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.
NOTE: As of April 1, 2019 workplace violence is included in New Brunswick’s occupational health and safety regulations. Until April 1, 2019, the proclaimed bill can be viewed here .
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:
This assessment must be made available to the JHSCor 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:
The employer must make sure the code of practice:
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.
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:
Any personal information that is collected, used, or disclosed by the employer must be limited to the minimum amount necessary.