Workers Health & Safety Centre

Feedback prompts revisions to Workplace Violence and Harassment module

Feedback prompts revisions to <i>Workplace Violence and Harassment</i> module
The Workers Health & Safety Centre last revised their Workplace Violence and Harassment training program in July 2010, in response to related Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.  Since then, this program, designed to be delivered over a three-hour period, has understandably received its fair share of bookings.
However, after reviewing feedback from instructors and participants WHSC program development determined the structure of the program, for example time required to complete some exercises, made it difficult to achieve program objectives and maintain the three-hour time frame.
Hence, WHSC has significantly restructured Version 7.0 to allow program participants to complete the program within three hours, while yet maintaining the integrity of the training program.
Changes to the program are as follows.
  • Learning objectives have been consolidated and reduced.
  • After defining violence, harassment, bullying and domestic violence, the instructor asks participants to share their experiences with workplace violence. Note: Instructors must make a mental note of participants who share their experiences, as these participants will act as “leaders” of buzz groups later on in the program.
  • WHSC program development removed the section on causes and motives of workplace violence from the Instructor’s Notes and Detailed Session Plan. However, the background material remains in the Participant’s Manual. Also note: While original materials remain in the Participant’s Manual, it too has been reorganized to correspond with the new structure of the Instructor’s Notes.
  • “Recognizing warning signs” has been also removed from Instructor Note, but remains in the Participant’s Manual.
  • The legislation section now comes prior to the identification, assessment and control sections. This section has also been extensively restructured.
    1. Duties of employers are now divided into two sections – general duties and specific duties regarding violence and harassment.
    2. Supervisor and worker duties have been added.
    3. Participants now brainstorm joint health and safety committee functions.
    4. Also included, is a new section about legislation (other than the Act) that addresses violence and harassment.
  • Added to the identification section of the program is Worksheet #1, which uses what was previously Resource Sheet #1 – Risk Factor Selection Tool. To complete this worksheet and identify workplace risk factors, buzz groups will interview participants who shared their previous workplace experience.
  • In the assessment section, participants regroup with their original buzz group. Each group then chooses one of the risk factors identified in worksheet #1 and completes worksheet #2 Part A – Specific Risk Factor Assessment.
  • The hazard control section now focuses on what an “effective” policy and program should contain. Also added to this section are examples of control measures for general and specific risk factors. 
  • The control section also includes a new buzz group exercise. In it, participants work with their assigned buzz group to develop recommended controls aimed at preventing the recurrence of an incident such as the one shared by their “leader” earlier in the program.
  • Finally, a new conclusion to the module discusses what the joint health and safety committee should look for to ensure employer compliance with the law.