New legislation will help further protect workers from violence and harassment in workplaces.
The new protections will require employers to:
•develop and communicate workplace violence and harassment prevention policies and programs to workers;
•assess the risks of workplace violence, and take reasonable precautions to protect workers from possible 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; and
•amendments to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act passed last week and will go into effect six months after royal assent.
“The government has acted to protect workers from workplace violence,” said Labour minister Peter Fonseca.
“Everyone should be able to work without fear of violence in a safe and healthy workplace,” he added.
“These amendments are an important step forward for women in addressing workplace violence and harassment,” echoed Laurel Broten, the minister responsible for women’s issues.
“They will make a difference in the lives of women and workers across Ontario,” she added.
A 2004 Statistics Canada survey, “Criminal Victimization in the Workplace,” found 17 percent of violent incidents in Canada occur at the workplace.