Zero Tolerance Policy


I am an employer or manager – what can I do to prevent workplace violence?

Many employers are unaware that violence is occurring the workplace. You can help prevent workplace violence by creating a written policy. This policy must:

  • Apply to anyone who has a relationship with your company (including management, employees, clients, and independent contractors)
  • Use precise language to define workplace violence
  • State in clear terms your organization’s view toward workplace violence and your commitment to the prevention of workplace violence
  • Provide concrete examples of unacceptable behaviour
  • Precisely state the consequences of making threats or committing violent acts
  • Encourage reporting of violence by explaining:
    o All reports are confidential
    o How to report acts of violence
    o How to submit the reports (to whom)
    o Reassure them there are no reprisals for submitting a report
  • Explain how complaints are investigated and resolved. Describe how potential risks of violence will be communicated to employees
  • Make a commitment to provide support services to victims of violence
  • Offer a confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to allow employees with personal problems to seek help
  • Offer violence prevention training for all workers within the organization

What are the worker’s rights in preventing workplace violence?

Workers, clients, and patients have the same right to safety and health. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, every individual has the right to “use as much force as is reasonably necessary to prevent an assault from occurring, or to defend himself or anyone under his protection as long as he uses no more force than is reasonably necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it.”

If there is a dispute over whether a worker has reasonable cause to believe there is a risk of injury, the worker has the right to refuse unsafe work under sections 3.12 and 3.13 of the OHS Regulation, Refusal of Unsafe Work.