Workplace Violence and Harassment
Workplace violence and harassment can exist in every workplace. Employers have responsibilities under the OHS legislation to implement measures to identify and control these hazards by conducting a risk assessment and developing violence and harassment prevention plans. Workers must not engage in workplace violence or harassing behavior, and immediately report these incidents to their supervisor or employer.
Workplace violence can include threatening behaviour, verbal or written threats, physical assaults or other actions that give a worker a reason to believe they are at risk of injury.
Violence can happen in any workplace. Due to the nature of work, the risk of workplace violence is greater in industries such as health care, service and retail. It can happen at the worksite or at an off-site business-related function (conference, trade show), at a client’s site or in a vehicle.
Workplace harassment means inappropriate vexatious conduct or comment by a person to a worker that the person knew or ought to have known would cause the worker to be humiliated, offended or intimidated. Harassment may happen only once or repeatedly. It may be intended or unintended; written, verbal, physical, a gesture or display, or any combination of these.
Harassment can take place in the workplace or in a situation connected to work. It can include electronic messages to a person or social media posts.
To reduce the risk of workplace harassment, employers are responsible to develop a Harassment Prevention Plan. Use the Workplace Violence and Harassment Due Diligence Checklist to assess, develop and implement your plan.
WorkplaceNL offers free webinars about workplace violence and harassment prevention.