Ontario is focusing on enforcing requirements to protect workers from violence during a blitz of health care workplaces across the province this winter.
In February and March, inspectors will check that workplaces are complying with requirements for violence and harassment policies and programs under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. In Canada, one-third of all workplace violence incidents occur in health care and social service settings, according to a 2004 Statistics Canada report.
They will blitz hospitals, long-term care homes and residential group homes. They will check that employers are:
• Preparing policies and programs to protect workers from workplace violence and harassment
• Providing information to workers on the policies and programs
• Assessing violence risks in the workplace
• Establishing measures and procedures to control violence
• Taking reasonable precautions to protect workers from domestic violence in the workplace
“Violence is a significant hazard for workers in the health care sector. We’re working to improve health and safety and prevent injuries and deaths of workers exposed to violence at Ontario’s health care workplaces,” said George Gritziotis, the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s chief prevention officer .
Protecting health care workers is part of the Ontario government's attempts to prevent workplace injuries and illness through its Safe at Work Ontario enforcement initiative.