Model Workplace Violence Policy

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NAME OF THE TOOL: Model Workplace Violence Policy

BENEFITS/PURPOSE OF THE TOOL: All employers in Canada have a duty to protect workers from violence in the workplace. To fulfill this duty, employers should have comprehensive, written workplace violence policies that spell out, among other things, the types of actions that are prohibited and the consequences of engaging in such actions.

HOW TO USE THE TOOL: Adapt the Model Policy for your workplace and then distribute it to all workers, supervisors and members of management. In addition, include the policy in the company’s safety manual and/or employee handbook.

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE POLICY

Company Commitment: The management of [insert company’s name] (the Company) is committed to preventing workplace violence and is ultimately responsible for worker health and safety. We will take whatever steps are reasonable to protect our workers from workplace violence from all sources.

B. Definition: For purposes of this policy, “workplace violence” is actual, threatened or attempted conduct intended or likely to cause injury to, harass, threaten, intimidate, bully or otherwise harm another person. Examples include but aren’t limited to:

  • Harsh and excessive criticism of a personal and non-constructive nature;
  • Spreading rumours designed to harm a person’s reputation or put the person in a negative light;
  • Spying or stalking;
  • Ridiculing a person on the basis of physical appearance, beliefs or personal characteristics;
  • Name calling and teasing;
  • Pushing, shoving, elbowing, jostling and other acts of physical intimidation; and
  • Unwelcome practical jokes.

C. Where Workplace Violence May Occur: For purposes of this policy, workplace violence includes not only Company premises, vehicles and other property but also off-site locations, including, but not limited to, off-site meetings or conferences, client locations, social situations related to work or workers’ homes if there are real or implied consequences related to the workplace.

D. Sources of Workplace Violence: Violent behaviour in the workplace is unacceptable from anyone, including those who work for the Company, such as workers, supervisors and members of management, as well as customers, clients, visitors, strangers and others. Everyone at the Company is expected to work together to prevent workplace violence.

E. Workplace Violence Program: The Company has a workplace violence program that implements this policy. It includes measures and procedures to protect workers from workplace violence, a means of summoning immediate assistance and a process for workers to report incidents, or raise concerns. These measures are designed to ensure that this policy and the supporting program are implemented and maintained and that all workers and supervisors have the appropriate information and instruction to protect them from violence in the workplace.

F. Duty of Supervisors: Supervisors will adhere to this policy and the supporting program. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that measures and procedures are followed by workers and that workers have the information they need to protect themselves.

G. Duty of Workers: Every worker must work in compliance with this policy and the supporting program. All workers are encouraged to raise any concerns about workplace violence and to report any violent incidents or threats to their supervisors or another company. Be assured that you will not be subject to any reprisals for reporting incidents or threats of violence.

H. Duty of Management: Management pledges to investigate and deal with all incidents and complaints of workplace violence in a fair and timely manner, respecting the privacy of all concerned as much as possible.

I. Discipline: Acts of workplace violence will not be tolerated and will be responded to with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, based on a thorough investigation of the incident and the surrounding circumstances. Such disciplinary action may include immediate termination for acts of physical assault, even if the person committing the act has committed no prior offences or engaged in previous acts of violence.

Signed: ________________________ President/CEO Date: ________________

Note: The workplace harassment policy should be consulted whenever there are concerns about harassment in the workplace.