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Occupational health and safety update

Occupational Health and Safety Update

Human Resources Role and Function



What is your role and function as it relates to Occupational Health and Safety?

Occupational health and safety act
Occupational Health and Safety Act

  • The OH&S Act sets out the rights and duties for occupational health and safety of all parties in the workplace. The act provides for enforcement of the law in cases where compliance has not been voluntarily achieved.

  • The requirements for violence and harassment in the workplace establish minimum standards and set out the rights and duties of all those who have a role in dealing with workplace violence and workplace harassment.

Occupational health and safety act1
Occupational Health and Safety Act

  • Employers, supervisors and workers share the responsibility for OH&S. This concept of an internal responsibility system is based on the principle that workplace parties themselves are in the best position to identify OH&S risks and develop solutions.

  • The internal responsibility system involves everyone from the company or organization CEO to the worker. How well the IRS works depends on whether there is a complete, unbroken chain of responsibility and accountability for OH&S.

Bill 168 update

Bill 168 Update

now Part III.0.1of the OH&S Act

Bill 168 update1
Bill 168 – Update

  • Bill 168, the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace), 2009 amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to impose new obligations on employers and supervisors and confer new rights to workers with respect to workplace violence and harassment.

  • Ontario is one of the last Canadian jurisdictions to incorporate workplace violence-related rights and obligations into OHS laws.

Workplace violence and harassment
Workplace Violence and Harassment

  • Workers may face violence and harassment in any workplace and from any person in that workplace.

  • There is a continuum of unwanted behaviours that occur in a workplace environment. This can range from offensive remarks to violence.

  • It is important for Employers to address any unwanted behaviours early to minimize the potential for workplace harassment to lead to workplace violence.

Workplace violence and harassment1
Workplace Violence and Harassment

  • The harassing or violent person may be someone the worker comes into contact with due to the nature of his or her work. This may include a client, customer, or patient.

  • The harassing or violent person may also be part of the workforce, including a co-worker, manager, supervisor or employer. Or the person may be someone with no formal connection to the workplace such as a stranger or a domestic/intimate partner who brings violence or harassment into the workplace.

Workplace violence and harassment2
Workplace Violence and Harassment

  • Other laws/statutes that Workplace Violence and Harassment may fall under are:

    • Canada’s Criminal Code – e.g. stalking

    • Ontario Human Rights Code

    • Labour Relations Act – Collective Agreement

Workplace violence
Workplace Violence

  • The OH&SA defines “workplace violence as the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or should cause physical injury to the worker. It also includes an:

    • attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; and a

    • Statement or behaviour that a worker could reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.”

Workplace violence examples
Workplace Violence - Examples

  • Verbally threatening to attack a worker.

  • Leaving threatening notes at or sending threatening e-mails to at workplace.

  • Shaking a fist in a workers face.

  • Wielding a weapon at work.

  • Hitting or trying to hit a worker.

  • Throwing an object at a worker.

  • Sexual violence against a worker.

  • Kicking an object the worker is standing on such as a ladder.

  • Trying to run down a worker using a vehicle or equipment such as a forklift.

Workplace harassment
Workplace Harassment

  • The OH&SA defines workplace harassment “as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker, in a workplace – behaviour that is known or ought reasonably known to be unwelcome.”

  • The comments or conduct typically happen more than once. They could occur over a relatively short period of time (during the course of one day) or over a longer period of time (weeks, months or years).

  • Workplace harassment can involve unwelcome words or actions that are known or should be known as offensive, embarrassing, humiliating or demeaning to a worker or group of workers. It can also include behaviour that intimidates, isolates or even discriminates against a worker.

Workplace harassment examples
Workplace Harassment - Examples

  • Making remarks, jokes or innuendos that demean, ridicule, intimidate, or offend.

  • Displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in print or electronic form.

  • Bullying.

  • Repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or e-mails.

  • Inappropriate sexual touching, advances, suggestions or requests.

Domestic violence
Domestic Violence

  • The OH&SA defines Domestic Violence as “a person who has a personal relationship with a worker – such as a spouse or former spouse, current or former intimate partner, or a family member – that may physically harm, or attempt or threaten to physically harm, that worker at work.

  • In these situations, domestic violence is considered workplace violence.

General duties of workplace parties
General Duties of Workplace Parties

  • The OH&SA sets out the general duties for an:

    • Protect - Employer under Section 25

    • Enforce - Supervisor under Section 27, and

    • Comply - Worker under Section 28.

Due diligence compliance checklist
Due Diligence Compliance Checklist

All Ontario Workplaces must:

  • Prepare and annually review a Workplace Violence and Harassment Policy.

  • Assess the risks of Workplace Violence and Harassment.

  • Have in place a Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Program.

  • Engage the JOH&S Committee in the development of and provide the results of the risk assessment.

Due diligence compliance checklist1
Due Diligence Compliance Checklist

  • Have a method of communicating WV&H Policy and Program to the workers.

  • Have a method for managing “Domestic Violence”.

  • Have a method of communicating information about a person with a history of violent behaviour.

  • Have a process for managing incidents and work refusals.

  • Have a process for notifying the MOL in the event of an incident.

Domestic violence1
Domestic Violence

  • Under the OH&SA Employers must take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of workers when they are aware, or should ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence may occur in the workplace, and that it would likely expose a worker to physical injury.

  • Workers should be told that they can report their concerns to their Employer if they fear domestic violence may enter the workplace.

  • Employers must be prepared to investigate and deal with these concerns on a case-by-case basis.

  • Employers should determine how measures and procedures in the existing WVH Policy and Program could be used to support the development of reasonable precautions for the worker. NOTE this could include the development of a personal safety plan.

Work refusals
Work Refusals

  • Under the OH&SA a worker can refuse to work if he or she has reason to believe he or she may be endangered by workplace violence.

    NOTE however work cannot be refused on the grounds of workplace harassment.

  • In accordance with the OH&SA there are occupational groups that have a limited right to refuse unsafe work e.g. police officers, correctional officers, fire fighters, hospital workers, nursing homes etc.

Your road map to prevention
Your Road Map to Prevention


Hazard Assessment

Training & Education

Prevention Measures

Incident Follow-Up

Continuous Program Review

Reporting & Investigation

Victim Assistance

Emergency Response Planning

Defining roles responsibilities

Defining Roles & Responsibilities

Human Resources

Occupational Health and Safety

Labour Relations

Emergency Preparedness

Human Resources Function

Emergency Preparedness Function

Workplace Violence

Labour Relations Function

OH&S Function

Human Resources Function

Emergency Preparedness Function

Workplace Harassment

Labour Relations Function

OH&S Function

Case study

Case Study

Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

Marianne Taylor – Baptiste


OPSEU & Jeff Dvorak

July 16th 2012

2012 – HRTO - 1393

Group activity

Group Activity

What would you have done differently?


  • Ontario Ministry of Labour – Workplace Harassment and Workplace Violence Resources /Domestic Violence and Safety Plan Resources– www.labour.gov.on.ca

  • Public Services Health and Safety Association “Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace – A Handbook” www.pshsa.ca

  • Ontario Federation of Labour – “Violence in the Workplace Campaign: Fact Sheet: What Unions Do” www.ofl.ca

  • Ontario Nurses Association – “Workplace Violence and Harassment – A Guide for ONA Members” – www.ona.org

  • Government of Manitoba – “Family Violence and the Workplace: An Employers Toolkit” – www.mb.ca

Bill 160 changes to the oh sa and the wsia

Bill 160 – Changes to the OH&SA and the WSIA

Received Royal Assent June 1st 2011

Bill 160 changes
Bill 160 Changes

  • Prevention Mandate Transferred from the WSIB to the MOL – April 1 2012

  • Appointment of a Chief Prevention Officer

  • Appointment of a Prevention Council

  • Training Standards

  • Joint OH&S Committee

  • Funding Model

  • Changes to the Reprisal Provisions

  • Codes of Practice

Hr implications
HR Implications

  • Hiring

  • Managing

  • Promoting

  • Training and Development

  • Disciplining



Thank You

Viki Scott