Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Organization Recommendations

Organization Recommendations

6.1 Service and academic organizations promote and support a workplace free of violence by:

a. Ensuring that the safety of staff, physicians, volunteers and students is aligned with the organization's values and is a strategic priority which is fully integrated into corporate and service specific goals.

b. Developing and implementing a violence prevention policy and program that addresses all forms of violence in the workplace. The policy and program adopts clear codes of behaviour that guide all internal and external stakeholders in addressing all forms of violence or potential violence and institute mandatory reporting as well as whistle-blower protection for those who report incidents of actual or potential violence.

c. Identifying situations where there is imbalance of power, such as employer/employee, physician/nurse, student/staff and ensuring structural changes to equalize power bases, as this is a key contributor to aggression.

d. Ensuring structures and processes are in place that enable all health-care professionals to have a shared role in organizational and clinical decision making.

e. Adopt patient/family/relationship-centred care models and introduce strategies to promote respect among all members of the health-care team, patients/clients and other stakeholders.

f. Identifying strategies to recognize and respond to employees' personal situations that may expose themselves, and other co-workers to violence danger.

g. Ensuring that any disruptive behaviour by employees, physicians, volunteers and students is addressed in a timely manner through performance improvement/disciplinary processes that include competencies related to promoting a violence-free workplace.

h. Reviewing and responding to recommendations from coroners' inquests in keeping with the development of a workplace free of violence.

6.2 Service and academic organizations introduce the appropriate controls to establish a comprehensive prevention program and continuously monitor the progress towards a violence-free workplace by:

a. Conducting ongoing risk/hazard assessments that include employees, physicians, volunteers and students input to ascertain the risk of potential and actual violence in the workplace including monitoring incidents of actual and potential violence so that specific strategies for ongoing improvement can be identified.

b. Ensuring that appropriate environmental, administrative, work/care and safety practices are implemented to promote a violence-free environment.

6.3 Service and academic organizations ensure all employees, physicians, volunteers and students have the knowledge and competencies related to promoting a violence-free, healthy work environment by:

a. Providing resources for ongoing mandatory education.

b. Educating all administrators, clinicians in all roles, and support staff on how to respond to and manage violence in the workplace, including implementation and evaluation procedures.

c. Creating and delivering a clear communication strategy to ensure that all persons who have a relationship with the organization are aware of the violence-free program including the processes for mandatory reporting and responding to incidents of violence in the workplace.

6.4 Service and academic organizations develop and implement a process to evaluate the violence in the workplace prevention program by:

a. Developing and monitoring organizational accountability. This would include, but not be limited to, indicators to measure effectiveness of prevention programs, prevalence and incidence of violence, as well as fair and consistent response to reported violence regardless of the power base of those involved in the violence.

6.5 Service and academic organizations create a strategy for immediate and organized response to direct threats of violence by simultaneously:

a. Ensuring safety/security measures are immediately implemented. This includes contacting police when appropriate.

b. Immediately investigating all reports of direct threat of violence.

c. Securing timely response measures, corrective action, assistance and support to target(s), and appropriate follow up.

d. Making workplace accommodations such as, but not limited to, changing staff schedules and/or making work/study re-assignments as necessary.


Healthy Work Environment
Preventing and Managing Violence in the Workplace
Healthy Work Environment Recommendations