsuits. Here are just a few of the industry’s most notable cases so far:

● Canadian LP CannTrust’s CEO Peter Aceto violated regulations by growing cannabis in unlicensed rooms. His actions led to an 85% decline in the stock’s price, a class action lawsuit, and a personal loss of $8 million in the form of stock options.

● Canadian LP Aphria’s executives were accused of overvaluing Latin American assets. The stock lost over 60% of its value, the company’s co-founders and CEO resigned, and a class action lawsuit was launched.

● American cannabis company MedMen’s executives are facing a $20 million lawsuit over accusations that include a lack of transparency as well as the directors and officers enriching themselves at the expense of shareholders.

● Cronos Group shareholders filed a securities class action lawsuit against the company as well as CEO Michael Gorenstein. The complaint alleges that Cronos’s statements regarding the size of its distribution agreements were intentionally omitted due to their relatively small size in comparison to the premium investors were paying for the stock.

Cannabis Exclusions and Why They Matter

It is necessary to work with an insurance brokerage that specializes in cannabis to reduce risks. Most cannabis companies still operate as startups, and exclusionary clauses put their personal assets at risk. Many policies contain specific cannabis exclusions, so businesses need to seek out policies that cater to the industry. Cannabis insurance brokerages are trained to spot exclusions in policies which leave directors and officers personally liable for damages.

Insurance companies that provide D&O claim coverage to cannabis companies often exclude certain types of claims in the cannabis industry:

● Bankruptcy exclusions

● Creditor exclusions

● Major shareholder exclusions

● Class action exclusion

● Fraud

● Prior acts

● Fines and penalties.

D&O Coverage as a Recruiting Tool: A Must-have for Cannabis Executives

A cannabis company with specialized D&O coverage has a significant competitive advantage in the hiring process. Many experienced executives coming to cannabis from other industries have become accustomed to working with companies that ensure their personal assets are safe from litigation. Whether a company is recruiting a new CEO, president, risk manager, or CFO, the first question these individuals will ask is simple: Does your company have D&O coverage?

If the answer to this question is no, then it is likely the company has already lost the recruit. When looking for a new landing spot, no corporate executive is going to risk joining a team where they can be held personally liable for their decisions.

When a company purchases D&O insurance, they can reassure potential hires their personal assets are not at stake. The insurance policy will often provide protection against some of these common claims:

● Disputes regarding human resources and employment law

● Failure to implement a plan that follows cannabis regulations

● Fraudulent misrepresentation in corporate dealings

● Negligence while performing duties

As a company continues to grow, D&O coverage becomes increasingly more important. This is especially true for companies working towards a public listing or in the process of sourcing additional funding.

 

 

Or, read the article at the Cannabis Business Times:

Kirk Miller is a commercial insurance, risk management, and business strategy leader with more than 20 years of cannabis consulting and insurance industry experience. Kirk is an Executive Producer at Nine Point Strategies. Follow him on LinkedIn:

Product Liability: How to Protect Your Business from Catastrophe

By | Insurance, Magazine Articles, Risk Management | No Comments

A lack of consistent industry regulations surrounding vaporizers has left cannabis businesses more vulnerable than ever. As of January 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed over 2,600 cases of vaping-related illnesses in all 50 states—including 59 fatalities. The outbreak has pushed the issue of product liability to the forefront of the cannabis industry.

“In 2019, we saw a dramatic influx of product liability claims associated with exploding vaporizer batteries, vaping lung injuries, CBD and THC testing, labeling, and compliance issues,” said Jodi S. Green, partner at Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP, a law firm serving the insurance industry.

Product liability claims are especially burdensome, but fortunately cannabis businesses now have the ability to protect against the catastrophic losses associated with these lawsuits. It is important to note, however, that not all standard product liability insurance policies provide this coverage.

“Most cannabis businesses are not only unaware of what they need, but also of what they actually have after they buy it,” Phillip Skaggs, assistant counsel of the American Association of Insurance services, said. “There is definitely a tendency for wishful thinking—younger companies buying whatever policy or package is available and within budget, and then just hoping it stands up when they need it to later. This results in most businesses being underinsured, or even completely uninsured, for a potentially ruinous loss or claim for liability.”

Business owners need to understand that in regards to products sold, the legal theory of “strict liability” may apply—meaning that everyone in the chain of distribution is considered liable, and thus if named in a suit, all parties have to lawyer up and show up in court. The first step in managing this exposure is to obtain a solid policy providing the carrier’s Duty to Defend. Such a policy must also be free from exclusions that would strip out this very necessary coverage.

Not all product liability policies provide the same level of coverage, even among those marketed specifically to the cannabis industry. Let’s take a closer look at what constitutes the right coverage for this main pillar of a proactive risk management plan.

Product Liability Insurance: The Basics

Product liability insurance, offered either as part of a commercial general liability (CGL) policy or as a standalone (monoline) policy, is designed to protect a company from first-party and third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and other damages related to the products and services that the company sells.

First-party claims refer to any type of claim arising from an accident, injury, or loss caused by manufacturing defects, improper labeling, and failure to warn consumers about a wide variety of potential hazards ranging from inaccurate THC measurements to mold or the presence of carcinogens.

Third-party claims refer to any type of claim that could see a business held liable for damages that result from the use of a product. This may include property damage, loss of wages, DUIs, medical expenses, and bodily injury.

For cannabis companies, this can include incidences such as:

●      Defective vaporizers that cause bodily injury due to exploding

●      Life-threatening illnesses allegedly caused by defective vaporizer cartridges

●      Contaminated marijuana purchased from a third-party vendor and resold to retail customers.

●      Selling edibles that cause food poisoning or some other type of illness due to poor food quality standards.

●      Any form of harm that occurs due to false advertising or misleading claims made through a company’s marketing campaigns.

●      Product recalls stemming from the use of illegal pesticides—or even approved pesticides if applied in a manner that is off-label.

Your CGL or monoline products policy should provide your company with a vigorous defense against such claims—but this isn’t always the case in the cannabis industry, in which some carriers utilize exclusionary clauses that so narrowly define coverage they effectively render a policy useless.

“In this new-product environment, standard CGL insurance coverage is not adequate to protect a cannabis policyholder,” Ian A. Stewart, Chair of Wilson Elser’s National Cannabis and Hemp Law practice, said.

Product Liability Exclusions and Cannabis

The devil truly is in the details—and it is not uncommon for cannabis companies to purchase an insurance policy with exclusions directly aimed at the types of products the insured sells. This is known as illusory coverage.

Michael Sampson, a partner in Reed Smith’s insurance recovery group and co-vice chair of the cannabis law team, explained it this way: “There can be marijuana-related exclusions in a CGL or other policies marketed and/or sold to cannabis-related businesses. As a result of such an exclusion, a cannabis-related business could be left with essentially no coverage, or at least no meaningful coverage for the specific risks it faces.”

The most common cannabis exclusions relating to product liability coverage include:

●      Health Hazard Exclusion—Any products sold by a company that may cause some form of health hazard will not be covered. These hazards include any form of adverse health effects (and yes, that includes E-Cig and/or Vaporizer Associated Lung Injury, aka EVALI).

●      Cannabis Exclusion—The general cannabis exclusion is designed to render an insurance policy ineffective if the insured operates within the cannabis industry. For cannabis companies, this can leave them exposed to a variety of risks associated with product liability, D&O, and regulatory claims.

●      Carcinogens Exclusion—Cannabis companies that sell dried flower, vaporizers, and any form of a cannabis product that contains carcinogens or has the potential to create carcinogens will not be covered if their insurance policy contains this exclusion. The carcinogen exclusion will prohibit coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury.

●      Psychotropic Drug, aka Impairment Exclusion—Any products with the potential to alter an individual’s mental state would not be covered in a product liability lawsuit if this exclusion was included in the policy. Virtually all forms of cannabis alter your mental state as many of the compounds in cannabis like THC and CBD, whether intoxicating or not, are psychoactive.

●      Hardware Exclusion—Be on the lookout for this exclusion if you sell vape cartridges, batteries, or hardware that assists with consumption. Lithium ion batteries can explode, and the endcaps found on cartridges may leach heavy metals into the oil they contain. It’s important to secure coverage for the entire product, not just the cannabis component.

Exclusionary language leaves your company exposed to lawsuits that can directly impact your operations and the survival of your company. It’s vital that any policy you obtain provides the coverage necessary to be indemnified during a claim.

For these reasons, it is recommended that insureds review their policy language with a specialized insurance broker to make sure they are not exposed to exclusionary clauses.

Advantages of Working with a Specialized Cannabis Insurance Brokerage

Although the recreational market is still in its infancy, several product liability lawsuits have already been launched against cannabis companies.

Cannabis businesses need to protect themselves from these risks, as the regulatory frameworks that govern consumer products and devices within the industry are still being developed by agencies like the USDA and FDA.

“It is imperative for any cannabis-related business to carefully review the regulations in each jurisdiction in which it does business to ensure that it has obtained all required insurance,” advised Michael Sampson.

A specialized cannabis insurance brokerage will help ensure that your business is properly covered and holding the necessary limits of insurance. Product liability litigation poses an existential threat to every cannabis business, but the potentially catastrophic nature of such claims can be effectively managed by working with a brokerage knowledgeable of both the risks involved and the various available policies’ strengths and weaknesses.

 

Read this article by Kirk Miller in the Cannabis Business Times.

Kirk Miller is a commercial insurance, risk management, and business strategy leader with more than 20 years of cannabis consulting and insurance industry experience. Kirk is an Executive Producer at Nine Point Strategies. Follow him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirkemiller/    Contact Kirk directly at  925-359-1472 or [email protected]

Pot users no more likely to be injured on job: Study

By | Featured Article, Insurance, Safety, Training | No Comments

"Marijuana users are no more likely to suffer injuries on the job than their coworkers who abstain, according to a study published in the May issue of the medical journal Substance Use and Abuse and conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia."

https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20200529/NEWS08/912334838/Pot-users-no-more-likely-to-be-injured-on-job-Study?utm_campaign=BI20200529BreakingNewsAlert&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_campaign=BI20200529BreakingNewsAlert&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ActiveCampaign

Medical Marijuana: Reasonable and Necessary Medical Care for Injured Workers?

By | Covid-19 & Cannabis, Featured Article, Insurance, Justice | No Comments

"…Here in Pennsylvania, employers and workers’ compensation carriers remain in legal limbo, waiting on judicial guidance from the state’s highest courts in the face of ever increasing claims from injured workers to pay for medical marijuana. Will it be considered reasonable and necessary medical treatment under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act?" Article by Francis X. Wickersham for Law.com.

https://www.law.com/thelegalintelligencer/2020/05/23/medical-marijuana-reasonable-and-necessary-medical-care-for-injured-workers/?slreturn=20200425011414

California cannabis regulators defer business license renewal fees.

By | Auto Insurance, Covid-19 & Cannabis, Featured Article, Insurance, News, OSHA | No Comments

“The fee deferral announcement that came out today is a step in the right direction. We are encouraged that industry advocacy efforts have evolved into actions that provide real relief for the essential regulated cannabis industry.” Furthermore, the CDFA report mentions that cannabis businesses can seek out state tax relief and can submit disaster relief requests to their licensing authorities.

https://mjbizdaily.com/california-marijuana-regulators-defer-business-license-renewal-fees/

Industry Executives Share Insights on Sales Trends as States Reopen

By | Auto Insurance, Covid-19 & Cannabis, Featured Article, Insurance, News, Safety | No Comments

Shifts in the cannabis industry during this reopening are far-reaching and intertwined. Sales trends will inform risk management- how are we protecting at-risk patients? “Brandon credits Ohio state officials’ decision to allow for telemedicine, “call-in and online dispensary orders” and curbside pickup as reasons why Ohio patients have been able to “feel safe” during the pandemic.”

https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/sales-trends-coronavirus-covid-19-march-april-may-2020-oklahoma-ohio/

Proposition 65 – The Basics & New Law – Restaurant Specific

By | Featured Article, Insurance, News, OSHA, Safety, Training | No Comments

Focus Groups: Restaurant Employers

Who Should Attend: Managers, Supervisors, Owners, Human Resources

Webinar – 60 minute PowerPoint

COST: Free

Proposition 65 has been around since the 80’s and in the past, pretty much one sign fit all. Not any more. There are specific posting and/or specific labels now required. They may be a specific size and in a specific language. We will go over all of this and more! Fines for not posting and not posting/labeling properly are a maximum of $2,500/day per occurrence with a one year look-back period.This webinar will be restaurant specific.

Please Click Here to Register

Cal/OSHA Adopts First in the Nation Standard on Workplace Violence Prevention for Healthcare Employers

By | HR, Insurance, OSHA, Private, Public Blogs, Safety, Training | No Comments

National research indicates that health care workers are at a substantially higher risk of workplace violence than the average worker in another industry.  According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), from 2002 to 2013, the rate of serious workplace violence incidents (those requiring days off for an injured worker to recuperate) was more than four times greater in healthcare than in private industry on average.1  Patients are the largest source of violence in healthcare settings, followed by visitors or co-workers, and surveys show that many incidents go unreported.

On October 21, 2016, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Standards Board) unanimously passed a new General Industry Safety Order entitled “Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care” (Standard).2  The Office of Administrative Law approved the Standard on December 8, 2016.  The Standard is codified at Section 3342 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations.

Coverage

Although Senate Bill 1299 only required a standard for hospitals, the Standards Board went further and the standard applies to any “health facility,” which is defined very broadly to mean “any facility, place, or building that is organized, maintained, and operated for the diagnosis, care, prevention, or treatment of human illness, physical or mental, including convalescence and rehabilitation and including care during and after pregnancy, or for any one or more of these purposes, for one or more persons, to which the persons are admitted for a 24-hour stay or longer.”3

The Standard also applies to home health care and home-based hospices, emergency medical services and medical transports, drug treatment programs and outpatient medical services to those incarcerated in correctional and detention settings.  The Standard will not apply to certain state-run health facilities.

The Standard Broadly Defines “Workplace Violence”

“Workplace violence” means any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs at the work site.  The term workplace violence shall not include lawful acts of self-defense or defense of others.  Workplace violence includes the following:

1.         The threat or use of physical force against an employee that results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in, injury, psychological trauma, or stress, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury;

2.         An incident involving the threat or use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, including the use of common objects as weapons, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury;

3.         Four workplace violence types:

  • “Type 1 violence” means workplace violence committed by a person who has no legitimate business at the work site, and includes violent acts by anyone who enters the workplace with the intent to commit a crime.
  • “Type 2 violence” means workplace violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or visitors or other individuals accompanying a patient.
  • “Type 3 violence” means workplace violence against an employee by a present or former employee, supervisor, or manager.
  • “Type 4 violence” means workplace violence committed in the workplace by someone who does not work there, but has or is known to have had a personal relationship with an employee.

Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

Healthcare employers covered by the Standard are now required to establish, implement and maintain an effective workplace violence prevention plan (Plan), which must be in effect at all times and in every unit, service or operation.  The Plan must be in writing, be specific to the hazards and corrective measures for the unit, service, or operation, and be available to employees at all times.  The written Plan may be incorporated into the employer’s written IIPP or maintained as a separate document.

The Plan must include the following:

  • Names or job titles of the persons responsible for implementing the Plan;
  • Effective procedures to obtain the active involvement of employees and their representatives in developing, implementing, and reviewing the Plan, including their participation in identifying, evaluating, and correcting workplace violence hazards, designing and implementing training, and reporting and investigating workplace violence incidents;
  • Methods the employer will use to coordinate implementation of the Plan with other employers whose employees work in the same health care facility, service, or operation, to ensure that those employers and employees understand their respective roles as provided in the Plan;
  • Effective procedures for obtaining assistance from the appropriate law enforcement agency during all work shifts;
  • Effective procedures for the employer to accept and respond to reports of workplace violence and to prohibit retaliation against an employee who makes such a report;
  • Procedures to ensure that supervisory and non-supervisory employees comply with the Plan;
  • Procedures to communicate with employees regarding workplace violence matters;
  • Procedures to develop and provide training to employees that addresses workplace violence risks employees are reasonably anticipated to encounter on the job;
  • Assessment procedures to identify and evaluate environmental and community-based risk factors for each facility, unit, service, or operation, which shall include a review of all workplace violence incidents that occurred in the facility, service, or operation within the previous year, whether or not an injury occurred;
  • Procedures to identify and evaluate patient-specific risk factors and assess visitors or other persons who are not employees;
  • Procedures to correct workplace violence hazards in a timely manner; and
  • Procedures for post-incident response and investigation.

The Standard describes in great detail the procedures that must be addressed within each of these topics.

At least annually, the employer is required to review the effectiveness of the Plan and correct any problems.  The annual review must include employees and their representatives and address the employees’ respective work areas, services and operations.  The Standard sets out numerous additional items the employer must consider when reviewing the Plan, including, among other things, staffing, sufficiency of security systems and job design and equipment.

Violent Incident Log

Healthcare employers will be required to record in a “violent incident log” every incident, post-incident response, and workplace violence injury investigation with descriptive details.  The employer must review the log as part of its annual review of the Plan.

The log must contain, at a minimum, the following items:

  • The date, time, specific location, and department of the incident;
  • A detailed description of the incident;
  • A classification of who committed the violence;
  • A classification of circumstances at the time of the incident;
  • A classification of where the incident occurred;
  • The type of incident;
  • The consequences of the incident; and
  • Contact and other information about the person completing the log.

As with the Plan, the Standard describes in the detail the specific information that must be included for each item.

Training

The Standard requires healthcare employers to provide training to employees designed to address the workplace violence risks that employees are reasonably anticipated to encounter in their jobs.  The employer must have an effective procedure for obtaining the active involvement of employees and their representatives in developing training curricula and training materials, participating in training sessions, and reviewing and revising the training program.

The Standard requires that training be conducted at various times, including:

  • when the Plan is first established and when an employee is newly hired or newly assigned to perform duties for which the training was not previously provided;
  • when new equipment or work practices are introduced; and
  • when a new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazard has been identified.

The Standard requires the initial training to address the workplace violence hazards identified in the facility, unit, service or operation, and the corrective measures the employer has implemented.  The initial training also must include:

  • An explanation of the employer’s Plan, including the employer’s hazard identification and evaluation procedures, general and personal safety measures the employer has implemented, how the employee may communicate concerns about workplace violence without fear of reprisal, how the employer will address workplace violence incidents, and how the employee can participate in reviewing and revising the Plan;
  • How to recognize the potential for violence, factors contributing to the escalation of violence and how to counteract them, and when and how to seek assistance to prevent or respond to violence;
  • Strategies to avoid physical harm;
  • How to recognize alerts, alarms, or other warnings about emergency conditions such as mass casualty threats and how to use identified escape routes or locations for sheltering, as applicable;
  • The role of private security personnel, if any;
  • How to report violent incidents to law enforcement;
  • Any resources available to employees for coping with incidents of violence, including, but not limited to, critical incident stress debriefing or employee assistance programs; and
  • An opportunity for interactive questions and answers with a person knowledgeable about the employer’s workplace violence prevention plan.

Annual refresher training also is required for employees performing patient contact activities as well as their supervisors.

In addition, employees assigned to respond to alarms or other notifications of violent incidents or whose assignments involve confronting or controlling persons exhibiting aggressive or violent behavior must be provided training on numerous topics prior to initial assignment and at least annually thereafter, including strategies to prevent physical harm, aggression violence predicting factors and characteristics of aggressive and violent patients and victims.

Reporting Requirements for Certain Hospitals

In addition to the above requirements, the Standard requires general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, and special hospitals to report to Cal/OSHA any incident involving either of the following:

  • The use of physical force against an employee by a patient or a person accompanying a patient that results in, or has a high likelihood of resulting in, injury, psychological trauma, or stress, regardless of whether the employee sustains an injury (as that term is defined in Cal/OSHA’s regulations requiring the reporting of other types of injuries or illnesses).
  • An incident involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, regardless of whether an employee sustains an injury.

All reports must be made within 72 hours, except that the report must be made within 24 hours if the incident:

  • results in a fatality or an injury that requires inpatient hospitalization for at least 24 hours for other than medial observation or in which an employee suffers a loss of a limb or suffers any serious degree of permanent disfigurement;
  • involves the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon; or
  • presents an urgent or emergent threat to the welfare, health, or safety of hospital personnel, which means that hospital personnel are exposed to a realistic possibility of death or serious physical harm.

The Standard describes the information that must be included in the report.  Cal/OSHA will implement an online system for employers to report the information.  These reports do not relieve the healthcare employer from making reports that may be required by other Cal/OSHA regulations.  Employers can expect that these reports will result in a significant number of new non-formal and on-site inspections.

Recordkeeping

The Standard will require healthcare employers to maintain various records, including records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction, training records, and records of violent incidents.  Records must be made available to employees and their representatives, as well as Cal/OSHA, upon request.

Next Steps for Employers

The Standard is effective on April 1, 2017, which means that California healthcare employers have less than four months to get in full compliance with these onerous requirements.  Cal/OSHA’s Standard is a first of its kind at the federal and state level, although Federal OSHA is proceeding with a rulemaking and will hold a public hearing on January 10, 2017.

At a minimum, employers covered by the Standard should immediately consider:

  • Gathering records of all incidents of workplace violence (with or without injury) from the previous year;
  • Reviewing all existing policies, programs, and training addressing elements of workplace violence prevention;
  • Conducting the required assessments for each workplace;
  • Drafting and implementing a new written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan, which addresses the numerous topics enumerated in the Standard;
  • Creating training programs for all employees that effectively advise of any workplace violence risks that may arise in a healthcare environment and in the employees’ particular work area; and
  • Establishing a record retention program for training and any incident that could be viewed as an incident of workplace violence, even if no injury resulted.

Employers should also review the significant privacy issues raised by the Standard, and with the advice of privacy attorneys, develop an appropriate policy addressing concerns which may arise in keeping records, reporting incidents to Cal-OSHA, and handling inspections of this Standard.

Should you have any questions, please contact your representative at HR Ideas.