Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention

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1 Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention

2 Workplace Violence & Harassment Prevention "The government has acted to protect workers from workplace violence. Everyone should be able to work without fear of violence in a safe and healthy workplace." Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour "By protecting our health care workers from violence and harassment, we're helping them focus on what is most important - providing patients with high quality health care." Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long Term Care

3 Overview Baycrest is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace free from actual, attempted or threatened violence and will take reasonable precautions to prevent workplace violence. As with any safety issue, the policy and procedures apply to all Baycrest employees regardless of position, classification or union membership. They also apply to all persons who attend a Baycrest workplace. This training will help students recognize what to do when they encounter situations of violence or harassment, how to properly report incidents and get the support they need. If you have any questions regarding violence and harassment in the workplace, or need to report an incident, speak to your supervisor, the Occupational Health and Safety Department at ext or the Human Resources Department at ext Please note, in this policy, Students are considered as Employees

4 Why is this important? On June 15, 2010, Bill 168, an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act became law. This amendment provides protection for workers from violence and harassment in the workplace. This legislation requires that all employers and students have Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies in place and have developed a program to educate staff. All employees and students have the right to be treated with dignity in the workplace. Baycrest has zero tolerance for violence in the workplace and is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace free from actual, attempted or threatened violence and harassment. Workplace violence and harassment is a health and safety issue and all reasonable precautions will be taken to protect employees and students.

5 Why is this important? Cont. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, 17% of all self-reported incidents of violent victimization, including sexual assault, robbery and physical assault happened at the workplace. This represents over 356,000 violent workplace incidents in Canada (StatCan, 2007). In 2007, there were 2,150 allowed lost-time claims from assaults, violent acts, harassment and acts of war or terrorism in Ontario (WSIB, 2007). From April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, Ontario Ministry of Labour Inspectors made 417 field visits and issued 351 orders related to violence in the workplace. (MOL, 2009).

6 Why is this important? Cont. Employees and students who are bullied waste 10-52% of their time at work. Research shows they spend time defending themselves and networking for support, thinking about the situation, being de-motivated and stressed not to mention taking sick leave due to stress-related illnesses. (CSC) There is evidence that violence has increased in Canadian workplaces over the past 5 years: 66% of organizations report an increase in aggressive acts within their workplaces. And, 82% of organizations report an increase in both formal incident reports and grievances (CIWV, 2000). *Source: IAPA 2009

7 Who does this apply to? This legislation applies to all workers regardless of position, classification or union membership. At Baycrest this includes, but is not limited to: Employees Physicians Volunteers Students Private companions Family members Contractors Visitors Delivery Persons

8 Baycrest Responsibility Our responsibilities include: Taking every precaution (reasonable in the circumstances), to protect employees, students and others in Baycrest workplaces from workplace violence; Ensuring that everyone receive training in this policy; Establishing a process for reporting and responding to incidents of workplace violence; Ensuring that the process for reporting and responding to incidents of workplace violence is communicated, maintained and followed.

9 Student s Responsibility At Baycrest all students and staff have a responsibility to create and maintain a workplace free from violence and harassment. Your responsibilities include: Complying with the policies at all times; Knowing how to summon immediate assistance; Knowing how to report incidents of workplace violence; Knowing how incidents will be investigated; Being aware of how to protect yourself from workplace violence or harassment; Refraining from committing acts of violence or harassment in the workplace.

10 What is the Baycrest workplace? You might think that the Baycrest workplace consists only of the buildings located on the Baycrest campus. The Baycrest workplace is defined as all places where Baycrest business occurs, including: All Baycrest buildings and surrounding areas such as parking lots, sidewalks and driveways within the campus; Off-site locations where Baycrest business occurs; Locations where recreational social events are held that are sponsored by Baycrest; Personal transportation used to travel for Baycrest business; Baycrest vehicles.

11 What is workplace violence? Use of physical force against or by a someone at the workplace that causes or could cause physical injury. Attempted use of physical force, against or by a worker, that could have caused physical harm or as a threat to safety or security in the workplace. An action or statement (or series of) reasonably believed to be a threat of physical harm or a threat to safety of security in the workplace.

12 Types of workplace violence Acts of violence in the workplace may be committed by anyone, even persons who are not part of the Baycrest workforce. Client Related Acts Employee Related Acts Non-Employee Related Client/resident with dementia who does not have the capacity to know that their actions, such as hitting an employee, can cause harm. A client throwing an object at an employee. Two clients fighting who did not intend to hurt the employee who tries to part them. A family member verbally or physically threatening to attack, or attacking an employee Verbally threatening to attack or physically attacking another employee (punching, hitting, kicking, pushing) Damaging a co-worker s property Shaking a fist in someone s face Sexual violence Leaving threatening notes or s A person with no relationship to the workplace who commits violent acts in the Baycrest workplace such as: Domestic violence where violence in a personal relationship becomes a risk to the victim and others in the victim s workplace Physical assault Sexual violence Kidnapping and/or hostage taking Theft of money and/or personal belongings

13 What is workplace harassment? Engaging in a course of vexatious (annoying, irritating or malicious) comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome." This also includes harassment which is prohibited under the Ontario Human Rights Code and covered in Baycrest s policy on Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination in the Workplace. The harassment often involves repeated, unwelcomed comments or actions, or a pattern of behaviours against co-workers or clients. These comments or behaviours usually happen more than once; whether during a short period of time such as over the course of one day, or more likely over a longer period of time such as months or years.

14 Types of workplace harassment Workplace harassment may also be referred to as psychological harassment or personal harassment and may include behaviours such as: Displaying or circulating offensive pictures or materials in print or electronic form in the workplace Making comments about someone or telling jokes that ridicule, including jokes or comments about the person s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability Using offensive or intimidating language Inappropriate sexual advances, touching, suggestions or requests Actions or behaviours that could be considered bullying Offensive gestures Repeated offensive or intimidating phone calls or s Unwelcomed gifts or attention

15 What is not violence or harassment It s an accident Example: Someone trips over something and knocks another person over as he or she is falling It s a disagreement or difference of opinion among co-workers Example: Two employees are heard talking about how a particular task should be done and while they disagree, the difference of opinion does not impact their working relationships. It is reasonable action by a supervisor that is part of their normal responsibilities even if the employee feels that the results are unfair or unpleasant Example: A new filing system is being installed and the room needs to be cleared. The manager of the unit explains that everyone will be assigned to work in the room for one hour regardless of what their regular duties are.

16 Effects of Workplace Violence & Harassment Violence and harassment in the workplace can take a very heavy toll on both employees and on Baycrest such as: Emotional and physical trauma to victims, their co-workers and families Reduced employee and client morale and productivity Increased absenteeism and sick leave Workplace accidents Increased Employee Assistance Program costs Harm to Baycrest s image and reputation

17 What should you do when incidents of violence occur? Everyone plays a role in maintaining a workplace free of violence. If you are a victim of violence, or you observe violence in the workplace, and a weapon is involved, CALL 5555 Your other options are: In most Baycrest buildings: Call a code white 5555 If you are in immediate danger, and then remove yourself from the situation Call security 2130 If you don t feel that you are in immediate danger If you are Clinical Care staff: Use the panic/duress button Use a personal alarm (unit specific) If you are located in the Terraces: Call If you feel that you don t have any of the above options - Pull a fire alarm You must report the incident to your manager or supervisor as soon as possible.

18 What should you do when incidents of harassment occur? You have choices on how to deal with workplace harassment. When situations occur that fit the definition of workplace harassment, you should report it immediately to your supervisor. Sometimes, it may help if you speak with the person directly. If you choose that option here are some tips to help you. Tips for dealing with workplace harassment 1. Tell the harasser what the problem is or identify the harassing behavior; 2. Explain the effect of the comments or actions; E.g. It makes me uncomfortable when you call me a State what you want them to do differently. E.g. Please stop calling me that...

19 Domestic violence If an employer is aware or ought to be aware that domestic violence that is likely to expose a worker to physical injury may occur in the workplace, the employer must take every reasonable precaution in the circumstance to protect the worker. A Baycrest employee may have a personal relationship with someone who could potentially harm them while at work. Although it happens in the workplace, it is still considered domestic violence. Keep in mind that domestic violence is not gender specific; it happens to men as well as women. As a Baycrest staff member, you are encouraged to let someone know if you are a victim, or are aware of someone who has a problem that could result in domestic violence in the workplace. By being made aware, Baycrest will be in a position to take proper precaution.

20 Reporting harassment & violence It is mandatory the you report all incidents of violence immediately! Reporting means that steps can be taken to stop that pattern of behavior from continuing and impacting yourself and others. If incidents go unreported, the behaviour will likely continue and both you and your co-workers will continue to be at risk. Reporting Workplace Violence Report any incident of violence to your supervisor immediately. If your supervisor is not available then report to the following Baycrest personnel: Any Baycrest supervisor or manager Security Occupational Health and Safety or Human Resources The resource person on call (directly or through locating Ext and ask them to be paged) during evening and night shifts

21 Reporting harassment & violence Complete a report using the Safety Event Report System (SERS). Your supervisor and Occupational Health will then be able to review the report. If you don t have access to SERS, ask your supervisor to complete it for you. SERS is available through the Baycrest intranet. Reporting Workplace Harassment Employees are also encouraged to report all incidents of harassment. You should speak to your director, manager or supervisor. If they are not available or you would feel more comfortable, then speak to the Human Resources Advisor or Occupational Health and Safety.

22 What happens when you report violence? ALL REPORTED INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE WILL BE INVESTIGATED. The investigation of workplace incidents will be investigated by Occupational Health and Safety or Human Resources and an operational management representative. The investigation will include documented interviews with: The complainant or victim The alleged perpetrator(s) Witnesses Any other steps necessary to investigate will also be taken. When the investigation is completed, Baycrest will prepare a written report with suggestions for corrective, preventative or disciplinary measures.

23 What happens when you report harassment? When a formal complaint is made about an incident of harassment, Human Resources staff will review the complaint to determine if the incident is harassment according to the Human Rights Code. If it is harassment, attempts will be made to resolve the complaint through dispute resolution measures such as mediation, coaching, counselling and/or education. If those measures are unsuccessful, an investigation will be conducted. The Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness will make a ruling on who will conduct the investigation. The investigation will include documented interviews with: The complainant or victim The alleged perpetrator(s) Witnesses Any other steps necessary to investigate will also be taken.

24 Refusal to work Students can refuse to do particular work if the hazard of that particular work is not a normal part of their regular job. Health care employees/student cannot refuse to work if: That particular work is considered an integral or normal part of their job; Refusal to work will endanger the life, health or safety of another person. For example: A clinical staff member/student could not, in the course of his or her regular work, refuse to take care of a patient with aggressive behaviour. However, the clinical member/student may ask for additional supports in providing care to the patient with aggressive behaviour. Employees/students also cannot refuse to work on the basis of workplace harassment.

25 Reprisals REPRISALS ARE PROHIBITED. Reprisal is a form of retaliation or threat against someone who has reported, or cooperated in the investigation of, an incidence of violence. At Baycrest, reprisals will not be tolerated against employees who: Have made good faith complaints or provided information regarding a complaint or incident of workplace violence or harassment; Access assistance in violence situations such as calling a code white, security, 911 or other means of assistance; All reported incidents of reprisals will be investigated.

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