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WorkSafeBC proposes workplace violence, harassment policy

By Mari-Len De Guzman
| www.cos-mag.com

British Columbia's workers' compensation board is developing a discussion paper and draft occupational health and safety policy on workplace bullying and harassment prevention.

According to a statement from WorkSafeBC, the move is in line with a pledge from Margaret MacDiarmid, minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government, to prevent workplace bullying and harassment in conjunction with amendments being made to the Workers Compensation Act (Bill 14) relating to compensation for work-related mental disorders.

WorkSafeBC will immediately begin work on the discussion paper and occupational health and safety policy on workplace bullying and harassment. Stakeholders will be given an opportunity to provide their comments on the proposed discussion paper and policy. The province-wide consultation is expected to be held in the fall of 2012.

The compensation board will also develop an occupational health and safety tool kit for preventing bullying and harassment in the workplace, WorkSafeBC said.

The proposed tool kit will aim to assist workers and employers in understanding, preventing and addressing bullying and harassment in the workplace. This tool kit will be similar to the Domestic Violence in the Workplace tool kit launched by WorkSafeBC in March 2012. The tool kit will also be available in the fall of 2012.

The tool kit will help workers and employers to:

    •    Understand their obligations under the Workers Compensation Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and Occupational Health and Safety Policy in relation to workplace bullying and harassment;

    •    Identify what is workplace bullying and harassment;

    •    Take steps to prevent workplace bullying and harassment; and,

    •    Address incidents of workplace bullying and harassment when they occur.

For more information about the new tool kit and the draft policy on workplace violence and harassment prevention, visit the

WorkSafeBC website.

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