1 The Northwest Catholic District School Board Section Number G 0 4 ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES Title: Workplace Violence Preamble: The Northwest Catholic District School Board believes in the prevention of workplace violence and promotes a violence-free workplace that encourages and supports an environment that reflects Catholic values. Any act of workplace violence is unacceptable conduct. Workplace violence in any form erodes the mutual trust and confidence that are essential to the well-being of our staff. The Board is committed to implementing a process to deal with workplace violence and the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in accordance with Safe Schools legislation. Definitions: Workplace Violence: As defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, is: a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker, b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to a worker, c) a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to a worker. Workplace: This Administrative Procedure applies to all work activities that occur while on Board business or workplace social events. Application: This Administrative Procedure applies to all work activities that occur. This Administrative Procedure applies to all members of the Board community, including but not limited to, Trustees, students, employees, visitors such as parents and community members, volunteers, permit holders, contractors and employees of other organizations who work on or are invited to participate in Board related functions.
2 The Northwest Catholic District School Board Page 2 of 7 Procedures: 1. Violence in the Workplace Risk Assessment The risk of violence occurring in the workplace is linked to a number of factors, including the nature of the workplace, the type of work, or conditions of the work. Examples include, but are not limited to: i. Location of the workplace, e.g., schools located in high crime areas, isolated areas. ii. Travelling within the community, to and from the workplace, visiting families, teaching in sites other than schools. iii. Parking areas. iv. Access to workplace (entry). v. Working with unstable or volatile clients/students, e.g., students with severe needs, workplace population including members of youth gangs. vi. Handling cash, e.g., fundraising activities, registration fees for adult programs. vii. Working alone or in small numbers, e.g., working late, meeting parents after school hours, driving a courier vehicle, Custodial late shift. 2. Board Responsibility Risk Assessment, Violence in the Workplace Board staff (principal or supervisor and/or Human Resources) shall identify the risks of workplace violence occurring on Board premises, or while engaging in workplace activities or workplace social events (See Appendix A Violence Risk Assessment Checklist). Risk assessment should include a rating of the risk of workplace violence taking place in a given workplace, as per the outlined rating scale below. The presence of specific programs in a school community (in addition to regular programs) must be considered when reviewing a school community, e.g., presence of; night school programs, programs for students with severe needs, suspension/expulsion programs, school used for community programs, etc. A rating scale is provided to determine the likelihood of violence in the workplace, and to assist in deciding the nature of the controls to be put in place. The rating scale suggests rating the risk of workplace violence as low, moderate, or high, according to the following definitions, which rely on a combination of frequency and severity. i. Low: One or more potential risks which rarely place a member of the Board community at risk of workplace violence, and/or the risk of workplace violence is minimal. The risk of workplace violence is not related to a normal part of the work routine, and/or there is minimal potential for intervention or first aid to be required. ii. Moderate: One or more potential risks of workplace violence that may occasionally place a member of the Board community at risk of workplace violence, and/or the risk of workplace violence is possible. The risk of workplace violence may be related to a normal part of the work routine on an infrequent basis, and/or there is moderate potential for intervention, or first aid or medical aid to be required. iii. High: One or more potential risks of workplace violence which may regularly place a member of the Board community at risk of workplace violence, and/or the risk of workplace violence is related to a normal part of the work routine on a regular basis, and/or there is a high potential for intervention(s), or medical aid to be required.
3 The Northwest Catholic District School Board Page 3 of 7 Assessments should include the identification of existing controls, measures/procedures already in place and additional controls, measures/procedures required to minimize risks of workplace. 3. Assessing and controlling Risks Workplace Location the Board will assess the risk of workplace violence occurring due to the nature of the community in which the workplace is located, working in the community (offsite of the workplace, e.g., home schooling), working alone or in isolation, physical attributes of the workplace, areas on the periphery of the workplace (e.g., parking lots, portables in playing fields), controls on entry to the workplace and on entry to parts of the workplace, use of the workplace by non-employees (e.g., community groups). Some of these may be considered significant enough that separate assessments need to be completed. General Workplace - Clients/Students/Visitors the Board will assess the risk of workplace violence occurring due to the characteristics of the general workplace population, including staff, students, parents, and the general public. This risk may vary by area within workplaces. Specific Workplace - Clients/Students/Visitors the Board will assess the risk of workplace violence occurring due to individual students, clients or employees who create a specific risk of workplace violence, e.g., students, clients or employees with a history of violence. Handling Money the Board will assess the risk of workplace violence occurring due to employees and others handling money arising from school fund-raising activities such as selling material items, school photos, school trips, charitable donations, staff funds (e.g., coffee fund, special occasions), school fees (e.g., locks, equipment, supplies, uniforms, etc.), registration fees, (e.g., night school). As part of the risk assessment, as per the charts in Appendix 1, current controls, procedures and measures for controlling these risks are identified, along with additional controls, procedures, and measures for controlling risk which may be necessary. When additional controls, procedures, and measures are identified a plan will be developed for the implementation of these measures. 4. Domestic Violence Domestic violence occurring in the workplace is recognized by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) as workplace violence. Unlike many risks which may lend themselves to regular and ongoing assessment, the risk of domestic violence taking place in the workplace is much more variable and less easily anticipated, although nonetheless real. The Act does not require an assessment of the risks of domestic violence becoming workplace violence. However, The Northwest Catholic District School Board is committed to educating workers regarding domestic violence, and to take every reasonable precaution to protect workers from domestic violence that is likely to expose workers to physical injury in the workplace (See Appendix B Domestic Violence in the Workplace Program). 4.1 Education: Board employees shall be made aware through posters and literature what domestic violence is, the seriousness of domestic violence, and their responsibilities in informing the appropriate staff when they are reasonably aware that domestic violence may occur in the workplace.
4 The Northwest Catholic District School Board Page 4 of Responsibility: The responsibility for creating and maintaining a workplace environment in which workers are protected from domestic violence that may expose workers to physical injury in the workplace rests with all workers sharing the workplace. The Board is responsible for taking action to reduce the risk of physical injury against the worker from a domestic violence situation. 4.3 Informing: Workers have a duty to report hazards to their supervisor. Section 28 (1) d of the OHSA reads that, A worker shall report to his or her employer or supervisor.the existence of any hazard of which he or she knows. Workers who have information that they, or a fellow worker is subject to domestic violence that may expose them or their fellow workers to physical injury in the workplace have a responsibility to inform their supervisor, except where the supervisor may be party to the domestic violence, in which case the worker shall inform the Director of Education. The supervisor will treat all such reports in confidence, and only disclose to Human Resources or others who need to know, information that is necessary for the protection of workers in the workplace. 4.4 Fact Finding: Supervisors who are informed that there is a worker who may be subject to domestic violence in the workplace must gauge the nature and extent of the threat. This may require the supervisor to interview both the source of the information about the threat, and the worker(s) who may be subject to the risk of domestic violence in the workplace. It may also require more detailed investigations conducted by Human Resources Administrator or designate. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to make this contact. The supervisor may request from the worker reasonable documentation in the circumstances to assess the risks and to put in place precautions to protect the worker. Such documentation may include a copy of a court order, police report or photograph of the alleged perpetrator. The employer will make available to all workers information about supports available for victims of domestic violence. Depending on the location of the Board, such supports may include the Employee Assistance Program, community counselling, support groups, shelters, and the police. When possible, supervisors will remind potential victims of domestic violence in the workplace of these resources. In all circumstances, a supervisor must tell the victim that if they feel at risk of physical harm whether inside or outside the workplace or at home, the worker should contact the police. 4.5 Actions: If the threat of domestic violence is from a co-worker, the supervisor, under advice from Human Resources, must take steps to ensure the victim and other workers are protected. Such steps may include, but are not limited to, warnings, employee transfers, informing police, and requesting restraining orders. If the threat of domestic violence is from someone outside of the workplace, the supervisor, under advice from Human Resources, must take steps to ensure the victim and other workers are protected. Such steps may include, but are not limited to, warnings, employee transfers, informing police, and requesting restraining orders. 5. Summoning Immediate Assistance In accordance with the Act Measures and Procedures for summoning immediate assistance when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur must be developed. ( See Appendix C Types of Communication Devices that should be used for summoning immediate assistance).
5 The Northwest Catholic District School Board Page 5 of 7 6. Right to Refuse Work Where Health or Safety In Danger All employees have the right to refuse to work when they have reason to believe their Health or Safety is in danger. The limited right of teachers to refuse work remains in effect. The Occupational Health & Safety Act is specific about the requirements to be followed when a worker indicates he/she is refusing to work. See the Board s Administrative Procedure Right to Refuse or Stop Work Where Health or Safety in Danger. 7. Procedures to Follow When an Assault Occurs When a member of the Board Community (defined in the application of this procedure) has been assaulted the following steps shall be taken: (a) the assailant will be removed from the presence of the person assaulted immediately; (b) the member is to receive immediate and appropriate support and/or medical treatment; (c) in the event of a physical assault, the assailed should, while ensuring to the extent possible, his/her own safety and the safety of students, defend him/herself using no more force that is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it; (d) in the event of a physical assault, medical verification of the assault should be established as soon as possible; (e) at the earliest possible opportunity, the member must inform the Principal and the Principal must inform the Superintendent of Education who will inform the Director of Education; (f) were deemed necessary, the Direction of Education will seek legal advice for the Board and the member; (g) the Superintendent of Education will inform the member of Board supports and available legal advice; (h) the Principal or Superintendent of Education may call the police depending on the nature of the assault; (i) the Principal will conduct an investigation and write a report; (j) If a Principal is assaulted the Superintendent of Education will conduct an investigation and write a report; (k) all incidents of assault shall be reported on a Violent Incident Report Form (G-04-04) (l) where the Assailant is a student, the Principal will take the appropriate action under the Education Act and Board Procedures on Discipline; (m) in all cases where the assailant is from outside the school, the police must be called. 8. Investigations Conducting an internal investigation complaint or incident shall be done with a high degree of sensitivity, and shall take into account the rights of not only the accuser but also the accused. The accused could be a student, employee, visitor, parent or an outside community member. The investigation shall be fair and unbiased. Investigations can become very complicated and may cross many different internal departmental boundaries (e.g., Safe Schools, Special Education) and therefore shall be led by the Superintendent of Education or designate in partnership with the Principal/Supervisor in conjunction with the Human Resources Administrator. 1. A Joint Health and Safety Committee Violent Incident Reporting Form shall be completed as soon as possible after an incident of violence occurs. (See Appendix E Violent Incident Reporting Form)
6 The Northwest Catholic District School Board Page 6 of 7 2. The Principal/Supervisor or designate shall notify the Superintendent of Education as soon as possible after an incident of violence occurs. Once the investigation is completed, the Human Resources Administrator will share a summary of the findings and any action taken with the JOHS Committee. The report will NOT include any personal or identifying information relevant to the victim and/or the perpetrator. The purpose of the report to the JOHSC is to ensure that the Board is investigating concerns, and if health and safety procedures need to be changed or developed as a result of the investigation the JHSC is made aware of that fact. 9. Role of the Joint Health and Safety Committee The Occupational Health & Safety Act outlines the legal requirements for the establishment of JHSC s and the powers of the Committees. The MOL continues to put emphasis on the Internal Responsibility Systems and encourage the workplace parties to work together to develop procedures, programs related to Health & Safety and resolve Health & Safety concerns internally. The Board may wish to consult with JHSC s when developing procedures and programs to ensure their input is received, as this will help in responding to any MOL investigations of complaints related to violence in the workplace. The JHSC will be notified within four days when a worker is injured due to workplace violence and, as result of the incident, the worker is disabled from performing his or her usual work or the worker requires medical attention. This notice shall be in writing and must contain any prescribed information (Section 52(1): 1. The nature and circumstances of the occurrence and the injury sustained. 2. The time and place of the injury. 3. The name and address of the injured person. 10. Re-Assessment The Occupational Health and Safety Act states an employer shall reassess the risks of workplace violence as often as is necessary to ensure that the related policy and procedure continue to protect workers from workplace violence. In many circumstances the risk of workplace violence can only be controlled or minimized rather than eliminated. The risks associated with specific community environments, the requirements of a small number of students with special needs, the necessity of handling money, all continue even with controls, procedures and measures in place to minimize risk. Therefore, it is essential that re-assessments of the risk of workplace violence take place at the very least when workplace conditions substantially change. The Board shall ensure that all incidents of workplace violence are documented. The Board shall ensure that: 9.1 ongoing review procedures are in place to monitor levels of workplace violence risk and to evaluate the effectiveness of controls, procedures and measures in place;
7 The Northwest Catholic District School Board Page 7 of all incidents of workplace violence are documented and reported immediately to the site supervisor and as required to the Joint Health and Safety Committee for the Board; and 9.3 an ongoing site-based process is in place to modify controls, procedures and measures as necessary. Cross Reference to Administrative Procedures/ Governance Policies Section Number B 05 Date of Implementation October 19, 2010 Date of Last Review March 24, 2015 Legal/Ministry of Education Reference Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act as amended Jun 15, 2010 Education Act Sec. 283 CEO, 264- Duties of a Teacher; 265 Duties of a Principal Municipal Freedom of Information and protection of Privacy Act 1989 Criminal Code of Canada Police and School Board Response Protocol, June 2011
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