In virtually every Canadian jurisdiction, employers are required as part of their Occupational Health and Safety responsibilities to assess the risk of violence in their workplace. Assessing "risk" to meet this obligation takes two forms; (1) assessing the "Organizational" risk, and (2) evaluating "Individual" threats.
Organizational Risk Assessment
Employers must develop protocol and strategies in order to minimize and potentially eradicate the potential for violence within the workplace. This requires early detection and intervention, which although difficult it is now expectation. In order to meet this important obligation, The Canadian Initiative has developed a highly prescribed approach which helps you organize and analyze your organization's "static" data, meaning that information you already have in-house. In addition, we can show you how to capitalize on gathering more "dynamic" data from employee surveys, focus groups and targeted interviews. We recognize that each workplace is different and budgets vary which requires flexibility and a respect for costs. In response, our approach varies from taking full responsibility for the assessment and report, to providing you with direction and consultation so that you might undertake this important task. In either case, you can be assured that The Canadian Initiative will stand behind its efforts.
Individual Threat Assessments
Although not a legislative requirement, many employers are now taking proactive steps to assess individual threats. This is not intended to predict violent acts; rather, a clearly defined process by which a threat level can be established. More importantly, it involves working with you to establish an appropriate threat response plan to minimize the identified risk. The Canadian Initiative works in conjunction with Corporate Security, Human Resources and Management to develop and implement threat response protocols, either individually or as part of a larger threat response team.
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The manner and circumstances in which work is done can be instrumental in the prevention of workplace violence. Consider for example, the following risk factors:
- Do employees work off site in remote locations, in a mobile workplace (vehicle)? If so, what procedures are in place to respond in the event of an emergency?
- Do employees work alone?
- Do your employees handle cash, valuables and/or other commodities which might be subject to thief? Do you have procedures in place regarding cash drops and the storage of valuables?
- Are the movements of employees predictable, particularly those who handling valuables (cash drop to the bank, staff changeover, etc.)
- Do your employees work late at night? Are there procedures in place to allow for an immediate response in the event of a violent incident?
- Do your employees work with individuals who are intoxicated, unstable or have criminal intent?
- Do any of your employees as part of their work, license or otherwise restrict others? What training do they have to manage potentially angry individuals?