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11.1 Policy

The British Columbia Conservation Foundation is committed to providing a workplace where everyone is treated with dignity, respect and is able to work in an environment free from violence, bullying and harassment.

Workers will be made aware during orientation that bullying and harassment is considered a serious offence for which appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. In addition, workers who are subject to, or made aware of workplace violence will be made aware of the available resources and reporting procedures.

Key Definitions

Violence: Is the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force to cause injury to a worker and includes any threatening statement or behavior which gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that he or she is at risk of injury.

Bullying: Is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent or aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker or subordinate. Workplace bullying can include such tactics as verbal, nonverbal, psychological, physical abuse and humiliation.

Harassment: Harassment is any inappropriate conduct or comment by a person towards a worker that the person knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause the worker to be humiliated or intimidated.

Example of bullying and harassment include:

  • Verbal aggression or insults.
  • Calling someone derogatory names.
  • Harmful hazing or initiation practices.
  • Vandalizing personal belongings.
  • Spreading malicious rumors.

Bullying and harassment is not reasonable action taken by management or a supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers in the place of employment.

11.2 Responsibilities

Management

  • Will not engage in any form of bullying or harassment.
  • Develop a policy statement on bullying and harassment.
  • Take steps in preventing bullying and harassment.
  • Develop and implement procedures for reporting and dealing with incidents of complains of workplace violence and bullying and harassment.
  • Educate all BCCF personnel on the violence, bullying and harassment policy.
  • Annually review the policy statement and all procedures relating to bullying and harassment.

Supervisor

  • Not engage in any form of bullying or harassment.
  • Actively take steps to prevent bullying and harassment from occurring.
  • Report if bullying and harassments is observed or experienced.
  • Follow the BCCF procedure for handling bullying and harassment.

Workers

  • Not engage in the bullying or harassment.
  • Report if bullying and harassments is observed or experienced.
  • Report incidents of workplace violence.
  • Follow the BCCF procedure for handling bullying and harassment.

11.3 Reporting Incidents of Violence, Bullying and Harassment

If an employee considers that they have been subjected to an act of workplace violence, bullying or harassment, the employee shall immediately report the incident to their Project Coordinator or the Safety Coordinator. When a complaint of workplace violence, bullying or harassment is reported, it must be formally documented by the individual receiving the report of the complainant. All formal reports of workplace violence, bullying and harassment will be treated with respect and confidentiality of the involved employees.

A formal complaint of workplace violence, bullying and harassment will be reviewed by management to establish validity. A formal documented investigation will be conducted which will include, all involved personnel’s witness statements, times and dates of incidents, contributing factors associated with the incidents, corrective actions to prevent any re-occurrence of incidents.

When to report: Incidents of violence, bullying and harassments should be reported as soon as possible after experiencing or witnessing an incident.

How to report: Report incidents to a Project Coordinator or the Safety Coordinator.

Who will conduct the investigation: The Safety Coordinator or Project Coordinator will conduct workplace violence, bullying and harassment investigations.

What to include in report: Provide as much information as possible in the report, such as the names of people involved, witnesses, where the events occurred, when they occurred, and what behavior led to the incident.

Tool: Workplace Bullying and Harassment Investigation Report, Complainant Incident Description, Respondent Incident Description, Witness Incident Description. Violent Incident Report.

 Workplace Violence Report, Workplace Bullying and Harassment Report.

11.4 Investigating Bullying and Harassment Claims

The following are guidelines for conducting a violence, bullying and harassment investigation.

  • Be undertaken promptly
  • Be fair and impartial, proving both the complainant and respondent equal treatment in evaluating the statements.
  • Be respectful to the interests of all parties involved and maintain confidentiality.
  • Be focused on finding the facts and evidence.

The involved parties will be advised of the investigation findings by the Safety Coordinator or Project Coordinator.

11.5 Violence in the Workplace Risk Assessment 

Where there may exist a risk of injury to workers arising from violence a risk assessment will be conducted. The risk assessment will be recorded in Step 2 of the Project Safety Assessment with the other hazards associated with a project.

The following should be considered when determining if there is a significant risk of violence:

  • Working with the public.
  • Carrying out inspection or enforcement duties.
  • Providing service, care, advice or education.
  • Working alone, in small numbers or in isolated low traffic areas.
  • Working in a community based setting or a mobile workplace.
  • Entering private property.

Working during the following times can increase the risk of violence:

  • Late hours of the night or early hours of the morning.
  • Tax return season.
  • Christmas holidays or festive seasons.
  • Performance appraisals.
  • During disciplinary action.

If there is no risk of violence the PSA will state “No Significant Risk of Violence”. If there is a significant level of risk controls will be implemented

 

11.6 Controls

If a risk to workers from violence is identified by the Project Safety Assessment, procedures and work environment arrangements to eliminate or minimize the risk of violence will be implemented.