New Legislation To Tackle Workplace Violence
McGuinty Government Working To Strengthen Protections For Workers
Violence and harassment have no place in the workplace. That's the message Ontario is sending by introducing legislative amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that would, if passed, help protect workers from workplace violence and harassment.
The proposed legislation would, if passed:
- Require employers to develop a framework that would include policies and programs to help prevent workplace violence and harassment
- Require employers to take reasonable precautions to protect an employee from domestic violence in the workplace
- Allow workers to remove themselves from harmful situations if they have reason to believe that they are at risk of imminent danger due to workplace violence
The government is also launching specific measures to tackle workplace violence in the health sector. Two newly appointed Healthy Work Environments Champions will work to build a culture of workplace safety in health care settings across the province. The Champions are:
- Rob Devitt, President and CEO of Toronto East General Hospital,
- Dr. Heather Laschinger, Distinguished University Professor and Associate Director Nursing Research at The University of Western Ontario, School of Nursing.
- The proposed legislative amendments would enhance the province’s existing Safe At Work Ontario Strategy.
- From April 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008, inspectors made 198 field visits and issued 185 orders related to violence in the workplace.
“If passed, this legislation would help create a climate in workplaces across the province that says that workplace violence is completely unacceptable.”
“Our Champions will help us implement the ministry’s ongoing strategy to make healthcare settings safe for nurses, physicians, and all who work in the healthcare sector in Ontario.”
“Women in Ontario deserve to feel safe and respected in their workplaces. This legislation will help protect more women from abusive partners and from harassment in their workplaces.”