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Respect in the Workplace Prevention of Workplace Violence ... · PDF file workplace) to ensure the workplace violence policy and program protects employees •Having a Harassment policy

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  • Respect in the Workplace

    Prevention of Workplace Violence

    and Harassment

    Presented by: HRizons June 2010

  • Objectives

    • To discuss Ontario’s Health & Safety legislation under Bill 168

    • To define Workplace Violence & Harassment

    • To review the Company’s Harassment Policy

    • To understand reporting procedures

    • To discuss your responsibilities as a worker

  • Bill 168

    • Workplace Violence and Workplace Harassment Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act

    • Effective date: June 15, 2010

    • All employers in the province of Ontario are required to have the necessary policies, programs, measurements and procedures in place to prevent workplace violence and harassment

  • Background

    • Two key incidents illustrated need for Bill 168

  • What does this mean for Employers?

    Employers are responsible for:

    • Assessing the risk of workplace violence risks (including risks from domestic violence that could occur in the workplace) to ensure the workplace violence policy and program protects employees

    • Having a Harassment policy and reporting procedures

    • Providing training to all workers so that they can become more familiar with the workplace violence and harassment prevention policy and procedures.

    • Posting the policy in the workplace

  • Workplace Violence


    • The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker.

    • An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the workers.

    • A statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the workers.

  • Workplace Harassment


    • Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

  • Definitions Continued


    Anyone who is paid to perform work in the workplace.


    Any location in which a worker performs their duties/responsibilities

  • The Policy

    • The policy covers harassment (general, sexual, etc.), bullying, etc.

    • Workplace Violence is something that will not be tolerated

  • Next Steps...

    • All workers need to read and sign the acknowledgement form, indicating that they understand the policy and have received this training.

  • Reporting and Investigating Procedures - Harassment

    • If you witness or experience harassment, or become aware that someone is being harassed, report the incident immediately to your supervisor

    • Individuals making a formal harassment complaint will be asked to provide details of the complaint, including dates, potential witnesses, etc.

    • An investigation will be conducted

    • The results of the investigation will be communicated to the individual making the complaint, as well as to the individual about whom the complaint was made

  • Reporting Procedures – Workplace Violence

    • If you witness or experience violence in the workplace:

    • Remove yourself from danger

    • Advise your supervisor

    • An investigation will be conducted

    • Appropriate action will be taken

  • Emergency Procedures

    • If you experience workplace violence:

    – Move to an area away from the violent individual if possible

    – If necessary, call 911

    – Advise your supervisor of the incident immediately

  • Work Refusal

    The Occupational Health & Safety Act sets out that:

    • An employee can refuse to work if he or she has reason to believe they may be endangered by workplace violence

    • Work cannot be refused on the grounds of workplace harassment

    • Note: Not all work needs to be suspended during a work refusal. If the risk of workplace violence can be eliminated, it may be possible for work, or particular work, to continue during an investigation.

  • Work Refusal - Procedure

    • Report the problem to your People Manager, Health and Safety or Human Resources Representative

    • Until an investigation into the work refusal is complete, you must remain in a safe place as near as reasonably possible to your workstation (location will depend on the circumstances that led to the work refusal)

    • You must also be available during normal working hours for any investigation

  • Working After Hours Safety Measures

    • Notify your Supervisor if you are working outside of normal working hours

    • Request that lights remain on

    • Park your car close to the entrance

    • Create a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation

    • If your building has security personnel, contact them for after hours concerns

  • Pass Cards •If your building uses pass cards, all employees must use their pass card when accessing the office •Lost cards should be reported immediately Valuables •Place purses, cell phones, iPods, etc. out of sight when away from your desk

  • Strangers

    • All visitors should be accompanied by office staff

    • Staff should acknowledge any strangers who enter the office unaccompanied

    – Ask, “Hi, can I help you find someone? “Are you looking for the ______department?”

  • Working away from the Office

    • Keep a cell phone handy

    • Let others know where you’ll be and when

    • Keep alert, and aware of your surroundings

    • Use the buddy system when possible

    • Avoid situations where you do not feel safe

  • Worker Responsibilities

    • Understanding and complying with the policy

    • Acting respectfully at work and while conducting work related activities

    • Attending training and education sessions when required

    • Immediately reporting to their supervisor, any incidents and/or knowledge of workplace violence or harassment, without fear of reprisal

    • Cooperating with investigations

  • Employer Responsibilities

    • Providing workers with an environment free from harassment or violence of any kind

    • Completing workplace risk assessments, and take all reasonable measures to minimize identified risks

    • Communicating and enforcing the policy with their employees as well as with visitors, clients, vendors, and independent contractors, as necessary

    • Ensuring that incidents of harassment or threats of violence are investigated, if appropriate, and for taking prompt corrective action, even if no formal complaint is made

  • Employer Responsibilities

    • Promote and encourage reporting incidents of violence and harassment

    • Advise workers of the existence of potential or actual danger their health & safety of which the employer is aware

    • When applicable, ensure the privacy and safety of all parties involved in a workplace violence incident

  • Employer Responsibilities

    How to respond when a worker comes to you

    with a complaint about violence or harassment?

    – Meet privately with the worker to gain an understanding of the situation

    – Document violence and harassment related complaints (using appropriate form)

    Cooperate with investigations

  • Violence: Recognizing Warning Signs

    Physical Signs: (taken in context, look for multiple signs Red-faced or white-faced

    • Sweating • Pacing, restless, or

    repetitive movements • Trembling or shaking • Clenched jaws or fists • Exaggerated or violent


    • Change in voice • Loud talking or chanting • Shallow, rapid breathing • Scowling, sneering or use

    of abusive language • Glaring or avoiding eye

    contact • Violating your personal

    space (they get too close)

  • Violence: Recognizing Warning Signs

    • History of Violence – Previous violent behaviour, even toward

    inanimate objects

    • Threatening Behaviour – Stated intention to cause harm

    – Escalating threats

    • Intimidating Behaviour – Argumentative

    – Displays unwarranted anger

  • Violence: Recognizing Warning Signs

    • Increase in Personal Stress – Unreciprocated romantic obsession – Family or financial problems

    • Negative Personality Characteristics – Suspicious of others – Cannot take criticism

    • Marked Changes in Mood or Behaviour – Decline in work performance – Extreme or bizarre behaviour

    • Abuses Drugs or Alcohol

  • Ways to Diffuse Aggressive Behaviour

    • Stay Calm

    • Do not be argumentative

    • Actively Listen – let them know you