Advocates for safe workplaces have been pushing for more than a decade for legislation that protects workers from harassment and violence. Today, they had some good news.
Toronto (21 April 2009) - Proposed amendments to Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act specify harassment and violence as hazards and require employers to identify them as such and carry out effective prevention and response. The new law would include violence as a reason for refusing unsafe work.
"These are significant steps foward. Finally, we are getting close to legislation that forces employers to take this issue seriously," says Ontario Federation of labour president Wayne Samuelson.
The law would require employers to put policies, measures, and procedures in place to assess and control risks, provide assistance, report incidents or threats, and provide training to workers.
"It will be very important that this work be done in consultation and cooperation with workers' health and safety representatives," says Samuelson.