SECTION 1. The General laws are hereby amended by inserting after chapter 111N the following chapter:-
WORKPLACE SAFETY FOR SOCIAL WORKERS
Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:—
“Behavioral health care employer”, any employer employing five or more licensed social workers.
“Licensed social worker” a social worker licensed pursuant to sections one hundred and thirty-one to one hundred and thirty-seven inclusive of chapter one hundred and twelve.
Section 2. A behavioral health care employer shall perform annually an assessment of factors that may put a licensed social worker at risk of workplace violence. Factors shall include, but need not be limited to working in high-crime areas; working outside normal business hours; working alone; working with people in crisis; working with people with known histories of violent behavior; and working in areas with known security problems.
Section 3. Based on the assessment, a behavioral health care employer shall: (a) establish a system for recording centrally all incidents of workplace violence or threats of such violence against licensed social workers; (b) prepare a written violence prevention and crisis response plan, which plan shall include those measures the behavioral health care employer intends to take to respond to any incident of workplace violence against a licensed social worker; (c) provide each licensed social worker employee with a copy of such violence prevention and crisis response plan; (d) implement a training program to educate licensed social worker employees about workplace violence and ways behavioral healthcare employers and licensed social workers can ameliorate such risks; and (e) develop and maintain a violence prevention and response team to monitor ongoing compliance with the violence prevention and crisis response plan and to assist any licensed social worker victimized by or threatened with workplace violence.
Section 4. The commissioner of the department of public health shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the purposes of this act.
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