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2 stamps with rules and regulations written on them California has long been at the forefront of passing occupational safety and health regulations that do not exist at the federal level. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In the wake of recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, national attention has turned its focus yet again to the highly charged debate over gun control, mental health and terrorism. These attacks happened not only in places open to the public (a festival, a large-chain retailer, and a bar), but also places where people work. While the country struggles to address seemingly random violence in public spaces, these areas are workplaces too. California is responding with workplace violence regulations for every employer in the state.

In the last few years, California’s response has been to push through laws and regulations aimed at preventing workplace violence of all types, including “active shooter” incidents. The most recent set of proposed regulations, which could become final as early as later this year, is holistic and requires an interdisciplinary approach and a true partnership between workers and employers. As a result, it also will require significant resources dedicated to training, prevention, emergency response, and record keeping. These California regulations are set to be a model for similar laws in states across the country as well as under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.

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