While the schoolyard, the streets, and the home may seem like the most obvious places for a violent act to occur, we often forget that violence in many forms can take place in the workplace as well. Violence in the workplace can be easy to spot when it occurs as a physical act against a co-worker, but it can also exist in the form of harassment, be it sexual or verbal. The latter of which can be difficult to spot sometimes, and the Bill 168: Occupational Health and Safety Act (which saw an amendment towards the end of 2010) defines workplace harassment as “engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” Unlike flagrant physical violence which presumably is easier to recognize, reoccurring harassment and work safety can be tolling on both a worker’s state of mind and general state of being. It can also be more difficult and even shameful to talk about.
Occupational Health and Safety Act: What it Means.
What’s more, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act states that employers must have “workplace violence programs that include measures and procedures for summoning immediate assistance when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur.” Mobile safety apps can be used as discrete tools to notify and communicate with others before or during the escalation of an incident. While it can often be difficult to talk about violence and harassment, safety apps like Guardly allow the victim to report the perpetrator in a discreet manor by letting the victim discuss their issue with a secure and closed network of personal contacts which could include coworkers, friends and family of any combination.
Lastly, domestic violence is not only restricted to the home, as dating and married couples may share the same employer and workplace. The Occupational Health and Safety Act states “employers who are aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence may occur in the workplace must take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect a worker at risk of physical injury.”
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