Why is psychological harassment important for occupational health and safety?

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1 Why is psychological harassment important for occupational health and safety? K A T H E R I N E L I P P E L C A N A D A R E S E A R C H C H A I R I N O C C U P A T I O N A L H E A L T H A N D S A F E T Y L A W U N I V E R S I T Y O F O T T A W A National Joint Council Annual Seminar Montreal, September 19 th 2013

2 Presentation outline EQCOTESST Psychosocial hazards associated with psychological harassment Health problems associated with psychological harassment Workers compensation for workers suffering from mental health problems attributable to work Legislation governing prevention of mental health problems arising from work

3 Question on psychological harassment During the past 12 months at your current main job, were you subjected to psychological harassment, that is, repeated verbal harassment or actions that affected your dignity or personal integrity?

4 Prevalence of the different forms of occupational violence 20% 18% 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% 12.6% 17,3*% 14.8% Psychological harassment 1.4% 3,8*% 2.5% 1.6% 2.3% 1.9% Sexual harassment Male Female Total Physical violence * p< 0.05, chi-square test for gender difference 4

5 Nature and frequency of psychological harassment Among all targets of psychological harassment: 32 % exposed often or very often 66 % targeted by a member of the organisation Among targets from within the organisation: 54 % identify supervisors 32 % colleagues 6 % underlings 8 % more than one category 5

6 Variables associated with psychological harassment by S/G * <0,1 ** <0,05 <0,01 Job-strain Poor job security ** Public vs Private sector Inadequate means to do quality work Permanent vs Temporary * ** 500 workers + vs 0-20 ** Women Men Contact with public ** Adjusted for occupational categories

7 Exposure to each form of violence is associated with a higher prevalence of negative health consequences including Occupational violence and Psychological distress Depression Presenteeism Work Accidents Musculoskeletal disorders health Exposure to several forms of violence is associated with a higher prevalence of negative health consequences. 7

8 Workers compensation for mental health problems attributable to workplace stress in Canada All jurisdictions compensate for mental health problems attributable to acute stress Six jurisdictions compensate for mental health problems attributable to chronic stress Yukon Nunavut/North West Territories Alberta Saskatchewan Québec British Columbia...and case law in Ontario is broadening the scope

9 Mental health problems considered to be occupational injuries (Québec) Industrial accident: «a sudden and unforeseen event, attributable to any cause, which happens to a person, arising out of or in the course of his work and resulting in an employment injury to him» Occupational disease: «means a disease contracted out of or in the course of work and characteristic of that work or directly related to the risks peculiar to that work»

10 Prevention obligations Québec Labour Standards Act, art ss. Occupational Health and Safety Act Chagnon case, CLP 2000 Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act as amended by Bill 168 Prevention of violence and harassment Regulations on occupational violence British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland...

11 And what applies to federally regulated workplaces? Provincial legislation applies to compensation of federal government employees (GECA) Le Canada Labour Code governs prevention of occupational injuries in federal regulated workplaces...which will be explained in the next presentations

12 For more information M. Vézina, M., E. Cloutier, S. Stock, K. Lippel, É. Fortin et autres (2011). Québec Survey on Working and Employment Conditions and Occupational Health and Safety (EQCOTESST), Québec, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et sécurité du travail - Institut national de santé publique du Québec et Institut de la statistique du Québec. publication-irsst-enquete-quebecoise-conditions-travail-emploi-sante-securite-travaileqcotesst-rr-707.html Isabelle Aubé, Rachel Cox et Katherine Lippel, La protection juridique des droits fondamentaux et de la santé mentale au travail, dans JurisClasseur Québec, coll. «Thema», Montréal, LexisNexis Canada, K. Lippel, «Law, public policy and mental health in the workplace», Healthcare papers HealthcarePapers, 11(Sp) 2011: K. Lippel, M. Vézina, R. Cox, «Protection of workers mental health in Québec : Do general duty clauses allow labour inspectors to do their job?», (2011) 49 (4) Safety Sci K. Lippel, «The Law of Workplace Bullying: An International Overview» (2010) 32 (1) Comparative Labor Law And Policy Journal 1-13.

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