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UHN has always taken the safety of all our staff including physicians, students and volunteers seriously and we've had a standing violence in the workplace policy in effect for some time now.
Serious external events in the province have prompted legislative changes which now designate violence and harassment in the workplace as a risk under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act defines workplace violence as: the use of physical force or an attempt to use physical force by a person against a worker that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker; or a statement or behaviour that is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to use physical force that could cause physical injury. Harassment is defined as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in the workplace that is known or ought reasonable to be known to be unwelcome. We would also consider bullying, stalking, sexual abuse/assault/harassment to be included in the definitions of violence or harassment.
What this change means for each employee is that in order to become compliant to the new legislation, as well as informed and prepared our Employee Workplace Violence, Harassment & Domestic Violence Policy is being updated and all UHN staff must be educated on this policy and procedures to respond to incidents of violence or harassment as soon as possible in order to fulfill Ministry of Labour's requirement deadline of March 31, 2011.
In order to meet this fast-approaching deadline, a brief comprehensive eLearning module has been developed, outlining Workplace Violence policies and procedures and educating all employees about how we protect UHN staff against all forms of threat including: workplace violence, harassment and domestic violence.
The course can be found in the eLearning Centre at: http://bit.ly/f5Wg9t in the safety folder of the catalogue in the eLearning Centre, under Occupational Health and Safety.
You can also locate it using the search function, looking for "Workplace Violence, Harassment, and Domestic Violence Awareness" or its course code – "UHUHOC007W". When logging in the eLearning Centre your username is UHN and your Employee ID # together (eg. UHN123456). If you don't know your Employee ID # please call the HR Employee Helpline at 14-5995.
If you have any further questions about the eLearning module please don't hesitate to contact Jane Sloggett (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Richard Bilan (email@example.com).
Together we can work to ensure that every employee feels safe in their workplace.
Bob Bell & Emma Pavlov