Workplace violence and harassment was the most common category
of compliance orders made by Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors
in a recent compliance blitz in the manufacturing sector.
13% of the 5,392 orders dealt with workplace violence and
harassment. Although 16% of orders dealt with employer's
general safety duties, that is a broad group that contains many
different kinds of orders.
Inadequate machine guarding was the next most common type of
Although the Ministry of Labour's blitz report does not
break down the reasons for issuing the compliance orders dealing
with workplace violence and harassment, I expect that the orders
dealt with failure to prepare a workplace violence policy and
program and workplace harassment policy and program; failure to
conduct a workplace violence risk assessment; failure to provide
"information and instruction" to employees regarding
workplace violence and harassment; and failure to post the
workplace violence and workplace harassment policies (a breach that
would be immediately evidence to a Ministry of Labour
The blitz results are a reminder to employers to, first of all,
ensure that their workplace violence and harassment policies are
posted, and also to ensure that the other OHSA obligations
relating to violence and harassment have been satisfied.
The Ministry of Labour's blitz report may be accessed
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Ten days following the election, join us for a discussion with Gary Doer, former Canadian Ambassador to the US, and Gordon Giffin, US Ambassador to Canada under Bill Clinton, to discuss how the new President and Congressional makeup will shape US-Canada relations for years to come.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
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