The Five Steps to Building your Workplace Violence Program
Step 1 – Securing Leadership Commitment
Workplace violence prevention must be a clear priority for all. Ontario’s Leadership and Accountability Working Group recommend that:
- CEOs create and implement a strategic plan that places importance on the creation of a working environment free of violence for workers and patients;
- The strategic plan is shared with everyone in the working environment;
- Targets are set for reducing workplace violence;
- Achievements towards those targets are shared and monitored by the most senior committees and the JHSC; and
- Members of the board of directors maintain oversight on its outcome.
Promoting a culture of safety – one that ensures the best patient care is delivered within a violence-free working environment – begins with members of the Board of Directors and senior leadership.
This is accomplished by:
- Promoting reporting of incidents/events;
- Staff who feel supported, heard and protected when reporting hazards; and
- Staff and JHSCs members who feel supported and heard by providing input into policy, measures and procedures, and training that could positively impact worker safety. Everyone, from the members of the Board of Directors to patients and families, must understand how they contribute to a violence-free workplace, and become champions to implement change.3
Securing commitment for a successful program also requires leaders to understand their overall responsibility and accountability for workplace safety.
Resources to support the knowledge required for senior leaders are available through:
- Mandatory Awareness Training for Supervisors
- Health and Safety for Board Members E-learning
- Effective Leadership Training
To ensure ongoing program sustainability, organization should integrate health, safety and wellness into an organization’s core business through a Health and Safety Management System (HSMS).
The HSMS can be utilized to motivate an organization to achieve employee health, safety and wellness, provide quality care and embrace public safety. Successfully implemented, an HSMS will lead to a positive culture of health, safety and wellness. The CSA standard Z1000 (Plan, Do, Check, Act) and the PSHSA system identifies gaps in an existing HSMS and helps mitigate employee, client/patient and public risks. For more information refer to the PSHSA Fast Fact: Health and Safety Management Systems.
Additional Resources to support Step 1:
3. Ministry of Labour / Ministry of Health Leadership Table on Workplace Violence Products – Transition toolkit.