A new rule in California will require hospitals and other health facilities to protect employees from abuse with violence prevention protocols--and the regulation is a model that could spread to other states.

The rule, which was approved by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, could take effect as early as January.

The new regulation applies to private health facilities in California and requires them to perform site-specific violence assessments and include workers’ concerns and views in developing action plans. In recent years the California Nurses Association and the Service Employees International Union have pushed for more to be done to prevent workplace violence in healthcare.

Under the new law, hospitals would not be responsible for random acts of violence like mass shootings, according to KHN, but could be cited by OSHA if they do not follow protocols.