Workplace Safety Steps

Preventing and Responding to Workplace Domestic Violence

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We have outlined 4 action areas to help you build an effective prevention program for workplace domestic violence. The actions listed are not in order. You will want to undertake some of these actions at the same time.

This check list can help you improve workplace safety and build a work place that supports those affected by violence. Remember you will always have to adapt your response to individual needs and incidents.

Create a firm foundation

  • Gather an inter-disciplinary team of key specialists and stakeholders. This can include senior management, human resources, security, unions, joint health & safety committee, legal counsel, and EAP. This team can plan, coordinate and streamline the process.
  • Build a workplace audit to identify what you have, what you can adapt and what you need to put together to be effective.
  • Create a clear policy to addresses domestic violence. You may want to update your current policies.

Develop a framework of awareness and understanding

  • Inform staff about domestic violence and how it affects the workplace. Talk about the role of co-workers, managers and union reps.
  • Train staff to recognize, respond and refer when domestic violence enters the workplace.
  • Communicate with staff so that they know about your workplace violence and domestic violence program. Let them know how they can access resources and get involved.
  • Conduct a hazard and risk assessment that includes employee surveys.

Build a response for each case

  • Include disclosure and confidentiality principles and procedures
  • Develop protocols to deal with protection orders that include the workplace
  • Allow staff to have flexible workplace arrangements (for example, changing a worker’s work schedule, location, and coming and going options)
  • Create security measures (like safety planning, emergency procedures and critical incident management)
  • Create protocols and resources for threat, risk and hazard assessments
  • Create protocols and resources for investigating and resolving concerns and complaints
  • Keep records and monitor the workplace

Build for long-term success

Include disclosure and confidentiality principles and procedures:

  • a workplace culture that takes domestic violence seriously. This means having buy-in from senior management, and effective workplace safety programs, based on clear policies. You also need to do a hazard and risk assessment, before any incident occurs. Include policies on the important role of bystander involvement. Build progressive human resources policies that give staff flexible work arrangements and offer employee assistance programs (EAP).
  • community links to give you access to experts.
  • a regular program review and evaluation. This will help you build your program and keep it up to date.