Health & Safety

Information Bulletins · Protocol for OSSTF/FEESO Members After Assault in the Workplace

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Protocol for OSSTF/FEESO Members After Assault in the Workplace

What is assault?

Assault is an act of verbal aggression, or an act or threat of physical aggression, which produces damaging or hurtful results.

What to do when assaulted?

  1. Immediately report the incident to administration and the police.
  2. Seek medical attention, if necessary.
  3. Notify your OSSTF/FEESO Health & Safety Officer, and Bargaining Unit President.
  4. Document what took place before, during, and after the assault – include names of witnesses.
  5. Fill out OSSSTF/FEESO and Board incident reports.
  6. Do not use sick days for job related injury – except as required to top up salary according to local sub-plan – have administration file a Form 7 with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to claim workers’ compensation.

What assistance can you get?

  • The employer should provide, at its expense, any legal, medical and counselling assistance required, and transportation to the hospital.
  • Your OSSTF/FEESO Health & Safety Officer and Bargaining Unit President will provide investigation and support and representation.

Who investigates?

  • Your OSSTF/FEESO Health & Safety Officer, worksite Health & Safety Representatives and Bargaining Unit President,
  • Joint Health & Safety Committee,
  • Administration (employer),
  • Police and Ministry of Labour, if required.

What legal procedures can be followed?

  • If the police have not been notified, the assaulted Member should do so.
  • The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) will take action assailants.
Note: You or your Bargaining Unit/District Health and Safety Officer or President may seek advice and/or legal counsel through our Provincial Office in the event of an assault on an OSSTF/FEESO Member.  Call 1-800-267-7867 and ask for your Field Secretary.


When can you refuse unsafe work?

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act gives most workers the right to refuse work if the physical condition of the workplace is likely to endanger them. [Section 43(3)(b)]

  • This Act also requires all workers to work in a safe manner that will not create a condition endangering themselves or other workers. [Section 28(2) (b)]

  • Refer to our Information #3/98-99 Your right to Refuse Unsafe Work for correct procedure and exceptions.

What prevention measures can be taken?

  • All workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace.  The responsibility for providing and maintaining this safe workplace belongs to the employer.

  • All workers have the Right to Know about hazards in their workplace and safe procedures.  The employer must provide training programs to all workers to enable them to identify any hazard in their workplace and to perform their work in a safe manner.  This should include potentially violent situations and the necessary prevention techniques.  Training programs must be developed and implemented in consultation with the Joint Health & Safety Committee.

  • Where a potentially violent situation has been identified and cannot be eliminated, specific protective measures should be developed.   This usually involves modifying existing practices or written procedures to confirm with the board’s violence prevention policy (required under the Occupational Health & Safety Act).