Most earphones associated with recreational use, such as those attached to personal listening devices, are not considered hearing protective devices (HPDs). In many cases, these devices can actually increase an individual’s noise exposure in noisy environments as people will raise the volume of the music to drown out background noise.
There are HPDs available that are designed for communication purposes and/or have the ability to play music that are designed to meet the requirements of an acceptable Standard. However, there are certain conditions that must be met in order for them to be considered as acceptable in the workplace.
The new CSA Standard Z94.2 states that if you are using such HPDs in the workplace, there are three conditions that need to be met:
If the HPD meets all of the above criteria, it is proven to be acceptable; however, the workplace must be able to demonstrate this to a Health and Safety Officer upon request.
Workplace violence is defined as the attempted or actual use of physical force against an employee, or any threatening statement or behaviour that gives an employee reasonable cause to believe that physical force will be used against the employee, and includes sexual violence, intimate partner violence* and domestic violence
Some examples are: statements or behaviour threatening physical force against an employee, arguments, property damage, sabotage, pushing, physical assault, and anger-related incidents.
“intimate partner violence” means violence committed against a person by another person who is or has been in an intimate personal relationship with the person and includes the following:
(a) abusive, threatening, harassing or violent behaviour used as a means to psychologically, physically, sexually or financially coerce, dominate and control the other member of the relationship; and
(b) deprivation of food, clothing, medical attention, shelter, transportation or other necessities of life.
The regulation defines workplace harassment as any behaviour that is known or should be expected to be known to be unwelcome that would demean, embarrass, humiliate, annoy, alarm or threaten an employee’s health and safety. This can be on a one-time or repeated basis, and includes sexual harassment.
In every workplace, however, conflicts can arise that may be unpleasant, but do not escalate to the point of bullying or harassment. Differences of opinion or minor disagreements are not generally considered to be workplace harassment.
Actions taken by the employer to manage daily operations are considered a normal part of employment, and would not constitute bullying or harassment. This might include:
New Brunswick was one of a few Canadian provinces and territories without legislation to mitigate and prevent workplace violence or harassment.
Stakeholders from a variety of sectors including health care, education, and retail voiced their concerns about sources of violence in their workplaces and its impact on their employees and business. Following consultation with our stakeholders, these changes to legislation were introduced as an extension of the health and safety measures all employers and workers should embrace in their workplace.
Yes. All workplaces that provide the following services are considered a higher risk for violence and must conduct a risk assessment and a code of practice to mitigate and prevent violence.
Some workplaces may not find themselves specifically included in this list, such as cities, town and villages. While not specifically included in the specified services, municipalities are not excluded from the violence regulations. Municipalities should consider the types of work that their employees do. For example, bus transit services are provided by municipalities and must conduct both a risk assessment and develop a code of practice. They should also consider the types of work that may expose their employees to violence. For example, an administrative clerk interacting with clients and taking fine payments or a by-law enforcement employee conducting inspections and issuing fines. Workplaces with multiple types of work activities should consider each type of work when conducting the risk assessment.
The legislation pertaining to harassment will impact all NB workplaces. Each workplace will be required to develop a code of practice to prevent and manage harassment.
However, the legislation addressing workplace violence has two major requirements:
Yes. These include:
Furthermore, the risk of violence may be higher at certain times of the day, night or year. For example:
There are a few ways that a code of practice on violence could be found to be ineffective, and the remedies vary:
The regulation is designed to prevent the effects of violence on employees. It does not change how law enforcement should respond to criminal acts of violence. Therefore, if an act of violence at work appears to be criminal in nature (physical assault), law enforcement agencies will need to get involved.