Policy 66 - Violence Prevention

Approved Administrative Committee 2293.2

VIOLENCE PREVENTION

PURPOSE AND APPLICATION

1. This Policy formally establishes the University’s commitment to the prevention of violence in the workplace. 

2. This Policy applies to all members of the University of Ottawa community, including the University’s employees, volunteers, students and visitors.  Contractors hired by the University are also expected to observe and comply with this Policy where warranted.

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

3. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the term “workplace violence” means,

  • a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or may cause personal injury to the worker;
  • b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; or
  • c) a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.

3.1  Related University Policies include Policy 67a on the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, Policy 67b on the Prevention of Sexual Violence (which encompass sexual violence and workplace sexual harassment), Policy 77 on Health and Safety and the Faculty of Medicine Policy on Professionalism.

3.2  Policy 67b on the Prevention of Sexual Violence applies and takes precedence over this Policy if the circumstances involve sexual violence or workplace sexual harassment.  

a)  Policy 67b on the Prevention of Sexual Violence defines sexual violence as follows: “sexual violence” means any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation. For further clarity, sexual assault includes rape. 

b)  Policy 67b on the Prevention of Sexual Violence defines sexual workplace harassment as follows:  “workplace sexual harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome.

POLICY STATEMENT

4. The University will not tolerate acts or threats of workplace violence.

5. The University is committed to protecting the University community and will take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker and to prevent workplace violence. While students, volunteers and visitors are not subject to the provincial legislation on occupational health and safety, the University abides by the policy statements made in this Policy in the case of students, volunteers and visitors.

6. The University will assess, and reassess as necessary, the risks of workplace violence that may arise from, among other factors, the nature of the work or activity, the associated functions and the risk reduction measures in place.

REPORTING

7. All members of the University community are responsible for maintaining an environment that is free from workplace violence.

8. Individuals can report instances of or threats of workplace violence by contacting Protection Services:

In an emergency (for example, if an individual feels that the threat of or incidence of violence will occur imminently, or has been the victim of or witness to workplace violence)

  • Phone (emergency number): (613) 562-5411. Call 911 for areas not serviced by Protection Services, for example, leased premises at 1 Nicholas, or the World Exchange Plaza;
  • Emergency phones:  Located throughout campus. Press the button to contact Protection Services (http://www.protection.uottawa.ca/en/emergency.html)
  • Panic buttons:  (http://www.protection.uottawa.ca/en/emergency.html)
  • Public phones:  Located throughout campus. Dial (613) 562-5411 free of charge or press the pre-programmed button located under the keypad (http://www.protection.uottawa.ca/en/emergency.html)
  • In person: Visit the Protection Services offices (on main campus, at 141 Louis Pasteur; at Roger Guindon Hallroom 2013; and at other locations on the University’s campuses), or alert a Protection Services officer.

If it is not an emergency (for example, to discuss safety concerns or when the threat or incidence of workplace violence is not imminent):

  • Phone: (613) 562-5499 (off campus) or extension 5499 (on campus).

9. Reports of threats or incidence of workplace violence will be assessed by Protection Services with assistance from the Ottawa Police as required, other University staff or other University services, such as Human Resources Service, Health Services, Counselling and Coaching Service, the Office of Risk Management and Legal Services.

10. Reports of threats or incidence of workplace violence will be treated in a confidential manner and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

CONSEQUENCES

11. Individuals who engage in workplace violence will be held responsible and will be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment. Criminal and civil proceedings against an individual may also be undertaken, and other measures that are appropriate in view of the individual’s relation to the University may be taken, such as expulsion from an academic program and prohibition from entering the University’s premises through the issuance of a notice of trespass.

PROGRAM

12. This Policy must be applied in conjunction with the following, through which the University implements its workplace violence prevention program:

REPRISALS PROHIBITED

13. No individual can be disciplined, sanctioned or intimidated for complying with this Policy or for reporting a threat or an incidence of workplace violence.

POLICY REVIEW

14. This Policy shall be reviewed by the University annually and in accordance with the applicable health and safety legislation.

NO EXCEPTION

15. No exception or amendment may be made to this policy without the approval of the Administrative Committee.

Revised August 31, 2016

(Office of Risk Management)

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