Alberta Violence Prevention

In Alberta Part 27 of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code is intended to prevent workplace violence in Alberta workplaces. The government of Alberta enforces the requirements for the prevention of violence in the workplace and determines when employers are in compliance with Part 27 of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code. When you are interested in communicating your policies and education to your workers ask about our online training and signup solutions.

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Violence prevention for Alberta employers

Alberta employers have a responsibility to provide a workplace free of violence as part of their requirements in Part 27 of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code which took effect July 1, 2009.

There are four main requirements for Employers to meet.

  • Instruct workers how to recognize workplace violence
  • Develop a harassment free workplace policy
  • Communicate the organization’s policy and procedures related to workplace violence, develop appropriate responses to workplace violence, and
  • Develop procedures for reporting, investigating and documenting incidents of workplace violence

Assessing risk of workplace violence
To manage the issue of workplace violence and harassment, each employer must determine the nature and extent of the problem. To accomplish this, a number of factors need to be considered which include the workers, the sources of abuse, work processes and the physical environment, and the level of organizational commitment towards the prevention of workplace violence and harassment. Within each of these factors are a number of variables which, when analyzed, will identify:

  • Any components within the environment that may enhance opportunities for abuse,
  • Those individuals at highest risk, and
  • The need for controls

Reducing risks
Environmental factors may contribute to or encourage incidents of violence and harassment. Research suggests that the likelihood of assault is reduced when:

  • Workers understand the employer’s commitment to preventing workplace violence and harassment,
  • An emergency response team is provided as needed, and
  • Prompt and appropriate response occurs in response to a reported incident of violence or harassment.

Preparing a Violence Prevention Policy
There are resources available on the Alberta government website to assist you in preparing a Violence Prevention Policy if you do not already have one. If you already have a policy it is a good idea to compare it to the samples available to ensure you have covered key points such as defining what is meant by Violent Behaviour. The link to this website is at the end of this article.

Implementing a Violence Prevention Policy
Once you have developed a policy for your organization the next step is to implement the policy. This step typically involves ensuring the policy is posted and every person in the organization is aware of the existence of the policy.

This would include providing details on what to do in the event you are involved in an incident, complaints or threats of violence. In some cases you may have a form for people to submit an incident, complaint or threat of violent behaviour and it would be clear for all employees how this process works for reporting an incident, complaint or threat as well as the procedure for resolving an incident, complaint or threat once reported.

Informing and Educating Workers on Violence Prevention
With a written policy in place, and a clear process documented, you can now take the step of educating employees on the details of the policy to ensure an understanding of what work-place violence is and what it is not, what to do in the event they are involved in an incident of violence.

Ideally this step is more than just a one time action as the more frequently we are exposed to information and ideas the greater impact they have on our thoughts and long term behaviour.

For more information on Alberta Violence Prevention contact:

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