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Workplace violence and harassment: training for prevention

It can not be said enough, harassment and violence in Canadian workplaces – should not be part of the job. And yet frustratingly it is. And the problem is growing. 
Earlier this week, we at Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) reported on an important new national study that shows workplace harassment and violence is still a major issue, with a little more than 70 per cent of workers reporting they experienced at least one form of harassment and violence or sexual harassment and violence in the last two years.
In case you missed it, the study, a joint effort between Western University researchers and the Canadian Labour Council, was conducted between Oct. 21, 2020 and April 21, 2021 and included responses from 4,912 workers with at least 88 per cent being union members. Survey participants included workers from education, health care and social services and public administration sectors working in physical workspaces and virtually. For a quarter of respondents, the pandemic made things worse with an increase in severity, frequency and a fear of reporting as well as the tactics used by the harasser and perpetrator.
Be sure to read the full report.
Regardless of the type of work being performed and the location though – physical workplace, virtual or hybrid; education and awareness remains paramount. Workplace policies and programs need to be in place, one worker facing violence or harassment is one worker too many.
Training for compliance and worker safety
Every worker has the right to a safe workplace free from violence and harassment. Ontario Health and Safety Act provisions require employers to develop and implement workplace violence and harassment policies and programs. It’s not enough to have a written policy, employers have an obligation to provide all workers with information about their policies and provide training on programs implemented. Just as important, by law these policies and programs must be current and reviewed annually.

Are your workers safeguarded? Is your workplace fully compliant?

To help workplaces, WHSC, Ontario’s only government designated training centre, offers a Workplace Violence and Harassment Program. This three-hour training program scheduled in online, instructor-led virtual classrooms covers essentials for those creating a new workplace-specific program and policy or evaluating an existing workplace violence program.
Did you know, a policy is required regardless of workplace size and must be clearly posted in a workplace with six or more employees? Workplace violence includes acts that would constitute offences under Canada’s Criminal Code. Workplace harassment includes types of harassment prohibited under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. 
WHAT: Workplace Violence and Harassment – Virtual 
WHERE: Online, virtual classroom
WHEN: Wednesday, June 8 | 9:00AM-12:00PM
Tuesday, June 21 | 9:00AM-12:00PM
COST: $75.00

Please note: Registration closes two weeks before each training date.

Benefits of our program…

Participants will:
  • review the definition of workplace violence and harassment and discuss risk factors associated with each.
  • evaluate tools necessary to identify and assess workplace violence hazards in order to implement effective control measures.
  • develop the knowledge necessary to help fulfill OHSA's requirements including developing and posting written policies with respect to workplace violence, conducting a risk assessment, developing a workplace violence and harassment program and training workers regarding the specific workplace policies and programs.
  • learn about the employer's duty to observe for evidence of domestic violence and to provide information about "a person with a history of violent behaviour."

Additional resources:
Employer compliance checklist
Worker checklist
Workplace Harassment: from investigation to prevention
Workplace Violence: predictable and preventable
Domestic Violence in the Workplace: breaking the silence
Need more information?
Additional training: Check out all WHSC programs
Contact a WHSC training services representative in your area.
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