Written by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
Article from the OH&S Canada magazine – (Nov. 2021)
“Create a road map and make it readily available”
Policy, training and confidential reporting mechanism are the pillars of a strong harassment and violence prevention strategy. Seeing your commitment to prevention and to addressing incidents of harassment and violence at work can go a long way in helping hesitant employees feel more comfortable about reporting behaviours that they have witnessed or experienced. It may also help deter employees from engaging in questionable behaviour during workplace interactions.
Using precise, concrete words, your written statement about outline behaviours that management considers inappropriate and unacceptable in the workplace, such as humiliation, violence, intimidation, bullying, and harassment, along with examples of each.
Include instruction on what to do when incidents covered by the policy occur, to whom they should be reported, how confidentiality will be maintained, and the procedure that will be followed each time an incident is reported.
Be clear that reporting is also encouraged when an incident is witnessed, rather than e4xperienced directly. Clearly outline the steps that will be followed for resolving or investigation incidents or complaints once they are received.
The statement should be developed by management and employee representatives, including the health and safety committee or representative, and union, if present. It should apply to management and employees, as well as to clients, independent contractors and anyone who has a relationship with you organization.
“Commit to an ongoing process”
As workplaces adapt to a new normal, understand what harassment and violence look like and how to prevent it is an ongoing process that requires continuous guidance, training and dialogue.
To demonstrate your organization’s commitment, outline the process by which preventative measures will be developed, and set up mandatory training for employees and management on your harassment and violence prevention strategy.
Make sure to communicate about support services for victims, and offer access to a confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if available, where employees can seek help.
Having a violence prevention program in place is mandatory for many Canadian workplaces.
Contact your legislative authority to determine the specific legislation that applies to your workplace.
This is the end of the 4-part series, written by the CCOHS, on harassment and violence in the workplace. It is a great report and should be used by all jurisdictions as a guideline for a workplace program in your company.
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Canada, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
CEO & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.