On June 15, 2010, the Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act come into force. The amendments require virtually all Ontario employers to conduct a violence risk assessment and to implement policies to address workplace harassment and violence. This is something that all employers need to be aware of.
The requirements are interesting and somewhat unique. For example, the amended Act requires that employers report the results of the workplace violence risk assessment to the employees, or a safety committee comprised of employees.
The amended Act further requires that the employer develop policies to deal with workplace violence that:
- control and minimize the risk of violence in the workplace;
- provide that immediate assistance is summoned in the event of violence in the workplace;
- ensure that incidents of violence are reported to the employer in a timely manner; and
- ensure that incidents are investigated
And of course, once the policies are developed, they must be implemented – the Act requires that as well.
If you have any questions about your obligations under the Act, about how to conduct a risk assessment or how to draft a workplace violence policy in compliance with the Act, please contact us.