Workplace violence and harassment was the most common category of compliance orders made by Ontario Ministry of Labour inspectors in a recent compliance blitz in the manufacturing sector.

13% of the 5,392 orders dealt with workplace violence and harassment.  Although 16% of orders dealt with employer’s general safety duties, that is a broad group that contains many different kinds of orders.

Inadequate machine guarding was the next most common type of compliance order.

Although the Ministry of Labour’s blitz report does not break down the reasons for issuing the compliance orders dealing with workplace violence and harassment, I expect that the orders dealt with failure to prepare a workplace violence policy and program and workplace harassment policy and program; failure to conduct a workplace violence risk assessment; failure to provide “information and instruction” to employees regarding workplace violence and harassment; and failure to post the workplace violence and workplace harassment policies (a breach that would be immediately evidence to a Ministry of Labour inspector).

The blitz results are a reminder to employers to, first of all, ensure that their workplace violence and harassment policies are posted, and also to ensure that the other OHSA obligations relating to violence and harassment have been satisfied.

The Ministry of Labour’s blitz report may be accessed here