AROUND THE PROVINCES: General Workplace Violence Policy Requirements

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Most OHS laws in Canada require employers to take reasonable steps to protect workers from violence on the job. One common requirement is for employers at workplaces where there’s a risk of violence to implement a workplace violence policy. So here’s a look at the general workplace violence policy requirements in each jurisdiction’s OHS law, such as when such a policy is required and what it must cover or contain.

KNOW THE LAWS: General Workplace Violence Policy Requirements
FED Canada OHS Regs.:

The employer must develop and post at a place accessible to all employees a workplace violence prevention policy setting out, among other things, the following obligations of the employer:

1. to provide a safe, healthy and violence-free workplace;

2. to dedicate sufficient attention, resources and time to address factors that contribute to workplace violence including, but not limited to, bullying, teasing, and abusive and other aggressive behaviour and to prevent and protect against it;

3. to communicate to its employees information in its possession about factors contributing to workplace violence; and

4. to assist employees who have been exposed to workplace violence [Sec. 20.3].

AB OHS Code 2009:

An employer must develop a policy and procedures respecting potential workplace violence [Sec. 390].

BC OHS Regs.:

If a risk of injury to workers from violence is identified by an assessment performed under Sec. 4.28, the employer must:

1. establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to eliminate the risk to workers from violence; and

2. if elimination of the risk to workers isn’t possible, establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to minimize the risk to workers [Sec. 4.29].

MB Workplace Safety & Health Reg.:

1. For a workplace that’s subject to this Part, the employer must:

a. develop and implement a violence prevention policy at the workplace;

b. train workers in the violence prevention policy; and

c. ensure that workers comply with the violence prevention policy [Sec. 11.3(1)].

2. The violence prevention policy must be developed in consultation with:

a. the committee at the workplace;

b. the representative at the workplace; or

c. when there’s no committee or representative, the workers at the workplace [Sec. 11.3(2)].

3. A violence prevention policy must set out the actions and measures the employer will take to eliminate the risk of violence to a worker or to control that risk if it isn’t reasonably practicable to eliminate it. Without limitation, the violence prevention policy must include:

a. a description of:

i. any particular worksite at the workplace where an incident of violence has occurred or may reasonably be expected to occur, and

ii. any particular job functions at the workplace where the worker performing the function has been, or may reasonably be expected to be, exposed to incidents of violence;

b. the measures that the employer must implement to eliminate the risk of violence to a worker at the workplace, or to control that risk if it isn’t reasonably practicable to eliminate it;

c. the measures and procedures that the employer has in place for summoning immediate assistance when an incident of violence occurs or is likely to occur;

d. the procedure a worker is to follow in reporting an incident of violence to the employer, including how and when an incident is to be reported;

e. the procedure the employer will follow to document and investigate any incident of violence to a worker that the employer becomes aware of;

f. the procedure the employer will follow to implement any control measures identified as a result of the investigation that will eliminate or control the risk of violence to a worker;

g. a recommendation that a worker who has been harmed as a result of an incident of violence at the workplace is advised to consult the worker’s health care provider for treatment or referral for post-incident counselling, if appropriate;

h. in respect of an incidence of violence, a statement that the employer must not disclose the name of a complainant or the circumstances related to the complaint to any person, other than where the disclosure is:

i. necessary in order to investigate the complaint,

ii. required in order to take corrective action in response to the complaint, or

iii. required by law;

i. a statement that the personal information that’s disclosed under the above in respect of an incidence of violence must be the minimum amount necessary for the purpose; and

j. a statement that the violence prevention policy isn’t intended to discourage or prevent a complainant from exercising any other rights, actions or remedies that may be available to him or her under any other law [Sec. 11.4].

NB OHS laws don’t contain workplace violence policy requirements
NL OHS Regs. 2012:

Where a risk of injury to workers from violence is identified by an assessment performed under Sec. 22, the employer must:

1. establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to eliminate the risk to workers from violence; and

2. where elimination of the risk to workers isn’t possible, establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to minimize the risk to workers [Sec. 23].

NS Violence in the Workplace Regs.:

1. An employer must establish and implement a workplace violence prevention plan for each workplace for which a significant risk of violence is identified through a violence risk assessment or that an officer orders a plan for [Sec. 7(1)].

2. As part of a workplace violence prevention plan, an employer must do all of the following:

a. prepare a written workplace violence prevention statement;

b. either:

i. take and document reasonable measures to minimize and, to the extent possible, eliminate the risk of violence in the workplace, or

ii. adopt a code of practice on violence in the workplace published by the Director governing the primary business conducted at the employer’s workplace;

c. establish and document procedures for providing employees with the information and training required by Secs. 10 and 11;

d. establish and document procedures for reporting, documenting and investigating incidents of violence as required by Secs. 12 and 13 [Sec. 7(2)].

3. An employer must consult with any committee established at the workplace when establishing, reviewing or revising a workplace violence prevention plan [Sec. 7(3)].

4. An employer must consult with any representative selected at the workplace when establishing, reviewing or revising a workplace violence prevention plan [Sec. 7(4)].

NT OHS Regs.:

1. An employer must, at a work site where violence has occurred or could reasonably be expected to occur, after consultation with the Committee or representative or, if no Committee or representative is available, the workers, develop and implement a written policy to deal with potential violence [Sec. 35(3)].

2. The policy required by Sec. 35(3) must be in writing and must include:

a. a commitment that the employer will eliminate or reduce the risk of violence at the work site;

b. the identification of the work site or work sites where violence has occurred or could reasonably be expected to occur;

c. the identification of staff positions at the work site that were, or could reasonably be expected to be, exposed to violence;

d. the procedure to be followed by the employer to inform workers of the nature and extent of risk from violence, including information in the employer’s possession about the risk of violence from individuals who have a history of violent behavior and whom workers are likely to encounter in the course of their work, unless the disclosure is prohibited by law;

e. the actions the employer will take to eliminate or reduce the risk of violence, including the use of PPE, administrative arrangements and engineering controls;

f. the procedure to be followed by a worker who’s exposed to violence to report the incident to the employer;

g. the procedure the employer will follow to document and investigate violence reported;

h. a recommendation that a worker who has been exposed to violence consult the worker’s physician for treatment or referral for post-incident counselling; and

i. the employer’s commitment to provide training programs for workers that include:

i. the means to recognize potentially violent situations,

ii. procedures, work practices, administrative arrangements and engineering controls to eliminate or reduce the risk of violence to workers,

iii. the appropriate responses of workers to violence, including how to obtain assistance, and

iv. procedures for reporting violence [Sec. 33(4)].

NU OHS laws don’t contain workplace violence policy requirements. But the new OHS regulations that took effect in NWT on June 1, 2015 are expected to take effect eventually in NU.
ON OHS Act:

An employer must prepare a policy with respect to workplace violence [Sec. 32.0.1(1)].

PE OHS Regs.:

If a risk of injury to a worker from violence in a workplace is identified by an assessment under Sec. 52.2, the employer must establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements:

1. to either:

a. eliminate the risk of violence to workers in that workplace, or

b. if elimination of the risk isn’t possible, minimize the risk of violence to workers in that workplace; and

2. to provide for reporting, investigating and documenting incidents of violence in that workplace [Sec. 52.3].

QC OHS laws don’t contain workplace violence policy requirements
SK OHS Regs.:

A policy statement required by Sec. 14(1) of the Act must be in writing and must include:

1. the employer’s commitment to minimize or eliminate the risk;

2. the identification of the worksite or worksites where violent situations have occurred or may reasonably be expected to occur;

3. the identification of any staff positions at the place of employment that have been, or may reasonably be expected to be, exposed to violent situations;

4. the procedure to be followed by the employer to inform workers of the nature and extent of risk from violence, including, except where the disclosure is prohibited by law, any information in the employer’s possession related to the risk of violence from persons who have a history of violent behaviour and whom workers are likely to encounter in the course of their work;

5. the actions the employer will take to minimize or eliminate the risk, including the use of PPE, administrative arrangements and engineering controls;

6. the procedure to be followed by a worker who has been exposed to a violent incident to report the incident to the employer;

7. the procedure the employer will follow to document and investigate a reported violent incident;

8. a recommendation that any worker who has been exposed to a violent incident consult the worker’s physician for treatment or referral for post-incident counselling; and

9. the employer’s commitment to provide a training program for workers that includes:

a. the means to recognize potentially violent situations;

b. procedures, work practices, administrative arrangements and engineering controls that have been developed to minimize or eliminate the risk to workers;

c. the appropriate responses of workers to incidents of violence, including how to obtain assistance; and

d. procedures for reporting violent incidents [Sec. 37(3)].

YT OHS laws don’t contain workplace violence policy requirements