Violence and harassment are not part of the job
Violence and harassment can be serious problems in many workplaces. Under the Workers' Safety and Compensation Act and Regulations, employers must take steps to prevent violence and harassment. Requirements include conducting a hazard assessment, developing policies and procedures, training workers, and making sure to conduct an appropriate investigation for each incident or complaint.
Workplace violence is the threatened, attempted, or actual application of physical force toward a worker that is likely to cause harm or lead them to believe that they are likely to be harmed.
Workplace harassment is any objectionable comments or behaviours that we know, or should know, are likely unwelcome. This includes any inappropriate comments or objectionable behaviour about a worker’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, religious beliefs or ethnic background. Examples include sexual advances, bullying, insults, threats, inappropriate jokes or images, gossip, vandalism, and isolation.
Violence and harassment can come from employers, managers, supervisors, co-workers, contractors, clients, the public, and family members.
Safeguarding workers and the workplace
The effects can harm the victim, witnesses, and organization. Individuals can suffer physical injuries or disability, shock, anxiety, job stress, and trauma. The impacts on organizations can include low morale, increased absenteeism and turnover, reduced trust of management and co-workers, and a hostile working environment.
For all these reasons, it is very important that workplaces take comprehensive measures to prevent violence and harassment.