Violence

Violence is an issue that can affect all business sectors and occupations. It affects the safety and security of employees, customers, clients and business owners. It claims a high personal cost from the emotional trauma and physical injury felt by victims, their families and co-workers.

Violence in a place of employment means the attempted or actual use of physical force against an employee, or any threatening statement or behaviour that gives an employee reasonable cause to believe that physical force will be used against the employee, and includes sexual violence, intimate partner violence and domestic violence.

Employer Responsibilities

Risk Assessment

Every employer must assess the risk of violence in their workplace in consultation with the joint health and safety committee (JHSC), health and safety representative, or employees . This assessment must be documented and include:

  • The location and circumstances or situations where work activities take place.
  • Any possible types of violence that may happen in connection with the employee’s work. (including intimate partner violence and domestic violence spilling over into a workplace).
  • Description of the types (categories) of employees at risk, or the type of work that places employees at risk.
  • Which employees might be at risk for violent incidents, including the types of work activities that may place employees at risk.
  • The possible health and safety effects to the employees at risk.
  • Investigation results of previous violent incidents.
  • Knowledge of violent incidents in similar workplaces.

This assessment must be made available to the JHSC or health and safety representative, and to a health and safety officer (‘officer’) on request. The employer must review and update the assessment when there is a change in the work condition, or when ordered to do so by an officer.

Code of Practice

There are three instances when an employer must develop a written code of practice for violence.

One, when an employer regularly employs 20 or more employees in New Brunswick.

Two, when the following circumstances exist:

Three, when the risk assessment identified a risk of violence.

The goal of the code of practice is to reduce the risk of violence and make sure employees stay safe and healthy. It must therefore consider the risks identified in the assessment.

The code of practice must include:

  • A list of locations and circumstances where violence may occur and where the code applies
  • A description of the types of violence that might occur (identified in your risk assessment document)
  • Description of the types (categories) of employees at risk, or the type of work that places employees at risk (identified in your risk assessment document)
  • Identity of who is responsible for implementing the code
  • Statement that an employee must report an incident of violence to the employer as soon as possible
  • The actions and methods an employer will take to reduce the risk of violence:
    • Methods and equipment to be used
    • Procedures employees must follow
    • Training that is required
    • How an employee seeks emergency assistance if the established procedures fail or are not sufficient for the situation
    • Procedure employer must follow to document and investigate incidents
    • Method to inform affected employees of the investigation results
    • Procedure employer must follow to implement corrective measures identified by the investigation
    • Follow-up measures for affected employees

The employer must make sure the code of practice:

  • Is implemented and followed.
  • Provides adequate protection for the health and safety of employees, when followed.
  • Is established, implemented, reviewed and updated in consultation with the JHSC, health and safety representative or employees.
  • Is made available to an officer and employees on request.

Review and update of the code must be done by the employer at least once a year and when there is a change in conditions at the workplace, or when ordered to do so by an officer.

Training Program

The employer must implement a training program on the code for each employee and for each supervisor and include it in training of a new employee. Training records must be made available to an officer on request.

Privacy and confidentiality

Maintaining privacy and confidentiality is important to ensure employees are comfortable reporting incidents to their employer. The employer must not disclose to anyone the identity of a person who is involved in an incident of violence or the circumstances related to the incident, except when the disclosure is:

  • Necessary to investigate the incident.
  • Required for corrective actions.
  • Required by law.

Any personal information that is collected, used, or disclosed by the employer must be limited to the minimum amount necessary.

Supervisor Responsibilities

Supervisors must:

  • Enforce the violence code of practice and ensure employees follow it.
  • Report violent incidents to their employer as soon as possible.
  • Follow the code of practice

Employee Responsibilities

Employees must:

  • Report violent incidents to their employer as soon as possible.
  • Follow the code of practice.

General Regulation - Occupational Health and Safety Act
N.B. Reg. 91-191

Part XXII.I VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT

Section 374.1 Assessment of risk

374.1 (1) An employer shall assess the risk of violence at the place of employment.

(2) In assessing the risk of violence, an employer shall consult with

(a) all committees, if any,

(b) all health and safety representatives, if any, or

(c) if there is no committee or representative, employees.

(3) When conducting the assessment referred to in subsection (1), the employer shall consider the following information:

(a) the location and circumstances in which the work is carried on;

(b) the risk that may arise out of or in connection with

(i) an employee’s work, or

(ii) sexual violence, intimate partner violence or domestic violence occurring at the place of employment;

(c) the categories of employees at risk, or the types of work that place employees at risk of experiencing violence;

(d) the possible effects on the health or safety of employees who are exposed to violence at the place of employment;

(e) all previous incidents of violence at the place of employment; and

(f) incidents of violence in similar places of employment.

(4) An employer shall ensure that the assessment referred to in subsection (1) is documented and made available to all committees, if any, or all health and safety representatives, if any, and to an officer on request.

(5) The employer shall review the assessment of the risk of violence and update it

(a) when there is a change in conditions at the place of employment, or

(b) when ordered to do so by an officer.

[N.B. Reg. 2018-82, s. 2]

Section 374.2 Establishing code of practice for violence

374.2 (1) The following definitions apply in this section.

"emergency service provider" means

(a) a police force as defined in the Police Act,

(b) a fire department organized to serve any area of the Province, or

(c) an ambulance service provided in accordance with the Ambulance Services Act.

"health professional" means a person who

(a) provides a service related to the preservation or improvement of the health of individuals or the diagnosis, treatment or care of individuals who are injured, sick, disabled or infirm, and

(b) is registered or licensed under an Act of the Province to provide the service.

"pharmacist" means a person licensed to practise pharmacy under the New Brunswick Pharmacy Act, 2014.

"Public Service" means the Public Service as defined in the Public Service Labour Relations Act.

"social worker" means a person registered under the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers Act, 1988.

"veterinarian" means a person who is licensed to practise veterinary medicine under the Veterinarians Act.

(2) A code of practice for violence shall

(a) mitigate the risk of violence at the place of employment and ensure the health and safety of employees to the extent possible, and

(b) consider any risk of violence that is identified in an assessment referred to in subsection 374.1(1).

(3) An employer that has 20 or more employees regularly employed at one or more places of employment in the Province shall establish a written code of practice for violence.

(4) An employer that has fewer than 20 employees regularly employed at one or more places of employment in the Province shall establish a written code of practice for violence in any of the following circumstances:

(a) work is carried on at the place of employment by any of the following persons:

(i) an employee of the Public Service;

(ii) a supplier of goods or services to a public body under the Procurement Act;

(iii) an employee of an emergency service provider;

(iv) a health professional;

(v) a pharmacist;

(vi) a veterinarian;

(vii) a social worker, outreach worker, crisis intervener or support worker, including persons providing services to victims of intimate partner violence, domestic violence or sexual violence;

(viii) an employee of an agency as defined in the Private Investigators and Security Services Act; or

(ix) a person registered or licensed under an Act of the Province to provide financial services;

(b) the following work is carried on at the place of employment:

(i) teaching;

(ii) early learning and childcare services;

(iii) retail sales;

(iv) transporting goods or persons for hire in a vehicle, whether the vehicle is owned by a public body or privately owned; or

(v) home support services;

(c) work is carried on at any of the following places of employment:

(i) a casino or other gaming premises under the Gaming Control Act;

(ii) a place in respect of which a licence or permit issued under the Liquor Control Act applies and to which members of the public have access; or

(iii) a cannabis retail outlet as defined in the Cannabis Control Act; or

(d) an assessment referred to in subsection 374.1(1) identifies a risk of violence.

[N.B. Reg. 2018-82, s. 2]

Section 374.3 Code of practice - violence

374.3 (1) A code of practice established under section 374.2 shall include the following:

(a) an inventory of the locations at which and circumstances in which

(i) violence may reasonably be expected to occur, and

(ii) the code of practice would be applicable;

(b) a description of the types of violence that may reasonably be expected to occur;

(c) a description of the categories of employees at risk, or of the types of work that place employees at risk of experiencing violence;

(d) the identity of the person responsible for implementing the code of practice; and

(e) a statement that an employee shall report an incident of violence to the employer as soon as the circumstances permit.

(2) A code of practice referred to in subsection (1) shall set out the actions and measures the employer shall take to mitigate the risk of violence, including

(a) the methods and equipment to be used and the procedures to be followed,

(b) the follow-up measures to be used with affected employees,

(c) the means, including alternative means, by which an employee may secure emergency assistance,

(d) the procedure the employer shall follow to investigate and document any incident of violence of which the employer is aware,

(e) the manner in which affected employees shall be informed of the results of an investigation,

(f) the procedure the employer shall follow to implement any corrective measures identified as a result of the investigation, and

(g) the identification of training needs.

[N.B. Reg. 2018-82, s. 2]

Section 374.5 Implementation

374.5 (1) An employer shall ensure that the codes of practice established under section 374.2 and 374.4 are, when followed, sufficient to provide for the health and safety of employees at the place of employment to the extent possible.

(2) In establishing and implementing the codes of practice referred to in subsection (1), an employer shall consult with

(a) all committees, if any,

(b) all health and safety representatives, if any, or

(c) if there is no committee or representative, employees.

(3) An employer shall ensure that a copy of the codes of practice referred to in subsection (1) is readily available to an officer and to employees on request.

(4) An employer shall ensure that the codes of practice referred to in subsection (1) are implemented and followed at the place of employment.

(5) An employee shall follow all codes of practice.

[N.B. Reg. 2018-82, s. 2]

Section 374.6 Privacy

374.6 (1) An employer shall not disclose to any person the identity of a person who is involved in an incident of violence or harassment or the circumstances related to the incident, other than when the disclosure is

(a) necessary in order to investigate the incident,

(b) required in order to take corrective measures in response to the incident, or

(c) required by law.

(2) The personal information that is collected, used or disclosed by the employer under sections 374.1 to 374.5 shall be limited to the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish the purpose.

[N.B. Reg. 2018-82, s. 2]

Section 374.7 Training

374.7 (1) An employer shall implement a training program in respect of the codes of practice established under sections 374.2 and 374.4 for each employee and for each supervisor who is responsible for an employee.

(2) The training record for each employee shall be made available to an officer on request.

[N.B. Reg. 2018-82, s. 2]

Section 374.8 Review and update

374.8 (1) An employer shall review the codes of practice established under section 374.2 and 374.4 at least once each year in consultation with

(a) all committees, if any,

(b) all health and safety representatives, if any, or

(c) if there is no committee or representative, employees.

(2) An employer shall update the codes of practice referred to in subsection (1)

(a) when there is a change in conditions at the place of employment, or

(b) when ordered to do so by an officer.

[N.B. Reg. 2018-82, s. 2]