Bill 168, an Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace and other matters, will significantly impact workplaces in the province of Ontario.
The amendments to the Act will come into force on June 15, 2010, at which time, workplaces in Ontario where more than five workers are regularly employed will be required to have the necessary policies, programs, measures and procedures in place.
New! Downloadable Resources Available:
Ontario Ministry of Labour Guidelines - The MOL has issued a set of new guidelines that seek to make the amendments under Bill 168 clearer to employers. The guidelines offer up definitions of key terms and concepts, key requirements of employers and the specific sections that govern them, and templates that firms could use to get their workplace violence prevention programs off the ground.
Click here to access the guidelines.
OHSCO: What Employers Need to Know - This free 35-page downloadable resource is available for employers. Designed for general use, this document and the accompanying Toolbox were developed to help Ontario company's meet their requirements under the Act. It outlines recommended approaches in assessing the risk of workplace violence, recognizing domestic violence and protecting workers.
Click here to download (.pdf format, 3.1 mb)
OHSCO has also put together a concise brochure with the definitions of workplace violence, workplace harassment, domestic violence, and work refusal. It also contains information on what employers need to do and where to go for more help.
Click here to download (.pdf format, 132 kb)
OHSCO: A Toolbox - This free 75-page downloadable resource is designed to support the What Employers Need to Know document and includes a range of information, tools and assessments that can assist employers in developing a workplace violence, harassment or domestic violence policy and program. It includes a general Physical Environment Assessment, a Risk Factor Selection Tool, example policies for Workplace Violence and Harassment, information on creating a safety plan and more.
Click here to download. (.pdf format, 1.4 mb)
How We Can Help - Our consultants are trained and prepared to provide assistance to firms in conducting a risk assessment and developing a violence and harassment program. We can work with your organization to assist in the integration of violence and harassment program requirements into your existing health & safety programs.
Please contact us at 1-888-478-6772 to arrange for an appointment with your local consultant.
Bill 168 will require employers to develop
* Employers are required to complete a risk assessment of violence hazards that may arise from the nature of the workplace, the type of work, or the conditions of work, before developing a program.
Bill 168 adopts an approach similar to other federal and provincial violence and harassment laws by
Under Bill 168, workplace violence is defined as:
Under Bill 168, workplace harassment is defined as:
If an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence that would likely expose a worker to physical injury may occur in the workplace, the employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker.
Below are a couple of resources to help
- co-workers of victims of domestic violence
(please click on the images below to access the information booklets created by the Occupational Health & Safety Council of Ontario (OHSCO)
What Employers Need to Know to Help
How to Get Help or Support a Colleague who may Need Help
The risk of workplace violence is greater in work activities that involve:
Workplace violence affects the health, safety and security of employees, supervisors and employers.
Harm to victims
The emotional and physical trauma to victims, their families and co-workers has immeasurable personal costs.
Research also shows that bullied employees, for example, are unproductive between 10 and 52 per cent of their time at work. These employees spend time
Harm to organizations
Violence and harassment also exact a heavy toll on organizations.
Harm to organizational culture:
- Harm to image, reputation
- Difficulty in employee recruitment, training and retention
- Reduced morale and productivity
- Strained management-employee relations
Harm to the bottom line:
- Absenteeism and sick leave
- Employee turnover
- Employee Assistance Program costs
- Short term / long term disability and drug plan costs
- Workplace accidents
- Stress-related lawsuits
Type 1: Criminal intent
Type 2: Client
Type 3: Employee-Related
Type 4: Personal Relationships
To obtain a copy of Bill 168, visit:
1. What you need to know:
2. A checklist you can use immediately to help you identify the risk areas in your workplace and what program elements you have vs. need.
3. Education and training opportunities where you can learn more:
4. Contact OSSA for personalized help at 1-888-478-6772 or email@example.com
Canada Safety Council: Bullying in the Workplace - The Burden of Bullying
Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence: The National Labour Survey, Executive Summary, March 2000
MOL News Release: Protecting People At Work, December 9, 2009
NIOSH: Workplace Violence Prevention Strategies and Research Needs, NIOSH Publication No. 2006-144, September 2006
Salin, D, 'Ways of explaining workplace bullying: A review of enabling, motivating and precipitating structures and processes in the work environment', Human Relations, vol.56, no.10, pp.1213-1232, 2003
Statistics Canada: Canada Centre for Justice Statistics, Criminal Victimization in the Workplace, February 2007
WSIB: 2007 Statistical Supplement, Table 10
You should involve the Joint Health & Safety Committee in your purchasing process for safety equipment and supplies.