Management and Prevention of Workplace Violence & Incivility at WCH

By Lori Matthews

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Women’s College Hospital is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect that is free from violence, discrimination, and harassment. In keeping with our organizational values, we recognize the right of every individual to work in a professional atmosphere that is free from threat of violence or harassment of any form.

WCH is also committed to putting in place preventative measures that safeguard staff and ensure a timely and appropriate response to risks of workplace harassment and violence by co-workers, patients, their care partners, visitors, strangers, or domestic/intimate partners.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), workplace violence is defined as “as the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker”. Workplace violence also includes acts of incivility which is defined as “rude or unsociable speech or behavior”. Click here to collect the QTip.

What should you do if you experience workplace violence or incivility?

  • . Security will respond immediately.
  • Inform your Manager or Supervisor as soon as possible and use de-escalation techniques till help arrives.
  • It’s also important to report the event through the Incident Reporting and Information System (IRIS) so that we can identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for improvement.
  • You can reach out to Occupational Health Safety and Wellness (OHSW) to discuss your particular situation or concern.
  • You can also access the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) if you are feeling distressed after an incident.

What is your role in keeping the WCH workplace safe?

  • Participate in de-escalation training – when you are first hired or by request through OHSW.
  • Attend Code White tabletop discussions and mock drills in your area.
  • If needed, request Code White pendants by contacting your Manager or Supervisor.
  • Know the locations of any Code White alarms in your work area.
  • .
  • Request a customized safety plan from OHSW when you feel unsafe at work due to an outside threat, a domestic situation, or a workplace violence incident.
  • Attend team debriefing meetings after a workplace violence or incivility incident to reflect and identity improvement opportunities.

Where can you learn more about managing and preventing workplace violence?

  • Access resources available on the OHSW intranet page.
  • Speak to your Manager or Supervisor.
  • Review the following policy documents available on the WCH Intranet:

To learn more about Accreditation, visit the Accreditation Intranet Hub.