Profiting Through Prevention - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

1 / 99
About This Presentation

Profiting Through Prevention


Profiting Through Prevention Where to From Here Violence in the Workplace: Prevention Guide Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety 1-800 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:127
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 100
Provided by: hrpaCaHRP


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Profiting Through Prevention

Profiting Through Prevention
  • A broad perspective on the issue of workplace
    violence (Psychological Harassment)
  • The Canadian experience
  • The anatomy of a violent incident
  • Threat/Risk Assessment
  • Legislative/legal obligations (Bill 168)
  • Prevention programming

What are we talking about
  • Continuing disagreement regarding the definition
    and parameters of violence.
  • Two parameters
  • physical versus Non physical
  • The source (who is the perpetrator)

Violence Definitions Vary
  • BC Physical force by a person other than a
    worker. (HHSR, s. 4.27)
  • AL threatened, attempted or actual conduct of
    a person that causes or is likely to cause
    physical injury (Code, s. 1)
  • Sask. attempted, threatened or actual conduct
    of a person that causes or is likely to cause
    injury (Regs, S. 37) (includes harassment)
  • Man. - attempted or exercise of physical force
    against a person (includes harassment)
  • Ont. (Bill 168) the exercise of physical
    force by a person against a worker in a
    workplace (includes harassment)

Psychological Harassment
  • means an vexatious behaviour in the form of
    repeated and hostile or unwanted conduct, verbal
    comments, actions or gestures, that affects an
    employees dignity or psychological or physical
    integrity and results in a harmful work

Quebec Labour Standards - June 1, 2004
Regulatory Shift
As thought there has been a regulatory migration
towards the inclusion of indirect forms of
aggressiveness, frequently referred to as
psychological harassment
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario
(pending) include harassment
Growing Pressure to expand the Definition of
  • We recommend that workplace violence be
    defined, not only as physical violence but also
    as psychological violence such as bullying,
    mobbing, teasing, ridicule or any other act or
    words that could psychologically hurt or isolate
    a person in the workplace.
  • (OC Transpo Inquest Recommendation 7)

Growing Pressure to expand the Definition of

A Review of the Occupational Health and Safety
Act to examine the feasibility of including
domestic violence, abuse and harassment as
matters subject to Ministry of Labour
Investigation and Action
Lori Dupont Coroners Inquest December 11, 2007
The Evolution of Bullying (General/Personal
  • Historically the focus of attention was on
    physical workplace violence
  • Growing evidence to suggest that interpersonal
    mistreatment has been a contributor
  • This mistreatment has been described as verbal,
    indirect and passive

A General Definition of Bullying
  • Workplace bullying is the persistent
    mistreatment of one or more employees, sometimes
    by an employee in a position of influence or
    authority, who, intentionally or unwittingly,
    subjects others to behaviour that humiliates,
    demoralizes or otherwise undermines the victims
    credibility, effectiveness and personal

Warning Signs of Bullying
  • Unjust criticism, fault-finding and belittling
  • Communication that embarrasses or humiliates the
    person privately or publicly
  • Explosive outbursts
  • Intentionally and repeatedly isolating someone
  • Taking credit, undermining or deliberately
    impeding a person's work
  • Intrusive contact outside of working hours (phone
    calls, e-mails)

Additional Warning Signs
  • Setting unrealistic goals or deadlines
  • Denying access to information necessary to
    complete a task
  • Blocking applications for training, leave or
  • Removing areas of responsibilities Unwarranted
    (or undeserved) punishment
  • Constantly changing work guidelines

Bullying is NOT
  • Objective comments intended as constructive
  • Reasonable action taken in a constructive
    manner to advance a work process
  • A decision based on reasonable grounds not to
    award, promote, transfer
  • Reasonable administrative action in the course
    of employment.

Our Working Definition
Any incident in which a person is abused,
threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating
to their work. These behaviors would originate
from customers, co-workers at any level of the
organization. This definition would include all
forms of harassment, bullying, intimidation,
physical threats/assaults, robbery and other
intrusive behaviors (IOL, 1999)
The Canadian Experience
  • Women have 19 higher rate of physical or
    psychological assaults than the US
  • Stats Can. 12,000 women 51 attacked
  • CUPE 1994 70 reported verbal aggression, 40
    struck, 30 grabbed
  • Sexual Harassment fastest growing compliant since
    1991 (Ont. Human Rights Commission)

Canada in a Global Context
  • France, Argentina, Romania, Canada, England
    reported highest rates of assaults sexual
    harassment on the job. (ILO, 1999)

Statistics Canada Criminal violations 1998
Statistics Canada Criminal Violations 2000
Criminal Violations Actual number of persons
  • 1998 2000 Change
  • Homicide 255 319 25
  • Robbery 19,572 21,279 9
  • Criminal 5,378 7,143 33
  • (Harassment)
  • Sexual 8,374 9,921 18
  • (Assault)
  • Assault 8,0267 10,3617 29

CIWV Preliminary Findings
  • Violence has increased (66)
  • Physical violence reported from outside, whereas
    Psychological from within
  • 78 have taken concrete steps to act
  • 53 suggest not enough being done
  • 91 believe Canada different than US but moving
    in that direction

What are the sources of violence?
From Impoliteness to Physical Attack
Violence is rarely a spontaneous act but more
often the culmination of escalating patterns of
negative interaction between individuals
Violence An Interaction
  • An interaction between three factors
  • Stimulus that leads subject to think this is the
    only way out
  • A viable solution to the problem at hand
  • An organization that facilitates/permits
    violence, or at least does not stop it from

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
The Concept of Control
High Locus Control
Transitory Anxiety
Chronic Lack of Control
Perceived Injustice
Low Locus of Control
The Importance of Control
The Behavioural Sequence
The Case of Bullying that Changed Canadas
Legal Landscape
Pierre LeBrun
  • 12 year employee of OC Transpo (Nov.86-Dec.98)
  • Driver, then Parts Clerk
  • Pronounced stutter and facial ticks at times of
  • Complained of being teased, mimicked and
    ridiculed by co-workers to OH nurse, HR worker,
    doctor, and supervisor
  • Treated for depression
  • Expressed concern about being labeled a rat and

Events of April 6, 1999
  • OC Transpo St. Laurent Repair Complex
  • Pierre LeBrun at 240 p.m. begins shooting with a
    high powered hunting rifle
  • Kills 4 workers, wounds 2, kills himself
  • Police TAC Units and paramedics respond, reach
    deceased at 430 p.m.

The Letter
  • Im going to commit an unforgivable actI
    have no choice. Im tired, exhausted and
    completely backed against the wallThey will
    never leave me alone. I cant go on living like
    this! They have destroyed my life, I will destroy
    their lifeOC Transpo and the unions cant hide
    from what they do to meThey will pay dearly for
    what theyve done to me. The people who I hold
    responsible are (four names listed) along with
    many others all I wanted was for them to leave
    me alone, not to bug me but it was too much to
    ask. They have spread lies, especially that I was
    a rat who denounced my own union members to try
    and have them stop laughing at me.

Co-worker Suicide
  • I have been unable to sleep well since the
    shooting at OC. The gunman, Pierre had talked
    with me to great length about it and where to be
    for a better shot at some managers as it turned
    out he shot himself at this location in the loft.
    I feel guilty as hell for not telling anyone.

Post Event Analysis
  • Pierre LeBrun worked in a poisoned
    workplace. He was repeatedly harassed due to his
    speech impediment, his tic disorder He
    complained about the ridiculing to a number of
    individuals at OC TranspoThe personal factors of
    speech impediment, tic disorder, poor self
    esteem, anxiety, depression and paranoia
    exacerbated by workplace factors of chronic
    harassment and ridicule proved to be a fatal
  • Dr. Peter Collins (forensic psychiatrist)

Legislative/Legal Responsibilities
  • Common Law Liability
  • Liability of the employer for the acts of its
  • Liability of the employer for its own acts
  • Statutory Liability
  • Occupiers Liability Act
  • Occupational Health Safety Act
  • Human Rights code
  • Criminal Code

Negligence of Employer
Rests on the employers awareness of events in its
workplace and has responded reasonably based on
that knowledge. In essence a duty of care.
  • Negligent hiring
  • Negligent retention
  • Negligent Supervision

Negligent Hiring
  • More developed in the US but has been made in
  • An employer may have hired negligently where a
    person with known propensities for violence
    should have been discovered.
  • Reference checks, personal interviews, security

Negligent Retention
  • A claim may arise where an employer continues to
    employ an employee, despite the fact that the
    employer knew or ought to have known of the
    employees history or propensity for violence,
    and that the employee engages in a violent act.

Negligent Supervision
  • Often referred to in the US.
  • The employer can be held liable for negligently
    retaining an employee, such as an supervisor,
    whom they were aware had a propensity for

Statutory Liability
  • Occupiers Liability Act
  • People who are in control over land must ensure
    that their premises are safe for persons who may
    be reasonably expected to enter.
  • There are a number of security steps that can
    mitigate the risk - lighting, intercom, alarm
    systems, electronic access, ID tags, single
    reception, etc.

Human Rights Legislation
Every Canadian jurisdiction also has Human Rights
legislation that protects each of us against
discrimination and harassment. Some companies
have specific policies regarding harassment and
fair work practices. The Human Rights policy may
be integrated into your workplace violence
prevention policy or it may stand alone.
OHS Legislation
Every Canadian jurisdiction (provincial/territoria
l/federal) has its own Occupational Health and
Safety legislation. This legislation is
intended to protect all employees against hazards
on the job, including workplace violence.
Workplace Violence Legislation
Federal Government

Key Developments
  • Federal Canada Labour Code Regulations,
    December, 2007
  • Ontario Bill 29, December, 2007
  • Bill 168, April, 2009

Canada Labour Code II
  • Any action , conduct, threat or gesture of a
    person towards an employee in their workplace
    that can reasonably be expected to cause harm,
    injury or illness to that employee

COHS Regulations
  • Employer must assess and identify factors that
    contribute to workplace violence.
  • Past experience
  • Similar workplaces
  • Reports of violent incidents
  • Measures currently in place

COHS Regulations
  • Develop, establish post a Policy regarding
    workplace violence.
  • Commitment to a safe workplace
  • Dedicate resources to address violence including
    bullying and teasing.
  • Communicate factors that might contribute to
    workplace violence
  • Assist victimized employees

COHS Regulations
  • Once a policy in place, the employer must
    establish systematic controls
  • 90 days after the risk assessment
  • Prevention measures may include workplace design
    and processes
  • Reporting/Investigation
  • Training
  • Reviewed every 3 years

The Criminal Code
  • Some acts of violence fall under the Criminal
    Code just because they happened in a workplace
    does not change this fact. The Criminal Code
    covers acts of violence such as
  • Criminal harassment
  • Uttering threats
  • Hostage taking
  • Sexual assault
  • Assault
  • Murder

Bill 168
  • First reading, April 20, 2009
  • To protect workers from both physical violence
    and harassment
  • Noteworthy Domestic Violence, Right to
    Refuse Work, Duty to Warn Risk Assessment
    Reporting of Violence to MOL. Accountability
    under the OHSA

Status of Bill 168
  • Second reading under way
  • MOL is very committed to its passage
  • Unclear when it will pass
  • Will become law 6 months after Royal Assent

Who Bill Applies To
  • Workplaces with more than 5 employees unless
    inspector orders otherwise.

Bill 168 ( Employer Responsibility)
  • Policy (posted at a conspicuous place)
  • Assess and identify risks
  • Prevention measures and procedures
  • Reporting/Communicate procedures and appropriate
    investigative procedures
  • Copy of risk assessment to the JHSC
  • Training obligation

Definition of Workplace Violence
  • 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

Definition of workplace Violence
  • Does not cover threats
  • Unintentional force could be considered
    Workplace violence
  • Covers acts of violence by members of the public
    against employees.

Definition of Workplace Harassment
  • Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or
    conduct against a worker in a workplace that is
    known or ought reasonably to be known to be

Key Features of Harassment Definition
  • Not tied to prohibited grounds under the Human
    Rights Code
  • Could be applied to a wide range of conduct
  • Subjective in scope

Policy Requirements
  • In writing
  • Posted in conspicuous place in the workplace if
    there are 5 or more employees in the workplace
  • Review as often as is necessary, but at least

Workplace Violence Assessment
  • Considerations to take into account
  • Similar workplaces
  • Circumstances specific to your workplace
  • Other elements prescribed by regulation

Workplace Violence Assessment
  • Must advise the JHSC of the results in writing
  • Reassess as often as is necessary to ensure that
    the related policy and program continue to
    protect workers

Required elements of a Workplace Violence Program
  • To control the identified risks
  • For summoning immediate assistance when workplace
    violence occurs or is likely to occur
  • For workers to report incidents
  • Set how the employer will investigate and deal
    with incidents and complaints

Duties to Inform and Instruct Employees
  • As appropriate on the contents of the policy
    and program
  • To provide information including personal
    information related to a risk of workplace
    violence if
  • Expected to encounter the person in the course of
    their work
  • Risk is likely to expose worker to physical

Limit on Disclosure
  • Not to disclose more personal information in the
    circumstances than is reasonably necessary to
    protect the worker from physical injury

Duties to Inform and Instruct
  • Part of the general duty on employer to inform,
    instruct and supervise a worker under s.25(2)(a)
    of the OHSA
  • Duty to advise re workplace violence risks also
    applies to supervisors.

Domestic Violence
  • Duty triggered if the employer becomes aware (or
    ought to become aware) that domestic violence
    will likely expose a worker to physical injury in
    the workplace
  • Take every precaution reasonable in the
    circumstances for the protection of the worker

Required Elements of a Workplace Harassment
  • Measures and procedures for workers to report
    incidents of workplace harassment
  • Set out how the employer will investigate and
    deal with incidents and complaints

Duty to Inform and Instruct
  • Employer must provide information and
    instruction that is appropriate for the worker

Work Refusals
  • Employees will have the right to refuse work if
    workplace violence is likely to endanger himself
    or herself
  • No right to refuse work because of harassment

Work Refusal Process
  • Must report to supervisor or employer
  • Employer must investigate forthwith in presence
    of a JHSC member or a worker selected by the
    union or the workers
  • Worker to remain in a safe place near work
    station pending investigation

Work Refusal Process
  • If the worker continues to refuse MOL is to be
  • MOL will investigate and decide if workplace
    violence is likely to endanger the worker
  • Worker to remain in a safe place pending the

  • MOL is to release guidelines in regard to how
    provisions of Bill 168 will be enforced and
  • Much will depend on the training given to
    inspectors (currently underway)

Enforcement Questions
  • Will there be a blitz?
  • How far will inspectors go to review violence
  • How much detail will the policies and programs
    need to contain?
  • Will noncompliance with the policy and program
    requirements result in higher fines or civil

Employer Obligations Workplace Harassment
The development and implementation of a policy
and prevention program with respect to workplace
At a minimum a. Procedures to report incidents
of harassment b. Procedures defining how the
employer will investigate and address incidents
and complaints of workplace harassment.
It is noteworthy that the Bill contemplates an
obligation to investigate complaints and
incidents. This suggests the employer
obligation to investigate and address harassment
is not limited to responding to complaints. The
additional word incidents suggests a broader,
more proactive obligation.
Employer Responsibility for Domestic Violence
If the employer is aware or ought reasonably to
be aware that a domestic violence matter could
expose a worker to physical injury, the employer
will be required to take reasonable precautions
for the protection of the worker.
Right to Refuse to Work Where Risk of Violence
Right to Refuse to Work Where Risk of
Violence The Bill will extend the right to refuse
to work where workplace violence or the risk of
violence is likely to endanger a worker
  • Your Road Map to Prevention

Hazard Assessment
Training Education
Continuous Program Review
Prevention Measures
Incident Follow-Up
Victim Assistance
Reporting Investigation
Emergency Response Planning
Workplace Violence Prevention Policy
  • Every organization should have a workplace
    violence prevention policy that is jointly
    developed by management and employees.
  • This document is the foundation of your violence
    prevention program.

Prevention Policy
Violence Prevention Policy Violence Prevention
Policy should
  • Communicate your organizations commitment to
    preventing workplace violence
  • Provide an overview of your violence prevention
  • Establish clear standards of behaviour
  • Apply to all employees, managers, contractors
    and clients (e.g. customers, patients, students)

Hazard/Risk Assessment
Hazard Assessment
  • To effectively prevent workplace violence you
    need to have a good understanding of workplace
    violence risk factors.
  • Your workplace specific hazard assessment will
    build on this understanding and must include
    input from both management and employees.

The Importance of Risk Assessment
  • A comprehensive risk/hazard assessment is the
    foundation on which to develop a workplace
    specific violence prevention program while
    ensuring legislative compliance.
  • It is a logical starting point

The Nature of Risk
Two components when thinking of risk assessment
  • The risk associated with an individual who may be
    potentially aggressive
  • The organizational risks relating to design, work
    processes, etc.

History of Violence in your Workplace
  • Some form of survey of employees at all levels of
    the organization
  • Consult relevant internal documents and reports
  • Identify risk factors in your workplace
  • Inspect the workplace

Workplace Trends in Similar Organizations
Obtain information from relevant sources such as
  • Insurer
  • WSIB
  • Occupational, Health Safety enforcement agency
  • Local police (security)
  • Union

Risk Assessment
Employee Interviews
  • Employee Interviews
  • Interview representative cross-section of
  • Interviews should be done on a confidential basis
  • Consistent questions

Risk Assessment
Work Site Audit
  • Review of physical facilities
  • Conduct observational tours of the workplace
  • Look for environmental risk factors (exits,
    barriers, ID, etc.)
  • Utilize a risk identification checklist

Risk Assessment
Work Site Audit
  • Categories to include on a risk assessment
  • Access control
  • Escape opportunities
  • Visibility
  • Security and surveillance systems
  • Parking areas, exterior, building perimeter
  • Cash handling (if applicable)
  • Remote work/work alone (if applicable)
  • Health care and community sector (if applicable)
  • Service sector (if applicable)

Prevention The Next Step
  • Your hazard/risk assessment will help identify
    the most significant concerns in your
  • The next step is to develop specific measures
    that will eliminate or minimize these hazards

Before Launching Prevention measures, consider
  • Communicating the results of your assessment and
    the prevention plan
  • Explain the hazards identified
  • Describe the changes
  • Explain the reason behind the identified change
  • Emphasize the positive and preventive aspects of
    your program

Developing Preventive MeasuresYour hazard
assessment will identify the most significant
concerns for your organization.
The next step is to develop specific measures
that will eliminate or minimize these
hazards. Preventive measures include training
and educating employees about workplace violence,
as well as making improvements or changes to your
Prevention Measures
Developing Preventive Measures
  • When developing preventive measures, you should
  • Workplace design includes the physical lay-out
    of the workplace and the use of signs, locks or
    physical barriers, lighting and electronic
  • Administrative practices - decisions you make
    about how you do business, such as hours of
    operation and staffing levels.
  • Work practices - safe-guards you take while you
    are actually doing the job.

Reporting Investigating
Workplace violence is frequently under
reported. Every workplace should have a clearly
defined system set up for the reporting,
recording and investigating incidents or possible
incidents of violence.
Reporting Investigation
Emergency Response Planning
From an both an personal and organizational
perspective, it is essential that you have
specific plans in place ahead of time that
clearly outline how to respond to a serious
incident. The plan should be thorough enough
to deal with most incidents, but easy enough to
understand and remember.
Emergency Response Planning
Victim Assistance
  • In the aftermath of an incident of workplace
    violence, traumatized people may require
    emotional and medical support.

Victim Assistance
Incident Follow-up
  • Incident follow-up is part of your ongoing
    efforts to assess hazards and improve prevention
    and response strategies
  • Incident follow-up occurs some time after the
    incident has been investigated and after
    recommendations for prevention have been made.
    It involves taking a second look at the situation

Incident Follow-Up
Training Education
Education and training are a very important part
of any violence prevention program. The exact
content and type of training necessary will
depend on the results of your workplace hazard
assessment and your workplace-specific prevention
Training Education

Program Review
  • Program review should occur at least annually
    and more often than that if any of the following
    situations apply
  • Your organization has experienced an increase in
    violent incidents
  • Your organization has undergone a significant
    change (e.g. relocation, addition of new shifts,
    a significant change in business circumstances)
  • There have been legislative changes that affect
    your organization

Program Review
Where to From Here
  • Violence in the Workplace Prevention Guide
    Canadian Centre for Occupational Health Safety
  • Violence in the Workplace, Eric Roher, Carswell
    Publishing 1-800-387-5164
  • Human Resources Guide to Workplace Violence,
    Norman Keith, Canada Law Book
  • Civil Liability for Sexual Abuse Violence in
    Canada, Elizabeth Grace, Butterworths
  • Any of these overheads

Write a Comment
User Comments (0)