HS03: Workplace Violence Prevention

  • Policy #: HS03
  • Responsible Authority: Director, Physical Resources
  • Approval Authority: President's Executive Committee
  • Executive Sponsor: Vice President, Finance and Administration
  • Approval Date: 2003/03/06
  • Last Reviewed: 2011/08/15
  • Mandatory Revision Date: 2016/08/15
  • Downloadable Version: Workplace Violence Prevention


To outline the College’s Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and to implement a prevention program to prevent and respond to incidents of workplace violence in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act


All  workers at the College, regardless of tenure or position, including without limitation all volunteers, employees, supervisors, managers, department chairs and executives of the College.  The Policy applies to all activities that occur while on College property or while at other location(s) where an employee may be located as a result of his/her employment, or while an employee is engaging in College business, activities or social events.




Workplace Harassment


Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome (OHSA).

Workplace Violence

As defined by OHSA:
a.  the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,
b.  an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker,
c.  a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace,  that could cause physical injury to the worker.

Academic Administrator

Program Chair, Course Chair, Academic Manager or Dean

Risk Behaviour

Behaviours associated with risk behaviour identification criteria listed in the Workplace Violence Prevention Program  (Appendix 4 )

Zero Tolerance

Requirement to respond to all reported incidents of workplace violence and concerns about risk behaviour by means of investigation and resolution


Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario)

College Community

Refers to all  employees, volunteers, contractors, clients, visitors and guests of the College for the purpose of this policy


Person who performs work for the College or supplies services to the College for monetary compensation (OHSA)


Individual in an employment relationship with the College


Any College building or location where an employee works or where work-related activities are conducted.  It includes, but is not limited to, the physical work premises, work-related social functions, work assignments off College premises, work-related travel and work-related conferences or training sessions


Person who has charge of a workplace or authority over workers (OHSA)  



Person who files a formal complaint in writing under this Policy


Individual against whom allegations that could constitute a violation of this Policy have been made



  1. The College is committed to provide  a working environment free of violence and to implement  measures to prevent acts of workplace violence.
  2. The College subscribes to a zero tolerance approach to any occurrences of workplace violence.  Actions taken by the College in dealing with workplace violence relate to both response and prevention measures.
  3. No employee or any other individual affiliated with the College shall subject a worker to workplace violence or allow or create conditions that support workplace violence.  Employees are expected to understand and comply with this Policy and all related procedures.
  4. Members of the College community are to report to their supervisors incidents of workplace violence, and concerns about risk behaviour they may experience or witness.  Members of the College community are also to report circumstances where a threat of domestic violence may exist that would likely expose a worker to physical injury in the workplace.  Finally, members of the College community must cooperate with any efforts to investigate and resolve matters arising under this Policy.
  5. The College will maintain a multi-disciplinary Behaviour Risk Assessment Group (Appendix 2) to review reported behaviour which poses a concern for the safety of members of the College community. The Group has the mandate to undertake the necessary risk assessment to determine the most suitable approach to intervene and manage the situation within the context of College policies and practices.
  6. An employee of the College that subjects a worker to workplace violence or otherwise violates this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to an including immediate dismissal for cause.  Employees who have engaged in workplace violence may also be subject to sanctions  by applicable regulatory bodies and professional associations, and may also be subject to criminal or civil proceedings.
  7. An employee of the College who makes a false accusation under this Policy, knowingly or in a malicious or bad faith manner, may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal for just cause.
  8. The College will not tolerate reprisals or retaliatory measures against a member of the College community who, in good faith, raises a complaint of workplace violence within the meaning of this Policy.  These protections apply to anyone who cooperates in the investigation of a complaint.  Disciplinary action may be taken against any employee who commits a reprisal or retaliatory measure against a person who reports workplace violence or who cooperates in an investigation.
  9. Confidentiality is required to properly investigate an incident and to offer appropriate support to all parties involved: only those who “need to know” will be advised of the complaint and/or investigation.  The College will endeavour to maintain confidentiality to the extent possible within the limits of the law; employees are advised that engaging in spreading rumours, speculation or conjecture about an incident will not be tolerated.  Those with questions or concerns should speak to their immediate supervisor or the  Manager, Safety and Security Services.
  10. The College will provide workers with information, including personal information, about a person with a history of violent behaviour if the worker  can be expected to encounter that person in the course of his or her work and the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the worker to physical injury.  The College will not disclose more information than is reasonably necessary for the protection of an employee from physical injury.
  11. While the College is committed to taking actions to maintain an environment free of workplace violence, it recognizes that no workplace is immune from the risk of workplace violence.
  12. The required actions and form of investigation will in all cases depend on the circumstances, taking into consideration the nature of the workplace violence and the concerns of employee(s) who experienced or witnessed the workplace violence.  In some cases, not all steps will be required and in other cases, additional steps may be taken.








Response Measures: Urgent  Incident




Report an urgent incident immediately by dialling 5000 or 911  and follow emergency procedures.


 Victim or witness



Provide emergency response and invoke necessary emergency procedures.


Security Services


Activate appropriate emergency measures, if required.


Security Services


Support the investigation of criminal matters in consultation with the Police, where necessary.


Security Services


Notify the Behaviour Risk Assessment Group if circumstances exist where the behaviour of an individual may continue to represent a potential concern for the safety of other members of the College Community.


Security Services


Consult and make recommendations to the affected person’s immediate supervisor regarding the outcome of the investigation.


Security Services


Determine whether any action is required, which may include preventive, corrective and/or disciplinary action.


Immediate Supervisor


Document findings and actions taken.


Security Services


Response Measures: Non-urgent Incident




Report in writing,using the Accident / Incident Report Form (Appendix 5), incidents which do not require emergency response to the Supervisor.  If the Supervisor of the affected person is involved in the incident, make the report to the Supervisor’s Supervisor.  Include detailed notes of the incident(s), including date, time and nature of the incident(s) as well as the name of any witnesses.


Victim or witness


Determine the urgency of the incident using the Workplace Violence Prevention Model.  Where necessary, request the assistance of Security Services or Human Resources to determine the urgency. ( Appendix 1)


Immediate Supervisor


Investigate the incident or seek investigative guidance from Human Resources or Security Services.  Such guidance may include assigning the investigation to an internal or external person to investigate.  The investigation may include interviewing the complainant and the respondent as soon as possible, interviewing any witnesses, reviewing relevant documents and other materials and producing a final report of findings.


Immediate Supervisor


Request, if a potential concern for the safety of other members of the College community exists and time permits, a meeting of the Behaviour Risk Assessment Group as soon as practicable to assess the incident.


Security Services


Follow procedures outlined in Policy HR 22 Respectful Workplace if the incident relates to harassment or discrimination.


Immediate Supervisor


Follow the procedures outlined in Policy SA 07 Student Conduct if the instigator of the incident is a student.


Immediate Supervisor


Following the investigation, make a finding of:
a.  sufficient evidence to support a finding of violation of this Policy;
b.  insufficient evidence to support a finding of violation of this Policy; or
c.  no violation of this Policy.


 Immediate Supervisor



Where applicable, respond in writing to the complainant within five (5) working days or as soon as practicable.


Immediate Supervisor


Determine whether any action is required, which may include preventive, corrective and/or disciplinary action.


Immediate Supervisor


Document findings and actions taken.


Immediate Supervisor

Appendix 1         Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Model

Appendix 2         Behaviour Risk Assessment Group Terms of Reference

Appendix 3         Workplace Violence Prevention Strategies

Appendix 4         Risk Behaviour Assessment and Response

Appendix 5         Security Incident Report


HR22     Respectful Workplace
SA 07     Student Conduct


Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario)


Workplace Violence Prevention Program