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Workplace violence survey

The Report: September / October 2001 vol.22 num.4

by CAROL RIVIERE

The last round of collective bargaining in the Community Social Services sector established an Accord on Preventing Violence in the Workplace. Pursuant to this accord, HSA and the other unions representing workers in the sector are working with the Community Social Services Employers Association and representatives from the provincial government to find ways to address ongoing problems with workplace violence. The first step in this process is to ask workers and employers to provide as much information as possible about the violence problems encountered by workers in Community Social Services.

A highly qualified researcher, Dr. Bart Jessup, has been retained to conduct a survey to determine the extent and nature of workplace violence in the Community Social Services sector. The survey is also seeking worker input as to the best ways to minimize the hazards from workplace violence. Dr. Jessup is a registered psychologist who has worked with victims of workplace violence, and is an experienced occupational health and safety researcher.

HSA strongly encourages all members who received the workplace violence survey to complete and return it as soon as possible. -Violence in the workplace is a serious issue for HSA members," says Jackie Spain, Chair of HSAs Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

-The results of this survey will be used to develop training, and other tools to assist the many HSA members who deal with workplace violence in the community social services sector. This is a real opportunity to help protect yourself and your co-workers from violence at work."

The survey was mailed out during the first week of August. A certain number of worksites within each of the eight divisions or sectors that provide community social services are being surveyed. Every employee at these selected worksites is asked to fill in a survey. It is very important that as many workers as possible complete the survey. Stewards at worksites that received surveys are asked to encourage all workers at the site to complete and return the survey.

It is hoped that preliminary results from the survey will be available for review at the 2002 HSA Convention in the spring. If you have any questions about the survey, or the ongoing work under the Accord on Preventing Violence in the Workplace, please contact HSAs Occupational Health & Safety Labour Relations Officer at 604 439 0994 or 1-800 663 2017.

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