New California Law on Employment Safety in Health Facilities

This new law creates safer working conditions for healthcare workers.  Assembly Bill No. 1136 passed both houses of the California Legislature and was signed into law by the Governor, adding Section 6403.5 to the California Labor Code regarding employment safety in health facilities.  This bill adds three requirements.  Employers must maintain a safe patient handling policy for patient care units.  It also requires employers provide trained lift teams, or staff trained in safe lifting techniques, in each general acute care hospital.  Employers must also adopt a patient protection and health care worker back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan.  This plan must include a safe patient handling policy component.

Existing law, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973, requires certain safety and other responsibilities of employers and employees, including the requirement that employers provide safety devices and safeguards reasonably necessary to render the workplace safe.  AB 1136 adds additional protection. 

Adam Luetto

Return Archive 2011

Legal Developments