New Legislation To Tackle Workplace Violence

    McGuinty Government Working To Strengthen Protections For Workers

    TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ -


    Violence and harassment have no place in the workplace. That's the
message Ontario is sending by introducing legislative amendments to the
Occupational Health and Safety Act that would, if passed, help protect workers
from workplace violence and harassment.

    The proposed legislation would, if passed:
    -   Require employers to develop a framework that would include policies
        and programs to help prevent workplace violence and harassment
    -   Require employers to take reasonable precautions to protect an
        employee from domestic violence in the workplace
    -   Allow workers to remove themselves from harmful situations if they
        have reason to believe that they are at risk of imminent danger due
        to workplace violence

    The government is also launching specific measures to tackle workplace
violence in the health sector. Two newly appointed Healthy Work Environments
Champions will work to build a culture of workplace safety in health care
settings across the province. The Champions are:
    -   Rob Devitt, President and CEO of Toronto East General Hospital,
    -   Dr. Heather Laschinger, Distinguished University Professor and
        Associate Director Nursing Research at The University of Western
        Ontario, School of Nursing.


    "If passed, this legislation would help create a climate in workplaces
across the province that says that workplace violence is completely
    - Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour

    "Our Champions will help us implement the ministry's ongoing strategy to
make healthcare settings safe for nurses, physicians, and all who work in the
healthcare sector in Ontario."
    - David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long Term Care

    "Women in Ontario deserve to feel safe and respected in their workplaces.
 This legislation will help protect more women from abusive partners and from
harassment in their workplaces."
    - Deb Matthews, Minister Responsible for Women's Issues


    -   The proposed legislative amendments would enhance the province's
        existing Safe at Work Ontario Strategy.

    -   From April 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008, inspectors made 198 field
        visits and issued 185 orders related to violence in the workplace.


    Read more about Ontario's efforts to help ensure workplace health and
safety (

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Susan McConnell, Minister's Office, (416)
326-7710; Bruce Skeaff, Communications Branch, (416) 326-7405

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