January 16, 2019
New Occupational Health and Safety Regulations Further Strengthen Violence Prevention
Today, the Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh, Minister of Service NL, announced improvements to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulations, including provisions to address workplace harassment and worker-on-worker violence. The minister was joined by the Honourable Carol Anne Haley, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and Dennis Hogan, CEO of WorkplaceNL.
The changes to the regulations will now capture incidents regarding worker-on worker violence, and will include provisions related to harassment in the workplace, which was not previously included.
Recognizing the current environment and the realities of workplace violence and harassment, the expanded regulations require employers to apply and comply with a harassment prevention plan that is accessible to all employees. The improvements provide employees with a secure and confidential means to file a complaint, a clear manner in which the complaint is investigated, as well as training for both the employer and employees on harassment prevention.
The new regulations, which can be found online , will come into force on January 1, 2020, to allow time for training, conduct of risk assessments and prevention plan development or updating.
Strengthening Occupational Health and Safety Regulations delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.
“I am pleased today to announce the enforcement of regulations that support harassment and violence free workplaces. I am proud that our government is taking another step in achieving this goal, and call on all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to join me as we create a more respectful culture in the workplace.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL
“Everyone has the right to a work in an environment free from violence and harassment. Supportive workplaces are essential in the creation of a province that is fully free of violence and harassment. I am pleased our government is taking another step forward in its work on violence prevention.”
Honourable Carol Anne Haley
Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
“These new regulations will help workplaces strengthen their occupational health and safety (OHS) programs to better protect workers from violence and harassment. I encourage all workplaces to participate in our webinars or workshops, or contact one of our health and safety advisors for help, as they conduct risk assessments and update their OHS programs before January 1, 2020. This is another important step forward in building a strong safety culture in our province, so that we can prevent physical and mental health work-related injuries.”
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Women’s Policy Office
2019 01 16 11:25 a.m.