|Volume 2 - Management Services
Chapter 6 - Safety and Health
6.7 - Workplace Violence Prevention Policy
Effective Date: 17-May-2004
Responsible Branch: Corporate Policy and Governance
Management Services Volume
Table of Contents | Amendment Log
The Workplace Violence Prevention policy applies to all Ministry of Forests (MoF) employees.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all employees understand their roles and responsibilities as they relate to violence prevention at the workplace. As well as, to ensure that risks of violence to employees are identified and appropriate prevention programs and/or practices are established that eliminate or minimize those risks, consistent with the requirement of the Worker's Compensation Act and the Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees. The first responsibility of all employees is to promote safety and guard against harm to themselves and other employees.
Ministry of Forests is committed to providing a workplace in which the respect and safety of the employees is paramount. The risk or occurrence of violent acts involving employees requires particular attention as violence undermines employees' ability to work effectively and impacts their quality of life. Any work related threats or acts of violence against employees, or their families, is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.
"Risk" is identified as the probability during a period of activity that a hazard will result in an incident with definable consequences.
"Violence" includes any attempted or actual exercise by any person, including another worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker and includes any express threat of violence.
"Workplace" means a place of employment, a place of work and may include the office, the field, or any place being travelled to and from the office, home or the field, or any place the worker may come in contact with the public.
It is the Ministry of Forests policy to:
- Promote a violence-free workplace for all employees;
- Respect and protect the health, safety and dignity of all employees;
- Empower employees to make and act on decisions regarding risk of violence;
- Ensure employees are aware of and follow safety practices to prevent and respond to violent incidents;
- Establish written practices to identify and address risks for each local worksite using input from all worksite employees;
- Offer critical incident debriefing and/or other support, including authorization for leave from work to consult with a physician of their choice for treatment or referral, to employees directly affected by workplace violence;
- At a minimum, comply with the Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees, WCB Act and Regulations and applicable Collective Agreements;
- Where a ministry employee has reasonable cause to believe that there is a risk of violence, the employees will remove themselves from the risk environment.
Managers/supervisors will ensure risk assessments are conducted at the local level and develop and implement a violence prevention action plan that is appropriate for both physical and verbal types of conflict to be updated annually and monitored to prevent loss through personal injury or verbal threats. Education and training will be identified and provided for as necessary.
Incident Reporting, Investigation and Follow-up
Employees are required to report any act or threatening statement of violence arising out of their employment, in accordance with OSH Regulation, Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees corporate and ministry policy and ministry procedures;
The employer in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act, Regulations and Ministry policy and procedures shall investigate all reports of violent incidents.
On the job training must include a review of the risks of violence inherent in an employee's position, violence prevention procedures, correct response procedures, workplace emergency procedures and incident reporting procedures.
Executive Manager Responsibility
(DM/ADM, Regional Executive Directors, BCTS, and HQ Directors)
- Ensure there is a ministry-wide statement of the aims and responsibilities for the local worksite;
- Ensure that the above statement is communicated to all employees at the workplace;
- Establish and measure appropriate performance standards pertaining to a Violence Prevention Action Plan.
- Ensure the reporting, investigating and documenting of incidents of violence are established and are in place in accordance with WCB Regulation and Ministry reporting procedures;
- Ensure a local worksite violence prevention action plan is prepared and updated as per regulation;
- Ensure risk assessments are undertaken;
- Inform staff and supervisor of the nature and extent of the risk of violence;
- Take corrective action and monitor its effectiveness;
- Ensure regular evaluation of the workplace violence prevention program (annually, after an incident or if circumstances change);
- Ensure that the worksite Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), is consulted in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act and OSH Regulations;
- Ensure a risk assessment is done and that safe work procedures are developed to address existing or potential risks for each assignment under their supervision;
- Respond to media presence and/or follow-up questions relating to the incident.
- Comply with reporting, investigation and documenting procedures;
- Facilitate ongoing discussion on workplace violence issues with staff, as required;
- Ensure that appropriate training and education in violence prevention procedures and response procedures is provided to staff;
- Provide input into risk assessments;
- Assist in development and updating of the local workplace violence prevention program;
- Instruct staff on procedures for prevention of violence;
- Promote and encourage reporting of violent incidents;
- Advise workers of available medical services including referrals.
- Provide input into risk assessments;
- Attend education and training sessions when requested;
- Provide input into development of the local workplace violence prevention action plan;
- Follow established procedures for the prevention and reporting of incidents of violence;
- Report incidents of violence;
- Provide input into incident investigations;
- Be aware of critical incident debriefing or trauma counselling services available.
- Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees - BC Public Service Agency Policy Directive 5.4;
- Preventing Workplace Violence - A Guide for the BC Public Service - BC Public Service Agency;
- Violence in the Workplace Program Framework - BC Public Service Agency;
- Protection of Workers from Violence in the Workplace, between BC Government and BC Government Employees' Union (BCGEU);
- Master Agreement, between BC Government and BC Government Employees' Union (BCGEU) Article 22, and Appendix V;
- Master Agreement between BC Government and BC Government Professional Employees' Association (BCGPEA) Article 27;
- Workers Compensation Act, RSBC 1996.