It has now been almost 1 year since Bill 168 came into force on June 15, 2010 and, as such, it is time to review and, if necessary, revise your workplace violence and harassment policies and programs.
If you recall, Bill 168 amended Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, thereby imposing significant additional obligations on Ontario employers to both prevent and respond to violence and harassment in the workplace. Such obligations include, but are not limited to:
• Completing a workplace violence risk assessment;
• Preparing workplace harassment and violence policies;
• Preparing supporting programs for such policies, including measures and procedures for controlling any identified workplace violence risks, for summoning immediate assistance in the event of workplace violence, for reporting incidents of workplace violence and harassment, and for investigating and dealing with such incidents / complaints; and
• Training all workers on the contents of the policies and programs.
There is also an obligation that every employer review and revise their workplace violence and harassment policies and programs as often as is necessary to protect their workers from workplace harassment and/or violence and, in any event, at least annually.
For more information on compliance with Bill 168, we found the following on-line resources to be helpful:
1. From the Ontario Ministry of Labour website, there are numerous applicable resources available at:
3. From the Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario (OHSCO), "Developing Workplace
4. Also from OHSCO, "Developing Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies and Programs: A
5. From the Public Services Health and Safety Association: