Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
A recent Stress survey by the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union (OPSEU) reveals that the vast majority of employees with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) have experienced or witnessed some form of workplace bullying.
The survey found that two thirds of the employees have been bullied on the job, while 70% of respondents claimed to have witnessed “offensive behaviours” at work, according to a statement that OPSEU released on July 19, 2017. More than 85% of respondents indicated that the NPCA workplace was harmful to their mental health.
“Our members at the NPCA have been telling us for a long time that their workplace is unhealthy,” OPSEU President Warren Thomas says. “These survey results would seem to back that up.”
The Union conducted the survey anonymously, in partnership with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers, (OHCOW) based in Toronto. The latter organization model of the survey on the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire, which identifies psychosocial factors that affect stress levels.
Management at the NPCA received the survey results from OPSEU on May 29, 2017. The union offered to work with the employer to improve Labour relations and deal with other outstanding issues, but the organization has never responded.
Thomas cites an incident in which the OPSEU locals highest ranking Steward’s job was terminated by the NPCA without cause on February 14, 2017. OPSEU held an information picket at the NPCA’s headquarters on April 26, 2017 demanding that the employer reinstate the Steward’s job. Thomas claimed at the time that some NPCA staff did not attend the demonstration because they were “too intimidated to come out.”
The Occupational health and Safety Act (OHSA) was changed in 2010 to show that in a 2007 audit workplace bullying violence and harassment were deemed to be one of the seven most common issues in the workplace at that time. Sections 32.0.1 to 32.0.8 were created and added to the OHSA and has been used on a number of occasions. Every company is supposed to have a set of policies and procedures dealing with harassment and violence in the workplace. Too bad the NPCA didn’t receive the memo.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Violence’ and ‘Harassment’ in the workplace. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.