• Issued: April 21, 2010
  • Content last reviewed: June 2013
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  • DISCLAIMER: The material contained in this document is for information and reference purposes only and is not intended as legal or professional advice. The adoption of the practices described in this document may not meet all the needs, requirements, or obligations of individual workplaces.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires employers in Ontario to assess the risks of workplace violence, and to put in place policies and programs regarding workplace violence and workplace harassment. This document and the accompanying Toolbox have been developed to help Ontario employers meet the Act’s requirements. The documents also outline recommended approaches to assessing the risks of workplace violence, and contain important information on recognizing the signs of domestic violence and protecting workers should it occur in the workplace.

Workplaces are not required to use the processes, tools, or techniques presented in this document or in the Toolbox. Employers may use other processes, tools, or techniques to help them comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

This document and the Toolbox have been designed for employers to use in consultation with workers, supervisors, joint health and safety committees, health and safety representatives, and/or unions. The two documents are for general use and not targeted to any specific type of workplace, industry, or sector. If you would like information specific to your type of workplace, Ontario’s health and safety associations have information, programs, and services related to workplace violence, harassment, and other topics. See the Resources section for contact information.

The focus of these documents is on Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, Ontario’s Human Rights Code, and Canada’s Criminal Code. Other legislation relevant to violence and harassment is mentioned, but there may be further legislation that applies to your workplace. For specific legal requirements, please refer to applicable legislation and regulations.

The Ministry of Labour publishes Workplace Violence and Harassment: Understanding the Law , which outlines legislative requirements and includes important information about compliance.

Workplaces that are subject to federal labour legislation should consult federal publications for support in meeting their obligations.

The use, reproduction, or customization of these documents to meet sector- or workplace-specific needs is recommended and encouraged. These documents are available online www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/wvps_guide/index.php and www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/wvps_toolbox/index.php.

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