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Workplace Violence & Harassment

Workplace Violence & Harassment

Workplace Violence is the practice  of physical force by a person against a worker in a workplace that causes or could cause physical injury. It includes any attempt or threat to activity physical force. A threat can be a statement or behavior that a worker reasonably interprets as intimidating. 

Workplace Harassment is the practice of engaging in a course of abrasive comment or conduct against a worker, in a workplace, that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.”

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Workplace violence and harassment can be

  • Verbal
  • Physical
  • Visual (e.g., gestures) 
  • Environmental (e.g., posting derogatory or sexually oriented posters). It can include bullying and gossip as well as domestic violence that spills over into the workplace.  

Workplace violence or harassment negatively affects workers and the work environment.  

  • It can damage people’s physical and mental health. 
  • It can decrease productivity and undermine the company culture.  
  • It can hurt a business financially because of work disruptions, decreased productivity, and the costs of violence-related injuries, government fines, and potential legal action.  
  • It can negatively affect the relationship between coworkers and between workers and employers.  
  • It can ruin the company’s reputation with clients and undermine hiring efforts. 

Some Controls Measures  

Organizations have to implement a written workplace violence and harassment policy and post it in a conspicuous location at the workplace.  

Organization must also protect workers from workplace violence and harassment. This includes conducting investigations and advising workers if there is a risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behavior. 

You can’t always control the behavior of others, but you can control your own behavior.  

  • Act respectfully towards others while at work and during work-related activities. 
  • Do not engage in or put up with workplace violence or harassment, intentionally or unintentionally. Remember that harassment is often about perception rather than intention. 
  • Respect the diversity of the workplace. Learn to appreciate the unique qualities and strengths of a diverse workforce. 
  • Comply with all company policies and co-operate with any efforts to investigate and resolve matters arising from a report of workplace violence and harassment. 
  • Actively participate in any workplace violence and harassment training required by the employer and by law. 
  • In the event of a workplace violence incident, take care of your own immediate physical safety first and then report the incident to  Department Manager , or to HR / Safety / Compliance department head.

Check your organization policy:- 

Review organization workplace violence and harassment policy with your management and workers association/Union. Provide necessary training be clear about who the policy applies to (subcontractors, temporary workers, etc.) and what the consequences will be if they violate it. Share document, show them document displayed the location where it’s posted

Go over the steps to report an instance of workplace violence and harassment, explain how the investigation will be handled, and point out that workers are protected from any reprisal as a result of a report made in good faith. 

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