‘These regulations will make a significant contribution to creating the positive and healthy workplaces’
Yukon has approved the Violence and Harassment Prevention Regulation, a regulation that the government said will help to foster a positive culture in the workplace as well as physical and psychological safety for Yukon workers.
“Everyone benefits in workplaces where the culture is positive and collaborative, and where there is trust, respect, teamwork and openness,” said Jeanie Dendys, minister responsible for the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board. “Violence and harassment are not acceptable in any workplace. By focusing on their prevention, these regulations will make a significant contribution to creating the positive and healthy workplaces we all deserve.”
The new regulation will take effect Sept. 4, 2021. During the waiting period, the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board will be offering support, particularly to employers with small businesses, with a how-to guide, ready-to-use tools and training resources.
In addition to the new regulation, the government also made enhancements to the existing regulations about hazard assessment to make them clearer and easier to understand.
“Every workplace has hazards. Identifying them and managing the risks they pose is the foundation of workplace health and safety,” said Kurt Dieckmann, president and CEO, Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board. “The Violence and Harassment Prevention Regulation highlights these two hazards and identifies actions that will help to control and mitigate their occurrence.”
In a public engagement in 2017, almost 70 per cent of survey respondents said they support amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to allow for the development of regulations aimed at preventing mental injuries at work.
In 2019, the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board hosted a public engagement to ask Yukon employers, workers and stakeholders for their input. It included stakeholder and public meetings, an online survey and written submissions.
The public engagement was summarized in a What We Heard report. It noted that Yukon employers, workers and stakeholders support regulation as a way to help prevent workplace violence and harassment and for clarification about the requirements for workplace hazard assessments.
In March, British Columbia started looking into a new bill which aims to provide up to five days of paid leave for victims of domestic and sexual violence.
In February, the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) and the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) partnered for a pilot project that aims to help construction workers identify and manage instances of domestic violence in the workplace.