Workers Health & Safety Centre

Workers assaulted, employer pleads guilty to safety violations

Workers assaulted, employer pleads guilty to safety violations
A service agency operating a mental health treatment and support facility was recently fined $125,000 as a result of a workplace violence incident. 
Kinark Child and Family Services operates the Syl Apps Youth Centre in Oakville. At this facility, they offer court-ordered intensive treatment and support in a secure setting to youth who have serious mental health issues and are found to be at significant risk of harm to themselves and others.
In May, 2014, a recent hire assigned to the detention and custody unit for boys directed a youth to return to his room. The youth assaulted the worker along with another who intervened. Both workers suffered physical and psychological injuries.
Ontario employers have significant legal obligations to address workplace violence and harassment. Chief among these duties is the requirement for employers to develop and implement workplace violence and harassment policies and program(s). To this end the employer must also provide all workers with information and instruction on the content of these workplace policies and related measures. Employers are also required to ensure supervisors complete basic health and safety awareness training and are competent.
According to a Ministry of Labour press release, the agency pleaded guilty as an employer for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence or the risk of violence as required by section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act
Want to read the MOL press release about this conviction?
For our part, the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) offers a range of resources and a three-hour Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention Training program designed to help workplace parties better understand workplace violence, harassment and bullying and to fully comply with legal obligations. We also offer training programs to help employers meet the training and competency requirements for supervisors.
Want to access WHSC resources and training information?
WHSC Workplace Violence Resources 
MOL issues code of practice on workplace harassment
Supervisor Training—in-class
Supervisor Training—online

To learn more:
Call:     1-888-869-7950 and ask to speak to a WHSC training services representative.