A written statement by Chris Stockwell, Minister of Labour, on February 14, 2000, clearly included any violent incident in the workplace under the definition of “accident” in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In this letter, Stockwell stated:
“This government is committed to reducing the incidence of criminal violence and making the Province a safer place for all citizens, including workers who serve and interact with the public. Although the Act does not specifically refer to workplace violence, it has been ministry policy for many years to require employers to take reasonable precautions under the general duty clause [Section 25 2(h)] of the Act to protect their workers from violence where the violence is an expected or anticipated risk associated with the job ... Ministry Inspectors investigate worker complaints of workplace violence and issue orders where appropriate.”
- Any violence incident in our workplace must now be reported to the employer and the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC).
- A designated worker member of the JHSC should investigate and report findings to the JHSC.
- The JHSC must be consulted by the employer in the development and implementation of any anti-violence precaution and procedures “to protect their workers where the violence is an expected or anticipated risk associated with the job”.
- The JHSC may make written recommendations to the employer to which the employer must respond within 21 days.
- Ministry of Labour procedures allow for: (a) Inspectors to inspect, investigate and issue orders, and (b) an appeal process to the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
All members now must
- Report all violent incidents in the workplace to:
- the employer (supervisor), and
- your worker member on the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), and
- your Bargaining Unit Health and Safety Officer.
- Complete and submit an accident/incident form if injured.
All JHSCs now must
- Review and investigate (through the designated worker member) all reported accidents which now include all violent incidents.
- compile and analyze statistical reports of all accidents (now including violent incidents) quarterly, based on the information which the employer must provide.
- Make written recommendations to the employer regarding their analysis, and any anti-violence policies, procedures, protocols, reporting procedures and training programs relating to workplace violence.