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workplace violence. our response to the new regulation. introduced April 4, 2007 all workplaces with significant risk of workplace violence to comply does not diminish employers’ general duty clause ( OSH Act s.13(1)(a)) – ensure the health and safety of persons at or near the workplace

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workplace violence

workplace violence

our response to the new regulation

introduced April 4, 2007

all workplaces with significant risk of workplace violence to comply

does not diminish employers’ general duty clause (OSH Act s.13(1)(a)) – ensure the health and safety of persons at or near the workplace

“violence” strictly defined as physical violence or threat of physical violence

consider violence from the public,our clients, coworkers and family members

definitions violence s 2
definitions – violence (s.2)

(f) “violence” means any of the following:

  • threats, including a threatening statementorthreatening behaviour that gives an employee reasonable cause to believe the employee is at risk of physical injury,
  • conduct or attempted conduct of a person that endangers the physical health or physical safety of an employee.
assessments to be done at least every five years (should be part of our regular hazard/risk assessment and annual review)
  • must be done (s. 5(3)) in consultation with JOHSC and they must be given a copy of the assessment.
things to consider
things to consider
  • past violent incidents
  • violence that happens in similar workplaces
  • the condition in which the work takes place
  • the interactions that occur in the course of performing work
  • the physical location and layout of the workplace
geographic operational issues
geographic & operational issues
  • an office location may create some violence concerns (several different occupations sharing an office)
  • nature of an occupation may create different concerns (receptionist versus inspector)
  • the assessment may be a hybrid of the two issues
duty to report incidents of violence
duty to report incidents of violence
  • “An employer, contractor, supplier, employee, owner or self-employed person in the workplace has a duty to report all incidents of violence in the workplace to the employer”, s.12
what do we need to do
what do we need to do?
  • by October 1, 2007: complete violence risk assessments
  • by April 1, 2008: comply with all aspects of the regulation
what do we need to do9
what do we need to do?

Step #

  • conduct violence risk assessment
  • determine workplaces at “significant risk”
  • develop a violence prevention plan
  • develop a procedure for aftermath of violent incidents
  • provide information and training for employees at “significant risk”
quick approach cont d
Also consider:

late night or early morning hours

tax return season

overdue utility cut-off dates


pay days

report cards or patient interviews

performance appraisals

being located near businesses at risk of violence (e.g. bars & banks)

being located in isolated areas

quick approach, cont’d.
normal risk assessment step 1
normal risk assessment: step #1
  • the first step is to identify job tasks
  • this is simply a list of (almost) every conceivable task that someone may do to carry out their job
  • creating a list of tasks is one of the two slowest parts of the process
  • For example, one item for field staff may be to drive a car. An employee may have to:
  • drive a specific type of vehicle
  • drive under variety of conditions
  • contend with refueling, or
  • risk the chance of a breakdown or accident
step 1 part b identify the hazards
step #1, part B: identify the hazards
  • a hazard is anything that can harm a person, cause property damage or disrupt business. We’re primarily interested in the hazards that can cause harm to people or property
  • hazards can arise from the people, equipment, materials and environment (PEME)
  • hazards can be physical, chemical, biological or psycho-social in nature
  • hazard identification comes from cross-referencing these two lists
hazard identification cont d
hazard identification, cont’d.

types of hazards – cross-referenced with – where you find them

Physical(struck by brick, fist)

Chemical(burns, poison)

Biological(infectious, pathogenic)

Psycho-Social(stress, threats, intimidation)

People(employees, clients, family)

Equipment(machinery, tools, vehicles)

Materials(raw, samples, finished product)

Environment(weather, light, noise)

hazard identification cont d17
hazard identification, cont’d.
  • in terms of workplace violence, people would be involved, but may also involve the rest of PEME, depending on what they tried to do to inflict violence
  • the types of violence may also be any of the four groups, but would typically include physical and psycho-social violence
  • this should create a substantial list of potential hazards and is the other slowest part to the exercise
step 2 risk assessment
step #2: risk assessment
  • all hazards are not created equal: risk is relative
  • risk is a product of probability and consequence
  • we’ll use a simple 3-level matrix (low-medium-high) scale for probability and consequence to create a scale of low-medium-high risk.
  • anything greater than low is considered “significant risk” and must be mitigated, under the regulation
step 2 risk assessment cont d
step #2: risk assessment, cont’d.
  • go back to the list of tasks and hazards and give a relative risk value to each
  • use the Departmental Hazard Assessment (Risk Assessment) form to record items – it’s posted at
  • for the sake of the October 1st deadline, this is as far as you have to go
step 3 violence prevention plan
step #3: violence prevention plan
  • the next step is to explore ways of reducing risk to prevent violence from occurring
  • the most effective ways of reducing risk are, in diminishing order: elimination; substitution; engineering controls; administrative measures; personal protective equipment; training; and emergency equipment
violence prevention plan cont d
violence prevention plan, cont’d.
  • for each of the risk items, explore ideas for reducing risk, settling on the most appropriate
  • for high risk items, solutions should be worked on and implemented immediately—medium risk items deserve consideration as soon as possible—low risk items should be worked on once other items are under control
  • while the regulation requires a plan be created in April 2008, we should begin work on this as soon as possible (if an accident happens, the judge may not care about the regulation)
step 4 procedure for aftermath
step #4: procedure for aftermath
  • employees must complete an incident report form ( or
  • unlike regular incidents, the JOHSC will not get copies of the form, but will be given a generic advisory, if there is risk to other employees
  • EAP for the victim, if appropriate
  • violence is a crime and the case will be handed over to the police
step 5 information and training
step #5: information and training
  • the risk of workplace violence will be incorporated into our hazard identification and risk assessment process
  • violence risks should be incorporated into new employee orientation
  • for current employees, education sessions are the responsibility of the supervisor, just as with any workplace hazard