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Bill C-168 Overview

How it relates to Robbery & Truck Hijacking Incidents in the Ontario Workplace?

New Legislation Tackles Workplace Violence and Harassment

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.

Bill 168 overview – How it relates to Robbery & Truck Hijacking Incidents

Bill 168 will require employers to develop

  • violence* and harassment policies and programs;
  • employee reporting and incident investigation procedures;
  • emergency response procedure (violence only);
  • process to deal with incidents, complaints and threats of violence.

* 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

  • providing clarity around employer accountability;
  • taking a process-driven, "how-to" approach to compliance;
  • sending a "take action" message to supervisors and middle-managers.

Bill 168 definition of workplace violence

Under Bill 168, workplace violence is defined as:

  • "The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury to a worker"
  • "An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in a workplace that could cause physical injury to a worker"
  • "A statement or behaviour that 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"

Just how widespread is workplace violence?

  • From April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors made 417 field visits and issued 351 orders related to violence in the workplace (MOL, 2009)
  • In 2007, there were 2,150 allowed lost-time claims from assaults, violent acts, harassment and acts of war or terrorism in Ontario. (WSIB, 2007)
  • According to the 2004 General Social Survey, 17% of all self-reported incidents of violent victimization, including sexual assault, robbery and physical assault, happened at the workplace. This represents over 356,000 violent workplace incidents in Canada. (StatCan, 2007)
  • There is evidence that violence has increased in Canadian workplaces over the past five years: 66% of organizations report an increase in aggressive acts within their workplaces. And, 82% report an increase in both formal incident reports and grievances. (CIWV, 2000)

Who's at risk

The risk of workplace violence is greater in work activities that involve:

  • working in a community-based setting
  • working with unstable or volatile clients
  • handling cash
  • mobile workplaces
  • contact with clients
  • working in high crime areas
  • securing / protecting valuables
  • transporting people and / or goods
  • working alone in small numbers

What's the impact of workplace violence?

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.

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

What is a common type of workplace violence to be concerned about?

Criminal intent

  • Involves a person with no relationship to the workplace who commits a violent act, such as: robbery, hijacking, theft - money, cars, drugs, personal belongings; hostage taking / kidnapping; physical assault