Workplace Violence & Harassment 1 of 2

Violence and Harassment

Violence and harassment in the workplace are serious issues, not just for the work environment but they can also have legal ramifications. They are an important part of farm safety and a positive work culture. Having preventative measures to keep them from happening is important for protecting your workers and being able to identify when these situations are occurring is necessary to promote a positive work environment. Just because violence and harassment are not as visible as physical injury does not make them any less important for worker safety. Violence and harassment incidents are just as important as on-farm injuries and should be treated with the same urgency and procedure.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act defines workplace harassment as an act or comment against another worker in the workplace that is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome or any act of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is specifically defined as any act or comment against a worker because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any sexual solicitation or advance where it is unwelcome. Workplace violence is any exercise or attempt to exercise physical force against another worker that caused or could cause injury. Workplace violence also includes any statement or behaviour that a worker interprets or could reasonably be interpreted as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker.

To ensure a safe workplace, employers should prepare a workplace violence and harassment policy outlining unacceptable behaviour and consequences. This information should be provided to workers. Topics such as dealing with complaints and investigation procedures should be included. An outline of how to file a complaint should be given to all workers.

Creating a safe, positive work environment is important for all workers. It is important that all workers know what is acceptable versus unacceptable behaviour and the associated ramifications. The above points are a very brief overview of workplace violence and harassment and more detail can be found on government websites, which have been included below. Elite Agri Solutions offers in-person and online workplace violence and harassment training. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Check out our online Farm Workplace Violence and Harassment training.

Sources:

https://files.ontario.ca/wpvh_guide_english.pdf

https://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/fs_wvh.php