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Violence in the Workplace – New Federal Regulation
June 27, 2008

On June 17, 2008, Canada’s Minister of Labour announced the coming into force of new regulations designed to prevent violence in federally-regulated work places. Federal employers now have additional responsibilities under the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

Under the new regulations, employers are required to develop a policy to prevent work place violence, identify factors that contribute to work place violence and assess the potential for incidents of this nature. “Work place violence” is defined as “any action, conduct, threat or gesture of a person towards an employee in their work place that can reasonably be expected to cause harm, injury or illness to that employee”.

In addition, employers must review the effect of the prevention measures and update them at least every three years, or more often if there is a change which compromises the effectiveness of those measures. There are also duties prescribed in relation to emergency procedures, investigation, training and record-keeping.