Prevention of Workplace Violence

Date: 2010-07-14
Instance of approval: Administration Committee
  • Date : 2016-08-31
    Instance of approval: Administration Committee
  • Date: 2019-04-17
    Instance of approval: Administration Committee
  • Date: 2021-05-05
    Instance of approval: Administration Committee
  • Date: 2023-03-29
    Instance of Approval: Administration Committee
  • Date: 2024-02-07
    Instance of Approval: Administration Committee
Originating/Responsible Department: Office of Risk Management

1.         PURPOSE

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


2.1       This Policy must be applied in conjunction with applicable health and safety laws, the University’s program on the prevention of workplace violence and with any relevant University policy and procedure, as may be established or amended from time to time, including but not limited to the following:

a)         Policy 77 — Occupational Health and Safety and Procedure 14-1 – Internal Responsibility for Health and Safety Issues,

b)         Policy 67a – Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination,

c)         Policy 67b – Prevention of Sexual Violence. Note: Policy 67b – Prevention of Sexual Violence applies and takes precedence over this policy if the circumstances involve sexual violence, as defined in it,

d)         Policy 125 – Emergency Management and Business Continuity,

e)         Policy 130 – Student Rights and Responsible Conduct,

f)         Faculty of Medicine Policy on Professionalism,

g)         Collective agreements relevant to the circumstances.


3.1      For the purposes of this Policy, any procedure established by the University pursuant to it and the University’s workplace violence prevention program, the expression “workplace violence” means:

a)           the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a University workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker;

b)         an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a University 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 University workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.

3.2       The potential for workplace violence in a University workplace can arise from a variety of sources, including workers, learners, family members, visitors or other individuals that are not members of the University community.  

3.3       Workplace violence includes domestic violence that could cause physical injury to a person in the University workplace. For example, a person who has a personal relationship with a worker such as a spouse or former spouse, current or former intimate partner or a family member could physically harm, or attempt or threaten to physically harm, that worker at work. In such situations, domestic violence is considered workplace violence.

3.4       Workplace violence may constitute sexual violence.  Please refer to Policy 67b – Prevention of Sexual Violence.

4.         PRINCIPLES

4.1       Any act of workplace violence is unacceptable conduct that will not be tolerated.   

4.2       The University is committed to maintaining a workplace that is free of workplace violence and to reducing the risk of workplace violence.

4.3       The University will assess the risks of workplace violence that may arise from the nature of the workplace, the type of work or the conditions of work. The University will develop and maintain a workplace violence program to implement this Policy, help reduce the risk of workplace violence and it will include the following:

a)         measures and procedures to protect workers from risks that could expose a worker to workplace violence;

b)         means of summoning immediate assistance;

c)         A process for workers to report incidents of workplace violence or raise concerns with respect to workplace violence;

d)         The process following receipt of a report of workplace violence; and

e)         A workplace violence risk assessment.

4.4       The University will assess, and reassess as necessary, the risk of workplace violence arising from, among other factors, the nature of the workplace, type of work, conditions of work or activity, and the risk reduction measures in place.

4.5       The University will treat reports of workplace violence and information related to it in a confidential manner to the extent required by law and in accordance with Policy 90 — Access to Information and Protection of Privacy.

4.6       All members of the University community are expected to maintain a workplace that is free from workplace violence and to participate in workplace violence training, as may be required by the University from time to time.

4.7       All members of the University community are encouraged to raise any concerns about workplace violence and must report any violent incidents or threats, as set out in more detail in the workplace violence prevention program.


5.1       Anyone who engages in workplace violence will, following investigation, be subject to discipline (up to and including termination), to consequences or to other measures in accordance with applicable University policies, procedures, collective agreements, employment contracts or other terms and conditions governing or relevant to their relationship with the University.


6.1       No individual can be disciplined, sanctioned or intimidated for,

a)         complying with this Policy, any related University procedure or with the University’s workplace violence program, or

b)         reporting an incident of workplace violence in good faith.


7.1       The Office of the Chief Risk Officer is responsible for periodic review of this policy and for recommending to the Administration Committee any amendments to it.

7.2       Amendments to this policy require the approval of the Administration Committee.

7.3       The Vice-President Finance and Administration of the University may establish, amend or abrogate procedures for purposes of the effective implementation of this policy, provided that such procedures are consistent with the provisions of this Policy.

7.4       Notwithstanding Section 7.2, the Secretary-General may amend this Policy without the need to submit such amendment to the Administration Committee for approval if such amendment is required to:

a)         update or correct the name or title of a position, unit, law, bylaw, policy, procedure or authority; or

b)         correct punctuation, grammar, typographical errors, revisions to format and other technical revisions, where appropriate, if the correction does not change the meaning of a provision, or make such other correction if it is clear both that an error has been made and what the correction should be; or

c)         correct the form of expression of a provision in French or in English to be more compatible with its form of expression in the other language; or

d)         make consequential amendments to conform with or arising from another University bylaw, resolution, policy or procedure.