Over the last five years, acts of violence at the workplace have increased by 25 per cent in BC.
With this in mind, WorkSafeBC is reminding employers of their obligation to prevent violence in the workplace and ensure the safety of their workers.
“Unfortunately, the potential for violence exists whenever there is direct interaction between workers and non-workers,” said Barry Nakahara, Senior Manager of Prevention Field Services at WorkSafeBC about the increase in accepted 2,292 accepted claims in 2018 to 2,868 in 2022.
"Employers must provide a workplace as safe from the threat of violence as possible."
WorkSafeBC regulations require that employers conduct a risk assessment, have policies and procedures in place to protect workers from the risk of violence, and to provide instruction to workers.
Where there is a risk of violence at work, employers must implement controls to eliminate or minimize these risks. These controls can include developing and implementing violence-prevention policies, providing training and education to employees, and regularly conducting risk assessments. Physical barriers, lighting, and public visibility, along with safe-work procedures, could also serve as effective controls.
WorkSafe notes employers must review and update their violence prevention program annually to ensure its effectiveness as the work environment changes.