Reassessing the risk of workplace violence
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A reassessment of the risks of workplace violence is required by the OHSA as often as necessary to ensure that the workplace violence policy and program continues to protect workers from workplace violence. Changes or events within a school board workplace that may warrant a reassessment may include:
- an increase in the number, frequency or severity of workplace violence incidents for that specific workplace (e.g., school, classroom, school board office, etc.)
- a change in the physical environment of the workplace (e.g., the addition/removal of portables or security controls)
- a change in the student population of a school (e.g., at the beginning of a school year or when there is a significant change in the numbers or make-up of the student population mid-year); and/or
- a change in curriculum or scheduling, or a change in environment (e.g., noisy construction at a school), to determine if such change could provoke violent behaviours.
It is recommended that the risk reassessment be reviewed at least annually in consultation with the JHSC, MJHSC and/or health and safety representative and workplace parties who have knowledge and experience dealing with workplace violence and its prevention in that specific workplace.
The school board is required to advise the JHSC, MJHSC and/or health and safety representative of the results of both an initial risk assessment and any reassessment of workplace violence. Given the complexity of violence in school boards, it is recommended that the assessment and reassessment be in writing. If it is in writing, a copy must be shared with the JHSC, MJHSC or health and safety representative. This sharing of information will ensure that the JHSC, MJHSC or health and safety representative is apprised of new information and will promote a safe and collaborative working environment.
To learn more about assessing and reassessing the risk of workplace violence read, OHSA s. 32.0.3.