Health & Safety

 

Huntington University is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

 

JOINT HEALTH & SAFETY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

 

  • Natasha Gerolami
  • Alison Hood
  • Lisa Levasseur (Co-Chair)
  • Phil Parker (Chair)

 

RESOURCES

Purpose

The purpose of this document is to set out Huntington University's health and safety policy and the roles and responsibilities of employers, workers and supervisors under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “Act”).

 

Introduction

Huntington is committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. Both the employer and all employees share the responsibility for health and safety in the workplace.

 

Ontario Health and Safety Act - Who is Covered? 

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and its Regulations establishes the minimum standards for safe working conditions and practices for all employees and for all Huntington activities being carried out either on or off campus. The Act and its Regulations apply to all Huntington employees. This includes students who receive remuneration for work performed on campus. The Act places specific responsibilities upon the following groups:

 

  • Employer: Huntington University;
  • Supervisors: persons who direct and are responsible for the activities of workers;
  • Workers: faculty, staff and students who receive remuneration from the employer for performing designated duties, and unpaid placement students.

Each faculty member, staff member, student, and visitor has responsibility for her/his own personal safety and actions and for others affected by those actions.

Supervisors and all other persons in authority must provide for worker safety in areas and operations under their control.

Management has a responsibility to ensure that the various
facilities within Huntington are safe and to accepted standards, to provide education and training programs for all employees in order to make them aware of their responsibilities, and to instruct
them in safe work practices.


References to the Occupational Health and Safety Act or other legislation are provided herein for convenience purposes only. For accurate reference, individuals are directed to the actual
legislation (Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act). Copies of the Act and its Regulations are available for reference from the Joint Health and Safety Committee. Employees are encouraged to read over and become familiar with the various sections of the Act and its Regulations.

 

Joint Health and Safety Committee

Section 9 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires the Employer to establish a Joint Health and Safety Committee in the workplace.

For an updated list of Joint Health and Safety Committee members, please scroll to top of Health and Safety page of this website.  

 

Internal Responsibility System

The Internal Responsibility System is based on the principle that the workplace parties themselves are in the best position to identify health and safety problems and to develop solutions.


Duties and Responsibilities:
The Occupational Health and Safety Act provides the basic framework for making Ontario's workplaces safe and healthy, sets out the legal duties and responsibilities for the employer, supervisor, and employee.


Under the terms of the Act, employees have the responsibility to report to their Supervisor the existence of hazardous conditions contrary to good health and safety practices or which contravene any requirements of the Act. It is the Supervisor's responsibility to ensure that corrective action is taken at once.


The following is a summary of duties and responsibilities according to the Act (please refer to the Act for specific wording):

The Employer Must:

  • prepare and review at least annually a written occupational health and safety policy, and develop and maintain a program to implement that policy;
  • ensure that the equipment, materials, and protective devices provided by the employer are in good condition;
  • provide information, instruction, and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker; 
  • appoint a competent supervisor;
  • acquaint a worker or a person in authority over a worker, with any hazard in the work;
  • take every reasonable precaution to protect the worker.

 

The Supervisor Must:

  • advise the worker of any potential or actual danger to the health and safety of the worker;
  • provide the worker with written instructions about measures and procedures for the protection of workers,
  • ensure a worker works in a manner required by the Act and with the proper protective devices;
  • ensure a worker uses or wears the equipment, protective devices, or clothing required;
  • address any health and safety concerns/hazards of which they are aware;
  • take every reasonable precaution to protect the worker.

 

The Worker Must:

  • work in compliance of the Act and regulations;
  • report any hazards or contravention of this Act to the supervisor;
  • wear any equipment, protective devices, or clothing that the employer requires;
  • report any defect in protective gear that may endanger himself/herself or someone else to the supervisor;
  • not remove or alter any protective device;
  • not operate or use any equipment in such a manner as to endanger himself/herself or someone else.

 

Worker Rights

It is the unconditional right of all members of the Huntington community to bring, without prejudice, health and safety concerns to their Supervisors or to the Joint Health and Safety Committee. The Supervisor, in every case, must be informed of a concern before a complaint is taken elsewhere.

 

Right to Participate

Workers have the right to be part of the process of identifying and resolving workplace health and safety concerns through worker membership on the Joint Health and Safety Committee or through the worker health and safety representative.

 

Right to Know

Workers have the right to know about any potential hazards to which they may be exposed. This means the right to be trained and to have information on machinery, equipment, working conditions, processes and hazardous substances (i.e. WHMIS).

 

Right to Refuse Work

Under the provisions of the Act, workers have the right to refuse to perform work which they believe may endanger the health or safety of themselves or another Worker. There are strict guidelines to be followed in this instance by the Worker, the Supervisor, and other interested parties.

 

Right to Stop Work

Certain members of the Joint Health and Safety Committee, who have been certified under the provisions of the Act and who believe that dangerous circumstances exist, may request that a Supervisor and, subsequently, another certified member investigate. Under certain circumstances, and following specific guidelines, the certified members may bilaterally issue a stop work direction.

Reporting Hazardous Problems in the Workplace

The Occupational Health and Safety Act outlines the specific duties and responsibilities of the Employer and Supervisor. The Act also requires the Worker to work in compliance with the Act and its Regulations, to use or wear protective equipment or clothing required by the Employer, and to report to the Employer or Supervisor the absence of, or defect in, any equipment or protective device of which he or she is aware. 

 

In order for the “internal responsibility system” to function properly, normal lines of communication should be maintained as much as possible. If a Worker notices a health or safety hazard in the workplace, the proper steps to take are: 

 

1. correct the problem, if it can be done, easily, quickly, and safely; 

2. advise her/his Immediate Supervisor of the problem right away. At this stage, the majority of all problems should be resolved. If the matter is still not resolved; then 

3. advise a member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee and repeat steps (1) and (2). 

4. If the matter cannot be resolved, then other members of the Health and Safety Committee may be called upon for their assistance. 

Finally, if still unresolved, the Ministry of Labour may be contacted.

 

In the Event of an Emergency

Of course, in the event of a life-threatening situation, or if a very serious safety hazard is noted, then the employee should take immediate steps to notify her/his Supervisor or the Chair of the Joint Health & Safety Committee. Other employees or passers-by in the area should be warned of the hazard and, if possible, a person left to guard the area until someone comes to correct the problem or to take charge of the situation.

 

Reporting Accidents or Injuries

Every accident, whether or not it results in injury or is a “near-miss” occurrence, must be reported to your Supervisor immediately. The Supervisor must then immediately advise the Chair of the Joint Health and Safety Committee of the accident, to provide, when applicable, details for completion of a Form 7 to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. In those circumstances where the employee has no immediate Supervisor, or the Supervisor is absent, then the employee must initiate this contact with the Chair of the Joint Health & Safety Committee. 

 

The Supervisor, with the cooperation of the employee, will also be required to complete an Accident Report Form. These forms are examined by the Joint Health and Safety Committee and, if appropriate, corrective action may be recommended to make the workplace or job safer, and the employee more safety conscious. All names are kept strictly confidential within the Committee. Remember, every accident or “near-miss” must be reported.

 

During Normal Working Hours

 

Critical Injury 

If, during normal working hours, the Worker has sustained a “critical injury,” dial 911, as quickly as possible, and request ambulance assistance. To assist ambulance personnel in locating the patient/victim, please notify Security by dialing 705-673-6562. 

 

Definition of Critical Injury 

The Occupational Health and Safety Act defines “critical injury” as follows: 

 

For the purpose of the Act and its Regulations 'critically injured' means an injury of a serious nature that, 

 

(a) places life in jeopardy; 

(b) produces unconsciousness;

(c) results in a substantial loss of blood; 

(d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm, but not a finger or toe; 

(e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot, but not a finger or toe; 

(f)) consists of bums to a major portion of the body; or 

(g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.” 

 

Notification of Critical Injury 

The Occupational Health and Safety Act requires the Employer “to notify the Ministry of Labour Inspector, Health and Safety Representative, Joint Health and Safety Committee, trade union, if any, immediately of the occurrence involving a critical injury, and within 48 hours of the occurrence send to a Ministry of Labour Director a written report of the circumstances of the occurrence containing such information and particulars as the regulations prescribe including the names and addresses of injured parties, witnesses, and physicians or surgeons involved. Therefore, it is important that the [Health and Safety Manager] be advised of the critical injury as quickly as possible so that they may comply with this requirement. As indicated previously, this would normally be done by the supervisor or department head, but in some circumstances could also be done by the employee, a co-worker, or some other person. 

 

Preserving the Accident Scene

It is important to fully protect the scene of any critical accident. In this regard, the Occupational Health and Safety Act states as follows:

Where a person is killed or is critically injured at a workplace, no person shall, except for the purpose of, 

(a) saving life or relieving human suffering; 

(b) maintaining an essential public utility service or a public transportation system; or

(c) preventing unnecessary damage to equipment or other property, interfere with, disturb, destroy, alter or carry away any wreckage, article or thing at the scene of, or connected with, the occurrence until permission so to do has been given by a Ministry of Labour Inspector. 

 

Non-Critical Injury 

In case of a non-critical injury during normal working hours, whether it requires treatment or not, the employee shall inform her/his immediate Supervisor, and report directly to Health and Wellness Services located on Student Street in the Single Student Residence. The Nurse and/or Doctor on duty will provide any required first-aid treatment and will give the Worker an Incident Report outlining the treatment given. The employee will then take the Incident Report to the Doctor of her/his choice if further treatment is required, or if directed to return to work will give the Incident Report to her/his Supervisor upon return to the workplace. The employee must report to Health and Wellness Services before leaving campus to see a Doctor or going home. If the office of Health and Wellness Services is closed, the employee should contact Security.

After Normal Working Hours

 

Critical Injury 

In case of a “critical injury” after normal working hours, dial 91l to request ambulance assistance as quickly as possible.. To assist the ambulance personnel in locating the patient/victim on campus, please notify Security by dialing 705-673-6562. The employee must notify her/his immediate Supervisor of the incident as soon as possible. Please remember that the employer has an obligation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to report to the Ministry of Labour, and others, any critical injury suffered by an employee on campus, regardless of the time of occurrence. (See “Notification of Critical Injury” section above.)

 

Critical Injury 

Employees who require medical treatment for a non-critical injury after normal working hours, should proceed to the Emergency Department of the nearest hospital offering this service, after first having notified Security.

 

Security Emergency Number

Any injury occurring after normal working hours, whether requiring treatment or not must be reported to Security as soon as possible. The Security emergency telephone number is 705-673-6562.

 

Workplace Safety Board and Insurance Reports

Reporting Accidents

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act requires that “the employer shall notify the Board within three days after learning of an accident to a worker employed by her or him or if the accident necessitates health care or results in the worker not being able to earn Ml wages.”

 

Huntington has an obligation to report every injury involving medical aid or absence from work (lost time injury) to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board within a specified period. Consequently, it is imperative that the accident reporting procedure, as outlined in Section 1, be complied with as quickly as possible. 

 

Modified Work Program

Huntington has a Return to Work Program in accordance with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. This program is intended to assist with early and safe return to work for individuals who have suffered a work-related injury.

 

Failure to Comply

Failure to follow the above-noted procedures may jeopardize the earnings and/or affect any subsequent claim of the employee for Workplace Safety and Insurance benefits If you have any questions regarding any of the foregoing items, please contact the Health and Safely Manager, or your representative on the Joint Health and Safety Committee.

 

Emergency Procedures

Emergencies in the workplace can occur in various forms, such as fire, explosion, gas leak, chemical spill, power outage, bomb threats and violence. Your supervisor will discuss emergency procedures specific to your work area.

 

Security Services

A Security Office is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.  For assistance or information please call, 705-673-6562.

 

Health and Wellness Services

Health and Wellness Services is on campus to serve your needs.  They have the personnel and expertise to treat you promptly and effectively, and the means to quickly arrange for ambulance service or any other specialized treatment that may be required.  They can be reached by calling 705-675-1151 ext. 1067.

First Aid Station

The first aid kit and assisted external defibrillation are located in Room 101.  

Fire Safety Procedures First Response

If you should be the first person to notice a fire, DO NOT attempt to extinguish it unless you are confident it can be done in a prompt and safe manner utilizing a hand-held fire extinguisher.  The first thing to do is to proceed to the nearest fire-pull station and pull the alarm.  Then, if it can be done safely, telephone the local Fire Department by dialing 911.  If possible, close your window, make sure the room is evacuated, close the office corridor door, and briskly exit the building following instructions of the Fire Warden(s). 

Fire Alarm Testing: The fire alarm systems are tested on a regular basis and this test should not be confused with an actual alarm condition.  During test, the fire bells may ring for periods ranging from 10 to 20 seconds; however, during an actual alarm, the bells will ring for a minimum period of five minutes or until silenced by qualified personnel.  Ask your Supervisor to inquire about dates and times for fire bell testing. 

Health and Safety Policies and Programs

Policy on Smoking

A Policy on Smoking is in effect on campus which complies with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Smoking is prohibited within all University buildings, vehicles, enclosed public places and enclosed workplaces (areas covered by a roof). Until August 31, 2018, smoking is prohibited within nine metres (30 feet) of any University owned building. Effective September 1, 2018, smoking will be prohibited in all outdoor areas on the University's campuses except Designated Smoking Areas.

 

Policy on Workplace Harassment
The goal of this policy is to promote a safe and healthy workplace tree from actual, attempted or threatened violence and harassment. The University recognizes that workplace violence is a safety and security issue and will take reasonable precautions to prevent workplace violence and to protect employees at the workplace. You can obtain a copy of the policy from the University website.

 

Employee and Family Assistance Program 

Huntington has an excellent Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) in place which is available to all members of the Huntington community and is equipped to deal with problems ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to social, emotional, family, and health problems. For further information, please contact 1-844-880-9142.

 

Identification and Instruction on Specific Workplace Hazards

The identification of hazards in your workplace is key to preventing accidents. Hazards can be classified in six main groups: 

 

  • Physical Hazards will be present in most workplaces at one time or another. Examples of physical hazards include electrical hazards, unguarded machinery, loud noise and exposure to extreme heat or cold.
  • Chemical Hazards are present when a worker may be exposed to any chemical in the workplace in any form. The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is designed to make sure workers have the information they need to evaluate the hazards and take action to protect themselves. 
  • Biological Hazards derive from working with animals, people or infectious plant materials. Training for those working with products such as blood, fungi, bacteria, viruses is required. 
  • Ergonomic hazards occur when the type of work, body position and working conditions put strain on the body. Ergonomic hazards may include poor posture, repetition, force, improperly adjusted chairs to name a few. 
  • Safety hazards include risks involved when working with tools, machinery, materials, handling, tractors, welding, etc. Also covered are prevention of slips, trips and falls, as well as driving tips and working safely with compressed air. 
  • Psychosocial hazards are any hazards that affect the mental well-being or mental health of the worker and may have physical effects by overwhelming the individual coping mechanisms and impacting the workers ability to work in a healthy and safe manner. Some examples include bullying, harassment, and workplace violence.

Dealing with Hazards

RACE is a commonly used process for dealing with hazards. RACE stands for Recognize, Assess, Control and Evaluate. These steps, when done in order, help the workplace identify and control hazards. 

 

Recognize where there are potential hazards in the workplace. 

Assess  the hazard. You need to understand how likely it is that a worker will get hurt or made sick by the hazard. 

Control the hazards by looking for ways to get rid of the hazard or to make the job safer. 

Evaluate how well the hazard controls are working. 

 

Your supervisor will introduce you to any specific workplace hazards, policies, procedures and/or precautionary measures pertaining to your work area. Some of these policies/procedures can include, but are not limited to: 

 

  • Asbestos Management Program 
  • Biosafety Policy and related Program 
  • Lab Safety Program 
  • Confined Space Procedures 
  • Radiation Safety Policy and related Program 
  • Working at Heights Procedures

WHMIS Regulation

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is a Regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. WHMIS places responsibilities on the Employer to; 

 

1. ensure that all containers of hazardous materials brought into the workplace have a WHMIS Label attached; as well as a Workplace Label for containers originating from within the workplace; 

2. obtain from suppliers a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for any products brought into the workplace which fall under the hazard criteria set out in the Controlled Products Regulations under the federal Hazardous Products Act and to make these SDSs available to all workers within the workplace; and 

3. to set up a Worker Education System to make workers aware of the legislation and to instruct them about the content and significance of labels and SDSs: how to work safely with hazardous materials; the proper procedures for disposal of hazardous wastes, the use and care of personal protection equipment (PPE); and what to do in the event of an emergency such as a fire or chemical spill within the workplace.

 

Occupational Health and Safety Training

 

Mandatory Health and Safety Training
All full-time and part-time employees (staff, faculty, teaching assistants, etc.), regardless of the level in the organization, must receive the following mandatory health and safety training: 

 

Health and Safety Awareness

The purpose of this course is to introduce employees to Huntington’s health and safety policies, to introduce employees to their roles and responsibilities under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations, to prevent accidents and injuries through education, and to communicate responsibilities for handling health and safety concerns in the workplace, including appropriate consultation and input, approval and administration of all safety procedures. 

 

Supervisors must ensure that employees under their direction, who are new, promoted, transferred or returning from an extended absence, attend Health and Safety Awareness training as soon as possible.

 

Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS)

The purpose of this course is to ensure that all employees arc educated in how WHMIS works and the potential risks associated with hazardous products.

 

Integrated Session on Workplace Harassment and Workplace Violence

The purpose of this course is to introduce employees to the Policy on a Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment and on the Policy on Workplace Violence Prevention. It will also educate employees on the programs associated with these policies.

 

Telephone Numbers 

 

Chair, Joint Health & Safety Committee: 705-673-4126 ext. 215 

Information or assistance on matters relating to employee health and safety in the workplace; to report an accidental injury or industrial disease; and to complete a Workplace Safety and Insurance Board accident claim form. 

 

Campus Security: 705-675-1151 ext. 6562 

Information on fire safety and fire regulations, and emergency planning; lost and found items; and regular campus security items. Information and assistance on matters relating to accidental injury to students, volunteers or visitors (Student Accident & Volunteer Accident Insurance) and due diligence with contractors, event planning or foreign travel. 

 

After Hours Emergency: 705-673-6562 (direct line) or 705-675-1151 ext 6562 

Medical or other assistance 

 

Health and Wellness Services: 705-675-1151 ext. 1067 

Medical assistance, services or information. Doctor and Nurses are on duty during normal working hours. 

 

Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP): 1-844-880-9142 Facility Services: 705-673-4126 ext. 202 

To report regular maintenance items; electrical, mechanical, heating or ventilation problems; day janitorial services. 

 

Police / Fire / Ambulance Emergencies: 911

 

Ontario's Health and Safety System Partners

 

Ministry of Labour | www.labour.gov.on.ca |1-877-202-0008 

Develops, communicates and enforces occupational health and safety requirements and employment standards. 

 

Workplace Safety Insurance Board | www.wsib.on.ca |1-800-387-0750 

Administers Ontario's no-fault insurance for employers and their workers. 

 

Public Services Health and Safety Association | www.ipslisa.ca |1-877-730-7821 

Provides sector specific consulting, training, products and services. Serves health, education and municipal sectors. 

 

Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers | www.ohcow.on.ca |705-523-2330 

Dedicated to the identification and prevention of work-related illnesses and injuries. 

 

Workers Health and Safety Centre | www.whsc.on.ca |705-522-8200 

Provides the highest quality training to workplaces of every size and sector.

 

 

 

 

Policy Statement

Huntington University is committed to providing a positive, safe, productive and healthy work environment for all employees and clients, free from workplace violence and harassment, where the dignity and worth of every individual is respected. All employees will receive training on this harassment, sexual harassment and violence-free workplace policy. The workplace harassment program applies to all workers including managers, supervisors, temporary employees, students and subcontractors.


Definitions

“Workplace harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or workplace sexual harassment. 


“Workplace sexual harassment” means: 


a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or 

b) making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome; 


Conduct that can be construed as harassment:

Harassment can take place between supervisor and employee, between employees (both inside and outside of the bargaining unit) and between employees and students/guests of the University. 


Behaviours that can be construed as harassment include, but are not limited to, conduct violating the Human Rights Code such as unwelcome remarks or jokes about a person’s race, color, place of origin, religion, age, marital status, family status, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Unwelcome sexual remarks or contacts can be construed as sexual harassment. 


Workplace harassment also includes other types of behaviours usually qualified as bullying. Examples of such behaviours include include, but are not limited, to the following: consistently speaking with a condescending attitude, spreading rumours, damaging a co-worker’s reputation, hostile or insulting emails and memos, and shouting at other staff. 


There could be circumstances in which a single incident of inappropriate behaviour may be substantial enough to constitute harassment or sexual harassment by creating a "poisoned environment". Even if the comments or conduct are not directed at any one person, someone may still experience a poisoned environment. 


Workplace Conduct that is not workplace harassment: 

Workplace harassment does not include the proper exercise of responsibility or authority related to the provision of advice, assignment of work, counselling, performance evaluation, discipline, supervisory functions, or any of the management rights under the Collective Agreement. As well, reasonable action taken by the employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment. 


Workplace Violence Risk Assessment

Huntington University has completed a workplace violence risk assessment to determine the presence of risks of violence within the workplace. 


Factors considered in the Workplace Violence Risk Assessment included, but were not limited to, the following: the nature of the workplace, the type of work being performed by all workers and common risks at similar workplaces. 


The results of the assessment are provided to the Joint Health and Safety Committee. 


Reassessment 

The Workplace Violence Risk Assessment will be conducted on at least an annual basis, to be completed by June 15 of each calendar year. 


Where it is determined to be necessary in order to protect the workers, a workplace violence risk assessment may take place prior to the annual June 15 assessment, during any calendar year.


Measure to Eliminate or Minimize the Risk of Workplace Violence 

Safe work procedures will be developed to inform and instruct employees about the risks of workplace violence identified in the risk assessment conducted by the workplace risk assessment team. Any safe work procedures will be reviewed with all affected employees, and risks identified and will be addressed by the Joint Health & Safety Committee.


If Workplace Harassment Occurs

Workers are encouraged to report any incidents of workplace harassment to their immediate supervisor or the Complaints Officer. 


Management will investigate and deal with all complaints or incidents of workplace harassment in a fair, respectful and timely manner, and in accordance with Huntington University’s Workplace Harassment Program. Information provided about an incident or about a complaint will not be disclosed except as necessary to protect workers, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action, or as otherwise required by law. 


Managers, supervisors and workers are expected to adhere to this policy, and will be held responsible by the employer for not following it. Workers will not be penalized or disciplined for reporting an incident, filing a complaint in good faith, or for participating in an investigation involving workplace harassment. 


If a worker needs further assistance, he or she may contact the Complaints Officer, their union representative, a member of the Joint Health & Safety Committee, their immediate supervisor, and/or the employee assistance program, as appropriate.


Posting

This Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Violence-Free Workplace Policy shall be posted on the University website.

Application

Huntington University is committed to providing a work environment in which all workers are treated with respect and dignity. Workplace harassment will not be tolerated from any person in the workplace (including customers, clients, other employers, supervisors, workers, and members of the public, as applicable). The workplace harassment program applies to all workers including managers, supervisors, temporary employees, students and subcontractors.


Definitions


1. Workplace Harassment 

“Workplace harassment” means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome or workplace sexual harassment. 


Behaviours that can be construed as harassment include, but are not limited to, conduct violating the Human Rights Code such as unwelcome remarks or jokes about a person’s race, color, place of origin, religion, age, marital status, family status, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Unwelcome sexual remarks or contacts can be construed as sexual harassment. Workplace harassment also includes other types of behaviours usually qualified as bullying. Examples of such behaviours include, but are not limited, to the following: consistently speaking with a condescending attitude, spreading rumours, damaging a co-worker’s reputation, hostile or insulting emails and memos, and shouting at other staff.


“Workplace sexual harassment” means: 


a) engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where the course of comment or conduct is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, or 

b) making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the worker and the person knows or ought reasonably to know that the solicitation or advance is unwelcome; 


Workplace harassment does not include the proper exercise of responsibility or authority related to the provision of advice, assignment of work, counselling, performance evaluation, discipline, supervisory functions, or any of the management rights under the Collective Agreement. 


As well, reasonable action taken by the employer or supervisor relating to the management and direction of workers or the workplace is not workplace harassment. 


2. Reporting Workplace Harassment

Where workplace violence and/or harassment occurs, and is not immediately known to the employer or supervisor, the worker is encouraged to immediately inform the employer or supervisor of such conduct. 


Where the employee has been subject to violence, or fears imminent use of violence towards them or any other person within the workplace, they shall immediately remove themselves from the situation and inform the employer or supervisor as is reasonably possible under the circumstances. In instances of violence or fear of imminent use of violence, where a supervisor or the employer is not immediately available, employees should contact building security, or where necessary, dial 911 for emergency services. 


a. How to Report Workplace Harassment : Workers can report incidents or complaints of workplace harassment verbally or in writing. When submitting a written complaint, please use the workplace harassment complaint form (see attached). When reporting verbally, the reporting contact, along with the worker complaining of harassment, will fill out the complaint form. The report of the incident should include the following information: 


i. Name(s) of the worker who has allegedly experienced workplace harassment and contact information 

ii. Name of the alleged harasser(s), position and contact information (if known) 

iii. Names of the witness(es) (if any) or other person(s) with relevant information to provide about the incident (if any) and contact information (if known)

iv. Details of what happened in sufficient detail, including date(s), frequency and location(s) of the alleged incident(s)

v. Any supporting documents the worker who complains of harassment may have in his/her possession that are relevant to the complaint. 

vi. List any documents a witness, another person or the alleged harasser may have in their possession that are relevant to the complaint. Once a complaint is received, it will be kept confidential, unless the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of investigating or taking corrective action or is otherwise required by law. 


Reports of workplace violence that pose a risk of future workplace violence will be reviewed by the Joint Health and Safety Committee and additional steps may be taken to prevent future workplace violence. All reports of workplace violence will be forward to the Joint Health and Safety Committee for consultation and review. 


b. Who to Report Workplace Harassment To : An incident or a complaint of workplace harassment should be reported as soon as possible after experiencing or witnessing an incident. This allows the incident to be investigated in a timely manner. If another employee becomes aware of a complaint or a contravention of this policy, whether formally or informally, the employee should refer the complaint to their supervisor or Chair of the Joint Health & Safety Committee. 


Report a workplace harassment incident or complaint to your immediate supervisor or the Chair of the Joint Health & Safety Committee. If the worker’s supervisor or reporting contact is the person engaging in the workplace harassment, contact the Complaints Officer. If the employer (e.g. President or a member of the Board of Regents) is the person engaging in the workplace harassment, contact the Complaints Officer. 


Human Resources shall be notified of the workplace harassment incident or complaint so that they can ensure an investigation is conducted that is appropriate in the circumstances. If the incident or complaint involves the President or a member of the Board of Regents, an external person qualified to conduct a workplace harassment investigation who has knowledge of the relevant workplace harassment laws will be retained to conduct the investigation. 


All incidents or complaints of workplace harassment shall be kept confidential except to the extent necessary to protect workers, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action or otherwise as required by law. 


c. Recommendation to Get Medical Help : Employees who have been the victim of an alleged incident of workplace violence will be: 


(a) encouraged to get medical help 

(b) given the opportunity to be examined by a physician 

(c) provided with transportation if required Employees and their families can get crisis counselling through the employee and family assistance plan, which can be accessed confidentially at 1-844-880-9142.


The Chair of the Joint Health & Safety Committee will review the incident and its effects and take reasonable steps to accommodate employees involved in the alleged incident. 


3. Investigation 


a. Commitment to Investigate : Huntington University will ensure that an investigation appropriate in the circumstances is conducted when the employer, human resources, a manager or supervisor becomes aware of an incident of workplace harassment or receives a complaint of workplace harassment. 


b. Who Will Investigate: Huntington University will determine who will conduct the investigation into the incident or complaint of workplace harassment. If the allegations of workplace harassment involve the President, or member of the Board of Regents, the employer will refer the investigation to an external investigator to conduct an impartial investigation. 


c. Timing of the Investigation: The investigation must be completed in a timely manner and generally within 90 days or less unless there are extenuating circumstances (i.e. illness, complex investigation) warranting a longer investigation. 


d. Investigation Process: Huntington University will conduct a formal investigation into complaints of harassment and violence on a timely basis and in a manner that is appropriate to the circumstances, provided that there is a prima facie case for harassment or violence. Both the complainant and the respondent may be interviewed by an appropriate investigator, as will individuals who have information necessary to investigate the allegation(s). If the investigator finds that harassment or workplace violence has occurred, appropriate remedial action will be taken as well as steps to prevent any recurrence. 


The person conducting the investigation whether internal or external to the workplace will, at minimum, complete the following: 


i. The investigator must ensure the investigation is kept confidential and identifying information is not disclosed unless necessary to conduct the investigation. The investigator should remind the parties of this confidentiality obligation at the beginning of the investigation. 

ii. The investigator must thoroughly interview the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment and the alleged harasser(s), if the alleged harasser is a worker of the employer. If the alleged harasser is not a worker, the investigator should make reasonable efforts to interview the alleged harasser. 

iii. The alleged harasser(s) must be given the opportunity to respond to the specific allegations raised by the worker. In some circumstances, the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment should be given a reasonable opportunity to reply. 

iv. The investigator must interview any relevant witnesses employed by the employer who may be identified by either the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment, the alleged harasser(s) or as necessary to conduct a thorough investigation. The investigator must make reasonable efforts to interview any relevant witnesses who are not employed by the employer if there are any identified. 

v. The investigator must collect and review any relevant documents. 

vi. The investigator must take appropriate notes and statements during interviews with the worker who allegedly experienced workplace harassment, the alleged harasser and any witnesses. 

vii. The investigator must prepare a written report summarizing the steps taken during the investigation, the complaint, the allegations of the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment, the response from the alleged harasser, the evidence of any witnesses, and the evidence gathered. The report must set out findings of fact and come to a conclusion about whether workplace harassment was found or not.


e. Results of the Investigation :  Within 10 days of the investigation being completed, the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if he or she is an employee, will be informed in writing of the results of the investigation and any corrective action taken or that will be taken by the employer to address workplace harassment. The respondent (if he or she is an employee) will also be informed of the results of the investigation and any corrective action. This information shall also be provided to the Joint Health & Safety Committee. 


If the event it is determined that any workplace harassment has occurred, such a breach of Huntington University’s Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Violence-Free Workplace Policy may result in discipline up to and including termination of employment for cause. 


Where the complainant or respondent is a faculty member, the investigation procedure and any resulting disciplinary action will be conducted and administered in accordance with the requirements set out under the Collective Agreement. 


f. Confidentiality : Information about complaints and incidents shall be kept confidential to the extent possible. Information obtained about an incident or complaint of workplace harassment, including identifying information about any individuals involved, will not be disclosed unless disclosure is necessary to protect workers, to investigate the complaint or incident, to take corrective action or otherwise as required by law. 


While the investigation is on-going, the worker who has allegedly experienced harassment, the alleged harasser(s) and any witnesses should not to discuss the incident or complaint or the investigation with each other or other workers or witnesses unless necessary to obtain advice about their rights. The investigator may discuss the investigation and disclose the incident or complaint-related information only as necessary to conduct the investigation. 


All records of the investigation will be kept confidential. 


g. Handling Complaints:  The Employer’s designated representative will make appropriate inquiries of the worker who has experienced harassment, and any witnesses, to determine if the incident is minor or serious. 


If the incident is minor, the Employer shall: 


i. consider the appropriateness of mediation between the parties, 

ii. inform the harasser and conduct an appropriate investigation, and 

iii. report the findings to the worker who has experienced harassment, and take appropriate remedial measures. 


If the incident is serious, the Employer shall: 


i. ensure the safety of the worker who has experienced harassment, and others, 

ii. inform the harasser and conduct a thorough investigation, 

iii. consider the suspension (with pay) of the harasser pending the conclusion of the investigation, 

iv. take appropriate remedial measures. 


h. No Reprisals: There shall be no negative consequences for any complainant under this policy, unless there is a finding that the complaint was made in bad faith or was completely frivolous, vexatious or malicious. 


Anyone who retaliates against a person who filed a complaint, or who has been involved in a complaint, will be subject to disciplinary measures. 


For faculty members, any disciplinary measures with respect to complaints made in bad faith, or reprisal, will be administered in accordance with the Collective Agreement. 


Nothing in this policy prevents or discourages an individual from filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario on a matter related to Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Individuals will also retain the right to exercise any other legal avenues that may be available. 


4. Record Keeping 


Huntington University’s Office of the President will keep records of the investigation including: 


1. a copy of the complaint or details about the incident; 

2. a record of the investigation including notes; 

3. a copy of the investigation report (if any); 

4. a summary of the results of the investigation that was provided to the worker who allegedly experienced the workplace harassment and the alleged harasser, if a worker of the employer; 

5. a copy of any corrective action taken to address the complaint or incident of workplace harassment. All records of the investigation will be kept confidential. The investigation documents, including this report should not be disclosed unless necessary to investigate an incident or complaint of workplace harassment, take corrective action or otherwise as required by law. Records will be kept for three (3) years. 


Date created: April 2018 

Annual review date: April 30, 2018




Please click the button below to access the Workplace Harassment Complaint Form.

Please click the button below for a link to the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act.  

COMPLAINTS OFFICER

 

Phil Parker
705-673-4126 ext. 215
pparker@laurentian.ca