AP 413

Protection of Employees from Violence in the Workplace


The purpose of this procedure is to minimize and where possible, eliminate, the risk of injury from violence in the course of employment for all Abbotsford School District employees. This policy sets out responsibility and actions for addressing violence in the workplace.


1. Definition of Workplace Violence

1.1 For the purpose of this procedure, violence is defined as set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation which defines “violence” as an attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that he or she is at risk of injury.

1.2 Verbal abuse or harassing behaviour is not included in this definition of violence unless it includes threats or behaviour which gives the worker reasonable cause to believe that the worker is at risk of injury.

1.3 This definition and this policy do not include improper activity or behaviour by a worker toward another worker, which is addressed under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation sections 4.24 to 4.26 entitled “Workplace Conduct”.

2. Responsibilities

2.1 Identification of Risks

  • 2.1.1 On an annual basis, the Manager Organizational Health & Safety, will conduct a risk assessment which will include consideration of previous risk assessments, the number and nature of incidents of violence over the previous year (including all reported incidents), occupational experience in similar workplaces, and the location and circumstances in which work will take place.
  • 2.1.2 The objective of the risk assessment is to:
  • determine the potential for violence and the nature of incidents of violence,
  • identify procedures and steps to minimize or eliminate identified risks of violence, and
  • identify trends of violence.

2.1.3 If an issue related to a specific worksite is identified, a safety plan will be developed by the responsible principal/manager(s) or designate(s) The safety plan will establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to minimize or eliminate the risk to workers.

3. District Safety Plan Protocol

3.1 Workers should not jeopardize the health and safety of any person (including self) if there is reasonable cause to believe that responding to a violent situation may create an undue health or safety hazard. When appropriate, workers are expected to retreat to a safe area and summon assistance by calling 911.

3.2 Where there is a concern that a student or any other person may engage in violence, a safety plan must be written. The following steps must be followed:

  • 3.2.1 The principal/manager or designate must ensure that workers are made aware of the responsibility to respond to, and report situations where safety may be threatened as a result of violence.
  • 3.2.2 Workers must promptly report situations of concern and/or incidents of violence to the principal/manager or designate. When an incident of violence occurs, the affected worker must complete the “Safety Incident Report: Violence in the Workplace” form located in the school/facility administration office.
  • 3.2.3 The principal/manager or designate must initiate an investigation immediately following a report of a concern and/or incident of violence.
  • 3.2.4 Following receipt of the Safety Incident Report form and subsequent investigation of the safety incident, the principal/manager may call a meeting. The Workplace Violence Risk Assessment (WVRA) form will be completed. If necessary, a safety plan will be developed. The safety plan will establish procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to minimize or eliminate the risk to workers (refer to the Safety Plans booklet prepared by Learning Support Services).
  • 3.2.5 Where the worker determines that the incident has been addressed satisfactorily, the retention of the yellow copy of the Safety Incident Report form in the school/site Health & Safety binder will be deemed a satisfactory resolution.

    • If the incident is not resolved within a satisfactory time frame or if the principal/manager cannot resolve the issue in consultation with the worker and the site based Health &         Safety Committee, the worker may forward the yellow copy of the “Safety Incident Report” form with a detailed letter outlining particulars and send it to the District Occupational               Health & Safety Committee, c/o. Human Resources Department, for appeal.  

  • 3.2.6 The principal/manager will review all safety plans and communicate hazards at regularly scheduled site-based health and safety committee meetings.
  • 3.2.7 A worker will be provided with information related to any risk of violence from a person who has a history of violent behaviour and whom the worker is likely to encounter in the course of work. This includes information about a student if there is a history of violent behaviour.
  • 3.2.8 The Helping Teacher(s) in Learning Support Services will complete the follow-up form from the Safety Plan Folder and forward it to the District Occupational Health & Safety Committee.

4. Collection of Information

4.1 Any personal information that is collected pursuant to this policy is collected under the authority of, and used for the purposes of administering the School Act. All information provided pursuant to this policy will be considered as supplied in confidence. Under certain circumstances, some information may be released subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. If any person has any questions about the collection and use of this information, please contact the Secretary-Treasurer’s Office.


Violence in the Workplace Form 


 Standard Emergency Operating Procedures Appendix

  • Safety Plans
  • School Violence and Threat/Risk Assessment


(Last Revised: May 2013)