Workplace violence and harassment

Every worker has a right to a healthy and safe workplace, one that protects them from injury, illness and wage loss. And a healthy and safe workplace must be a respectful one − free of violence and harassment. An amendment to General Regulation 91-191 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, addressing workplace violence and harassment becomes effective April 1, 2019.

The changes protect New Brunswick’s workers from a wider range of hazards and require all provincial workplaces to develop a code of practice to prevent workplace harassment. Every New Brunswick employer must also conduct a risk assessment for violence and, based on certain criteria, may also be required to develop a code of practice to prevent violence at the workplace.

The following resources will help you understand what your workplace needs to know to comply with the regulation.

Developing Workplace Violence and Harassment Codes of Practice

Sample Templates

There are two things that all employers in the province, regardless of size or nature of work, are required to do:

  • Develop and implement a code of practice for workplace harassment.
  • Conduct and document a risk assessment for violence at their workplace. As a smaller employer, depending on the results of the risk assessment, you may need to implement a code of practice on workplace violence.

If you do not offer services* specified in the regulation and have fewer than 20 employees regularly employed in the province, you must still complete a risk assessment for violence at your workplace. If the risk assessment finds there is a risk for violence, you must establish a code of practice on violence. 

  *Specified services:

  • Government and third-party service providers under government contract 
  • Health care providers
  • Veterinary services
  • Pharmacies
  • Education and child care providers
  • Police and first responders
  • Security services
  • Retail services
  • Delivery services
  • Financial service providers
  • Alcohol and cannabis sales
  • Taxis and public transportation
  • Gaming
  • Home support services; and
  • Crisis counselling and intervention service providers

 

 


Date: February 15, 2019

As with all new legislation, WorkSafeNB takes a phased approach to compliance and enforcement. Health and safety officers have discretion when issuing orders and are advised to do so where appropriate. This could include setting the date by which the employer must comply with the order(s). When doing so an officer will consider the magnitude of work needed to comply. Any order can be appealed to the chief compliance officer within 14 days. The chief compliance officer’s decision can be appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal (WCAT).

 


Date: February 15, 2019

For industries like construction, where work can be happening in various locations, the employer can develop a generic risk assessment and code of practice that reflects most projects. Once at the worksite, the employer can then review and amend the risk assessment (in consultation with the JHSC, health and safety representative or employees) to determine if changes are necessary and, if yes, modify the generic code of practice. 


Date: February 15, 2019

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