Prevention of Workplace Violence

Number
Approved On
Review By

  1. Back to top

    Purpose

    Violence in the workplace is an ongoign occupational health and safety hazard. This policy addresses the prevention of workplace violence as part of the FFPL Board’s responsibility for worker health and safety under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Violence in the workplace is unacceptable. The FFPL Board recognizes that harm caused by incidents of workplace violence extends beyond the physical. The FFPL Board is committed to protecting workers from workplace violence.

    Violent behaviour in the workplace is unacceptable from anyone including FFPLTC Staff, members of the FFPL Board, volunteers, clients, and others who do business with the FFPLTC. Individuals who violate this policy may be removed from FFPLTC property, and in the case of employees, are subject to disciplinary action including termination.

    The workplace is not restricted to the offices, buildings, facilities and physical work sites of the FFPLTC. It also includes vehicles and any other locations where FFPLTC business is conducted. Any allegation of discrimination or harassment that occurs outside of the workplace but has repercussions in the workplace by adversely affecting relationships is also covered by this policy.

  2. Back to top

    Definition

    1. The FFPLTC recognizes the definition of violence as set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Workplace violence means:
      1. the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker
      2. an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker
      3. a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker
    2. Violence in the workplace may include, but is not limited to:
      1. verbally threatening to attack a worker
      2. leaving threatening notes or sending threatening e-mails to the workplace
      3. shaking a fist in a worker’s face
      4. hitting or trying to hit a worker
      5. throwing or kicking an object
      6. sexual aggression against a worker
      7. intentionally or recklessly damaging of the property of another person
      8. intentionally causing alarm
      9. recklessly creating a risk by fighting
      10. creating a hazardous condition or danger by recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury
      11. intentionally placing or attempting to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury
      12. wielding a weapon
  3. Back to top

    Responsibility and Response

    1. The CEO or Designate must develop and maintain a workplace violence program. See the Workplace Violence Prevention Program.

      The program will set out:

      1. a process for assessing the risk of violence in the workplace
      2. measures to control risk including those from domestic violence
      3. procedures for reporting incidents of violence
      4. the process for dealing with, and investigating, violent incidents and complaints
    2. All reports will be thoroughly investigated by the CEO or Designate.
    3. Physical or sexual assault or threat of physical violence will be reported to the police.
    4. The FFPLTC will provide FFPLTC Staff with information on the risk of violence in the FFPLTC and training workshops on a periodic basis.
    5. Anyone experiencing or witnessing imminent danger or actual violence involving weapons or personal injury should call the police.
    6. Workplace violence should be reported immediately to the most senior FFPLTC Staff member available.
    7. Employees are encouraged to report behaviour that they reasonably believe poses a potential for violence as described above.
    8. The CEO or Designate, at the request of an employee, or at his or her own discretion, may prohibit members of the public, including family members, from seeing an employee on FFPLTC property in cases where the employee suspects that an act of violence, will result from an encounter with said individual(s).
    9. This policy will be:
      1. reviewed by the FFPL Board annually
      2. posted in the FFPLTC Staff Room along with the Workplace Violence Prevention Program
      3. posted on the FFPLTC website
  4. Back to top

    Areas of Identified Risk

    The following areas have been identified as sources of potential or actual workplace violence:

    1. Working with the public
    2. Working alone or in small numbers
    3. Working in any area where money is kept
    4. Closing the FFPLTC
    5. Secondary entrances to the FFPLTC
    6. Working in an area of higher crime
    7. Working within the community
  5. Back to top

    Confidentiality

    All investigations shall be conducted in strict confidence to the extent possible. Documents will be stored in a secure location at the FFPLTC. The access to these records will be restricted.

Back to top

Appendices

  • Workplace Violence Prevention Program

    Plan for Maintaining Security in the Library

    1. The FFPLTC Staff will conduct a worksite assessment as often as necessary, but no less than quarterly to ensure measures for violence prevention are effective. The assessment will:

      • Identify jobs or locations with the greatest risk
      • Identify high risk factors
      • Include a physical workplace security audit
      • Evaluate the effectiveness of existing security measures
    2. The CEO, or Designate, will annually review the history of past incidents to identify patterns or trends.

    High Risk Areas

    Recognized areas of higher risk in the FFPLTC include:

    • contact with the public
    • working alone or in small numbers
    • any area where money is kept
    • closing the FFPLTC at night
    • secondary entrances to the FFPLTC

    Measures for Reducing the Risk

    1. General

      1. designate the CEO’s Office and FFPLTC Staff Room (rooms with a phone and doors that lock) as emergency safe rooms
      2. keep all secondary entrance doors locked
      3. keep in good working order the exterior lights around the building
      4. FFPLTC Staff will not work alone in the FFPLTC without prior consent of the CEO
    2. Recognize the Signs of Violence

      Early identification and prevention of violence in the workplace is encouraged. Potential threats of violence that should be reported could include the following:

      1. threatening statements to do harm to self or others
      2. reference to other incidents of violence
      3. confrontational behaviour
      4. major changes in personality, mood or behaviour
      5. substance abuse
    3. Steps to Increase Your Personal Safety

      1. Notice your surroundings and report any unsafe or dangerous situation to the most senior FFPLTC Staff member.
      2. If you feel uncomfortable about a person who has entered the FFPLTC, trust your instincts. If you feel threatened, make a scene - YELL!
      3. Use a buddy system when leaving work.
      4. If you ever find you are working alone in the FFPLTC, let the CEO, or someone at home, know the situation and tell him or her when you expect to leave.
      5. If you enter a bathroom and suspect it is unsafe, don’t call out. Back out, go to a safe, lockable place with phone and call for help.
      6. Know the nearest exit or room with a lock.
    4. Domestic Violence - Steps to Increase Your Personal Safety

      1. Tell someone at work about your situation.
      2. Make up a “code word” for co-workers so they know when to call for help.
      3. Ask your co-workers to screen your calls and visitors.
      4. Ask a co-worker to call the police if your abuser is bothering you.
    5. Staff Procedures

      1. Threatening Behaviour

        1. Do not argue with a threatening person. Identify yourself as a FFPLTC Staff member. Remain calm and keep your voice low and firm.
        2. Do not put yourself or others in danger. Keep a distance of four feet.
        3. Be friendly but firm: introduce yourself, look at the person while you talk to him or her, let the person talk, clarify the problem and offer solutions.
        4. Get assistance from another FFPLTC Staff member.
        5. Advise him or her that the police will be called if the abuse does not stop.
        6. If the behaviour doesn’t change call the police.
        7. Notify the CEO or Designate.
      2. Violence and Assault

        1. If you hear raised voices or sounds of a scuffle investigate.
        2. If you witness violence or an assault call the police and describe the situation.
        3. Recruit other FFPLTC Staff to move others out of the way to a safer location.
        4. Do not block exits to prevent a threatening or violent person from leaving the building.
        5. Do not invade the personal space of the threatening person.
        6. Do not get between two people fighting.
        7. Notice details so you can describe the situation to the police.
        8. Notify the CEO.

    How to Report

    1. An informal, verbal complaint may be brought forward to the CEO.
    2. A written report should be made as soon as possible after an action or behaviour occurred, to the CEO or Designate.
    3. If a formal complaint is requested, the employee must file a written report with the CEO.
    4. The report should include a brief statement of the incident, when it occurred, where it occurred, date and time it occurred, the person(s) involved and the names of any witnesses if any.

    Investigation and Dealing with Incidents or Complaints

    1. After receiving a report, the CEO or Designate will complete an investigation as quickly as possible. Depending on the nature and severity of the issue the police may be involved. This will include interviews with the employee, the alleged perpetrator, FFPLTC Staff member(s), and any witnesses.
    2. The results of the investigation will be discussed with the employee and recommended preventative actions and / or resolutions presented.
    3. A separate meeting will be held with the alleged perpetrator, if a FFPLTC Staff member.
    4. If the findings do not support the allegations the CEO will recommend that no further action is necessary and that the matter be closed.
    5. Should the investigation conclude that there is evidence of misconduct, the CEO will prescribe a resolution.
    6. Employees who are found to have made false or malicious complaints will be subject to disciplinary action.