By Mari-Len De Guzman
Canadian Occupational Safety recently posted an online reader poll on the website asking the safety community about what they think will be the biggest challenge with respect to Bill 168 compliance.
Here’s the question: With Bill 168 taking effect on June 15, 2010, what aspect of this new workplace violence legislation will be your biggest challenge?
Close to 140 readers responded to the reader poll. The results? While 20 per cent of you expressed confidence that you’ll be able to comply with all the requirements of this bill by June 15, a few more (26 per cent) weren’t so positive.
The domestic violence protection aspect of the bill, meanwhile, is where 17.6 per cent of our respondents seem to be having some challenges. Bill 168 requires employers to take reasonable steps to protect workers if they become aware of domestic violence in the workplace.
It’s understandable that some organizations may find this requirement a bit more challenging due to privacy issues that might come up as they try to address domestic violence in the workplace.
Conducting risk assessment came in second with 14 per cent citing this as their biggest challenge. Policy and program development, training and developing harassment policies came in next with nine per cent, six per cent and five per cent of the votes, respectively.
Last March, COS hosted a Bill 168 webinar with Gowlings’ Norm Keith and Cathy Chandler. Keith and Chandler discussed some of the basic steps companies need to make to comply with the new legislation, including conducting risk assessment, developing policies and programs and training employees and managers on these programs and policies.
If you haven’t already seen it, I recommend you have a look at this short but very useful video webinar on Bill 168.
Mari-Len De Guzman is the former editor of Canadian Occupational Safety magazine and www.cos-mag.com.