WHMIS

BC Legislation

 

Workplace Violence & Harassment

 

This is not an official source of information. It has been assembled as a

convenience to students for reference and further study. Some extracts from

official sources such as Regulations are provided. These are not guaranteed to

completely cover all the material available in the Regulations. URL’s of those

official sources are provided to allow the full text to be consulted.

 

OHS Regulation & Related Materials

http://www2.worksafebc.com/Publications/OHSRegulation/Home.asp

 

BC summary for “Violence in the Workplace”

Violence means the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a

worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker, and includes any

threatening statement or behaviour which gives a worker reasonable cause to

believe that he/she is at risk of injury.

A risk assessment must be performed in any workplace in which a risk of injury to

workers from violence arising out of their employment may be present. The risk

assessment must include the consideration of previous experience in the

workplace and similar workplaces as well as the location and circumstances in

which work will take place.

If a risk of injury to workers from violence is identified by an assessment, the

employer must establish procedures, policies and work environment

arrangements to eliminate, or if this is not possible to minimize, the risk to

workers from violence.

The employer must establish procedures, policies and work environment

arrangements to eliminate, or if this is not possible to minimize, the risk to

workers from violence.

An employer must inform or instruct workers who may be exposed to the risk of

violence with respect to the following:

1. the nature and extent of the risk, including information related to the risk of

violence from persons who have a history of violent behaviour and whom

workers are likely to encounter in the course of their work;

2. the means for recognition of the potential for violence;

3. the procedures, policies and work environment arrangements which have

been developed to minimize or effectively control the risk to workers from

violence;

4. the appropriate response to incidents of violence, including how to obtain

assistance; and

5. the procedures for reporting, investigating and documenting incidents of

violence.

The employer must ensure that a worker reporting an injury or adverse symptom

as a result of an incident of violence is advised to consult a physician of his/her

choice for treatment or referral.

 

The following is © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Copyright Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia

Richmond, B.C., Canada. All rights reserved.

 

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation B.C. Reg. 296/97

Part 4 — General Conditions

 

Buildings, Structures and Equipment

Safe workplace

4.1 A workplace must be planned, constructed, used and maintained to protect

from danger any person working at the workplace.

Impairment

Physical or mental impairment

4.19 (1) A worker with a physical or mental impairment which may affect the

worker's ability to safely perform assigned work must inform his or her supervisor

or employer of the impairment, and must not knowingly do work where the

impairment may create an undue risk to the worker or anyone else.

(2) A worker must not be assigned to activities where a reported or observed

impairment may create an undue risk to the worker or anyone else.

[am. B.C. Reg. 185/99, s. 21.]

Impairment by alcohol, drug or other substance

4.20 (1) A person must not enter or remain at any workplace while the person's

ability to work is affected by alcohol, a drug or other substance so as to endanger

the person or anyone else.

(2) The employer must not knowingly permit a person to remain at any

workplace while the person's ability to work is affected by alcohol, a drug or other

substance so as to endanger the person or anyone else.

(3) A person must not remain at a workplace if the person's behaviour is affected

by alcohol, a drug or other substance so as to create an undue risk to workers,

except where such a workplace has as one of its purposes the treatment or

confinement of such persons.

 

Working Alone or in Isolation

Definition

4.20.1 In sections 4.20.2 to 4.23, "to work alone or in isolation" means to work

in circumstances where assistance would not be readily available to the worker

(a) in case of an emergency, or

(b) in case the worker is injured or in ill health.

Hazard identification, elimination and control

4.20.2 (1) Before a worker is assigned to work alone or in isolation, the employer

must identify any hazards to that worker.

(2) Before a worker starts a work assignment with a hazard identified under

subsection (1), the employer must take measures

(a) to eliminate the hazard, and

(b) if it is not practicable to eliminate the hazard, to minimize the risk from the

hazard.

(3) For purposes of subsection (2) (b), the employer must minimize the risk from

the hazard to the lowest level practicable using engineering controls,

administrative controls or a combination of engineering and administrative

controls.

 

Procedures for checking well-being of worker

4.21 (1) The employer must develop and implement a written procedure for

checking the well-being of a worker assigned to work alone or in isolation.

(2) The procedure for checking a worker's well-being must include the time

interval between checks and the procedure to follow in case the worker cannot

be contacted, including provisions for emergency rescue.

(3) A person must be designated to establish contact with the worker at

predetermined intervals and the results must be recorded by the person.

(4) In addition to checks at regular intervals, a check at the end of the work shift

must be done.

(5) The procedure for checking a worker's well-being, including time intervals

between the checks, must be developed in consultation with the joint committee

or worker health and safety representative, as applicable.

(6) Time intervals for checking a worker's well-being must be developed in

consultation with the worker assigned to work alone or in isolation.

 

Training

4.22 A worker described in section 4.21 (1) and any person assigned to check on

the worker must be trained in the written procedure for checking the worker's

well-being.

Late night retail safety procedures and requirements

4.22.1 (1) In this section:

"late night hours" means any time between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;

"late night retail premises" means

(a) a gas station or other retail fueling outlet, or

(b) a convenience store or any other retail store where goods are sold directly to

consumers

that is open to the public for late night hours.

(2) If a worker is assigned to work alone or in isolation in late night retail

premises and there is any risk of harm from a violent act to the worker, then, in

addition to any other obligations the employer has under sections 4.20.2 to 4.23,

(a) the employer must develop and implement a written procedure to ensure the

worker's safety in handling money, and

(b) when that worker is assigned to work late night hours, the employer must also

do either or both of the following:

(i) ensure that the worker is physically separated from the public by a locked

door or barrier that prevents physical contact with or access to the worker;

(ii) assign one or more workers to work with the worker during that worker's

assignment.

(3) A worker described in subsection (2) must be trained in the written procedure

referred to in that subsection.

 

Mandatory prepayment for fuel

4.22.2 An employer must require that customers prepay for fuel sold in gas

stations and other retail fueling outlets.

 

Annual reviews of procedures

4.23 The procedures referred to in sections 4.21 and 4.22.1 must be reviewed at

least annually, or more frequently if there is

(a) a change in work arrangements which could adversely affect a worker's wellbeing

or safety, or

(b) a report that the procedures are not working effectively.

 

Workplace Conduct

Definition

4.24 In sections 4.25 and 4.26: "improper activity or behaviour" includes

(a) the attempted or actual exercise by a worker towards another worker of any

physical force so as to cause injury, and includes any threatening statement or

behaviour which gives the worker reasonable cause to believe he or she is at risk

of injury, and

(b) horseplay, practical jokes, unnecessary running or jumping or similar conduct.

Prohibition

4.25 A person must not engage in any improper activity or behaviour at a

workplace that might create or constitute a hazard to themselves or to any other

person.

Investigation

4.26 Improper activity or behaviour must be reported and investigated as

required by Part 3 (Rights and Responsibilities).

 

Violence in the Workplace

Definition

4.27 In sections 4.28 to 4.31, "violence" means the attempted or actual exercise

by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a

worker, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives a

worker reasonable cause to believe that he or she is at risk of injury.

Risk assessment

4.28 (1) A risk assessment must be performed in any workplace in which a risk

of injury to workers from violence arising out of their employment may be

present.

(2) The risk assessment must include the consideration of

(a) previous experience in that workplace,

(b) occupational experience in similar workplaces, and

(c) the location and circumstances in which work will take place.

Procedures and policies

4.29 If a risk of injury to workers from violence is identified by an assessment

performed under section 4.28 the employer must

(a) establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to

eliminate the risk to workers from violence, and

(b) if elimination of the risk to workers is not possible, establish procedures,

policies and work environment arrangements to minimize the risk to workers.

Instruction of workers

4.30 (1) An employer must inform workers who may be exposed to the risk of

violence of the nature and extent of the risk.

(2) The duty to inform workers in subsection (1) includes a duty to provide

information related to the risk of violence from persons who have a history of

violent behaviour and whom workers are likely to encounter in the course of their

work.

(3) The employer must instruct workers who may be exposed to the risk of

violence in

(a) the means for recognition of the potential for violence,

(b) the procedures, policies and work environment arrangements which have

been developed to minimize or effectively control the risk to workers from

violence,

(c) the appropriate response to incidents of violence, including how to obtain

assistance, and

(d) procedures for reporting, investigating and documenting incidents of violence.

Advice to consult physician

4.31

(3) The employer must ensure that a worker reporting an injury or adverse

symptom as a result of an incident of violence is advised to consult a physician of

the worker's choice for treatment or referral.

 
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