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Human Resources Department

Occupational Safety & Health Unit

Workplace Security and Violence Prevention

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Not only is it an employer’s responsibility to protect workers from hazards and exposures that are a result of the materials at the workplace, but also from the actions of others who may wish to harm either an individual or an organization. Such actions can include theft of valuables and documents, aggression, violence, unlawful entry, bombings, sabotage, or hostage taking. These are examples of a physical intrusion; however, with increased dependence on electronic media and communication, there are also instances where a security breach can occur through electronic access.

Organizations implement numerous ways to preserve their security and the safety of employees. Visible systems to prevent unauthorized access include special key-card access, identification badges, guard services, communication networks. Companies also train employees to respond to emergency situations such as bomb threats or armed intruders, and awareness of their surroundings. Newer developments include controlled access to electronic data to preserve operational and intellectual security.

With an increase in publicized workplace intrusions that have had devastating consequences, OSHA has increased its efforts at protecting workers from these types of situations; however, it does not yet have specific regulations. In the event that an employer is found negligent, Cal-OSHA can cite under the IIPP, or in the case of Federal OSHA under the General Duty Clause that mandates a safe workplace free from recognized hazards. Depending on the type of intrusion, there are other laws that offer recourse.

To get more information on the applicability of workplace security and violence prevention programs for a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator.

For further information on specific regulatory guidelines please refer to the link(s) below:

Emergency Action Plan

Injury and Illness Prevention Program

Cal-OSHA Violence Prevention in Healthcare

Cal-OSHA Guidelines for Workplace Security

Workplace Violence (OSHA topic)

Physical Security Program (USDA)