OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 27 Violence

Section 389 Hazard assessment

Prevention is preferable to intervention. Hazard assessment is a logical and organized method of identifying real and potential hazards, allowing the employer to better manage these hazards. The hazard assessment required by Part 2 of the OHS Code must include the possibility of injury to workers from physical violence as a potential hazard.

To manage the issue of workplace violence, each employer must determine the nature and extent of the problem. Employers need to consider such factors as the workers they hire, the sources of violence, work processes and the physical environment, and the level of organizational commitment towards the prevention of workplace violence. Considering each of these factors allows an employer to identify:

(a) aspects of the workplace that may enhance opportunities for violence,
(b) those individuals at highest risk, and
(c) the need for controls.

Unfortunately, there is no single perfect prevention strategy. Employers vary in size, the types of workers they employ, corporate culture, and resources. Information specific to performing hazard assessments involving violence can be found in the Safety Bulletin Preventing Violence and Harassment at the Workplace, in the section titled “Prevention: Risk assessment and risk management”. The Safety Bulletin provides some practical suggestions and identifies resources that may help employers create a program supporting a workplace free of violence.

For more information
Preventing Violence and Harassment at the Workplace
Bulletin VAH001
Violence in the Workplace, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 1999.