Workers Health & Safety Centre

Updated WHSC Workplace Violence and Harassment training – What’s Changed

Updated WHSC Workplace Violence and Harassment training – What’s Changed

The Workers Health & Safety Centre’s, Workplace Violence and Harassment hazard training module was recently revised in light of Bill 132. 

Version 8.0 reflects Bill 132 changes

Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act, 2016 came into effect on September 8, 2016, amending six statues including the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the Act).  Accordingly, version 8.0 of the program, which is also used as certification hazard-specific module, was revised to include all amendments made to the Act with respect to workplace violence and harassment. 

New stats and definitions

This version features new, current statistics with respect to the prevalence of workplace violence and harassment, workplace sexual harassment and domestic violence.  It discusses the new legal term “workplace sexual harassment” which is defined as: “Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or making sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the workers and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.” 

Harassment risk factors

While the previous version discussed risk factors associated with workplace violence only, the new version includes a section on risk factors associated with workplace harassment as identified through academic research and the knowledge of investigators, trainers, diversity leaders and human resource personnel. 

Harassment program requirements

The new version of this module also reviews the new employer requirement to develop and maintain a written program to implement a workplace harassment policy in consultation with the joint committee or health and safety representative. Through an active lecture, the instructor and participants will review what the workplace harassment program must contain including: 
  • measures and procedures to report harassment incidents to the employer or supervisor as well as measures and procedures to report incidents to someone else if the alleged harasser is the employer or supervisor
  • how information obtained about an incident or complaint will not be disclosed unless the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of investigating or taking corrective action or otherwise required by law, and
  • how a worker who experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser will be informed of the results of the investigation and any corrective action taken or that will be taken. 

Harassment investigation and reporting requirements

This version also includes new duties imposed upon employers to protect workers from workplace harassment including: 
  • ensuring an investigation is conducted into incidents and complaints of workplace harassment that is appropriate in the circumstances
  • informing the worker who experienced workplace harassment and the alleged harasser in writing of the results of the investigation and of any corrective action taken or that will be taken, and
  • reviewing the harassment program as often as necessary, but at least annually.

Format changes

The new version of the Participant Manual and Instructor’s Notes are in the new style format.  Where new information was added to the Participant Manual regarding harassment, it was inserted after discussing violence to clearly distinguish between workplace violence and workplace harassment.  New graphics have been added to the Participant Manual.  Additional slides with respect to harassment risk factors and the harassment policy and program, as well as new graphics, were added to the PowerPoint presentation.  The previous version contained eight learning objectives. The new version has seven learning objectives as two of the learning objectives were merged together.  Included in the Participant Manual and mentioned in the Instructor’s Notes are three new Resource Sheets: 
  •          Resource Sheet #2, Harassment – risk factor selection tool
  •          Resource Sheet #6, Workplace harassment complaint form
  •          Resource Sheet #7, Investigation template

For more information or to book this program for delivery contact a WHSC training services representative today at 1-888-869-7950.