Blog Post #1063 – New Harassment Law in Force in New Brunswick

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada

New regulations to protect from the violence and harassment too effect in New Brunswick on April 1, 2019. Regulatory changes define harassment and violence as workplace hazards that include sexual violence and harassment, domestic violence and intimate-partner violence.

“Harassment and violence of any kind are acceptable and cannot be tolerated,” says Douglas Jones, president and CEO of WorkSafeNB in Saint John. “WorkSafeNB is committed to ensuring that all New Brunswick workplaces are free from harassment and violence, and these new regulations are an important piece in accomplishing that goal.”

WorkSafeNB recognizes the role the New Brunswick Nurses’ Union (NBNU) played in backing this legislation, following the grievous injury sustained by a Moncton nurse who was assaulted by a patient’s husband in mid March.

“For more than a decade, NBNU has strongly advocated for the effective prevention of workplace violence, says NBNU president Paula Doucet. “We are pleased that the government is taking a positive step with imposing amendments to the General Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.”

Under the amended legislation, all employers are required to develop and implement a written code of practice to prevent workplace harassment to analyze the likelihood of violence in their workplace.

“We know that legislation alone can’t fix this problem, but it is an important step,” Jones says.

My opinion

The province of Ontario, along with many others, have had violence and harassment legislation in place for quite a long time. The province of Ontario has had such legislation since July 2010. I wonder what took New Brunswick so long to recognize the need for proper legislation. Does someone need to be severely injured or die before that can happen? Why did the province of New Brunswick not see the changes of the other provinces and make changes earlier than later?

Good questions all.

I have listed section 32.0.1 and 32.0.2 of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), created in 2009 and published in the OHSA for June 15, 2010.

32.0.1 (1) An employer shall,

(a) prepare a policy with respect to workplace violence;

(b) prepare a policy with respect to workplace harassment; and

(c) review the policies as often as is necessary, but at least annually.  2009, c. 23, s. 3.

Written form, posting

(2) The policies shall be in written form and shall be posted at a conspicuous place in the workplace.  2009, c. 23, s. 3.


(3) Subsection (2) does not apply if the number of workers regularly employed at the workplace is five or fewer, unless an inspector orders it otherwise.

Section Amendments with date in force (d/m/y)

Program, violence

32.0.2 (1) An employer shall develop and maintain a program to implement the policy with respect to workplace violence required under clause 32.0.1 (1) (a).


(2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the program shall,

(a) include measures and procedures to control the risks identified in the assessment required under subsection 32.0.3 (1) as likely to expose a worker to physical injury;

(b) include measures and procedures for summoning immediate assistance when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur;

(c) include measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace violence to the employer or supervisor;

(d) set out how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents or complaints of workplace violence; and

(e) include any prescribed elements.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – “In Canada, ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Violence and Harassment’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


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