What is workplace violence?
Under Ontario Bill 168 now known as Section 32 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario OHSA), workplace violence is defined as:
- 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 worker; or
- 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 worker.
What are the requirements for Ontario Employers?
The law breaks down into a series of steps that every employer must take. These include:
- Develop written policies that are posted with respect to workplace violence and workplace harassment.
- Conduct a risk assessment for workplace violence.
- Develop a workplace violence and harassment program.
- Incidents or threats of workplace violence must be reported to the employer or supervisor.
- Establish practice of how the employer investigates and manages incidents, complaints, or threats of workplace violence.
- Reassess policies and programs.
- Train employees in these policies and procedures.
- Employee refusal to work where he/she has reason to believe that he/she is in danger of being a victim of workplace violence.