Administrative Procedure 404: Violence Prevention in the Workplace

Legal References

Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 32.0; Workplace Violence in School Boards: A Guide to the Law; Education Act, Section 306, 310

Related References

Board Policy 05 Board Members Code of Conduct; Administrative Procedure (AP) 138 Positive Workplace Environment; AP 142 Religious Accommodation; AP 160 Access to School Premises; AP 170 School Emergency Procedures; AP 175 Accidents, Incidents and Occupational Illness; AP 176 Bomb Threats; AP 179 Lockdown and Hold/Secure; AP 182 Tragic Events Response; AP 226 Special Education Personalized Equipment; AP 227 Identification, Placement and Review Committee; AP 302 Student Enrollment; AP 351 Code of Conduct and Policy - School Board Protocol; AP 352 Promoting Positive Student Behaviour; AP 353 Student Suspension; AP 354 Student Expulsion; AP 356 Substance Abuse by Students; AP 357 Violence-Free Schools; AP 358 Exclusion of Students; AP 363 Physical Containment; AP 364 Search and Seizure Guidelines; AP 370 Ontario Student Record; AP 401 Criminal Background Checks; AP 405 Allegations Against Employees and Volunteers; AP 406 Progressive Discipline - Staff; AP 410 Environmental Health and Safety; AP 414 Refusing Unsafe Work; AP 495 Volunteer Programs in the Schools; AP 525 Video Surveillance; AP 573 Vandalism. Property Damage and Theft; AP 589 Transportation

1. Purpose & Scope

1.1 The Director of Education has authorized the development and implementation of this administrative procedure to ensure:

a) The Avon Maitland District School Board complies with its obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that employers prepare a policy or policies with respect to workplace violence and review them at least once a year [subsection 32.0.1(1)].

b) All employees and individuals within the board community will have access to this procedure. The procedure will be posted online on the Board’s website, and a signed copy of Appendix A - Workplace Violence Prevention Statement will be posted on the Health and Safety Bulletin Board at every AMDSB worksite. The Workplace Violence Prevention Statement is deemed to be the workplace violence policy for the purpose of section 32.01.1(2) of the OHSA.

c) All employees and individuals within the board community who work on or are invited onto board premises are required to work cooperatively to provide a safe and healthy workplace and to promote an inclusive, respectful and safe workplace in which all people respect one another and work together to achieve common goals.

d) The Board assesses the risks of violence in the workplace that may arise from the nature of the workplace, the type of work and the conditions of work. Reassessments are conducted as necessary.

e) The Board will put in place and make employees aware of the measures for controlling, preventing, responding, reporting, investigating, debriefing and resolving incidents of workplace violence (e.g., teaching and learning strategies, programs and services, procedures, Student Support Plans, Student Safety Plans, Transportation Safety Plans, and Transportation Support Plans, etc.) and the process for summoning immediate assistance when it is necessary to do so.

f) The Board will ensure that incidents of workplace violence are investigated.

g) All individuals involved in an incident of workplace violence are supported (e.g., debriefing), and corrective actions are considered and taken, as appropriate, to promote and support a safe, inclusive and positive working and learning environment.

1.2 This administrative procedure applies to all employees, contractors, and employees of other organizations who perform work on Board property.

1.3 This administrative procedure details the process to be followed regarding serious student incidents requiring reporting under the Ontario Education Act and Regulations, as it relates to workplace violence. More information can be found in Administrative Procedures 351-Code of Conduct, 352-Promoting Positive Student Behaviour and 357-Violence Free Schools.

1.4 This administrative procedure does not include measures and procedures regarding harassment and discrimination, which can be found in Administrative Procedure 138 Positive Workplace Environment and Administrative Procedure 352 Promoting Positive Student Behaviour.

2. Definitions

2.1 Critical (Violent) Incident: an incident which causes or has the potential to cause physical, mental or emotional injury to the staff and/or student(s) involved in or observing the incident. (Source: Ministry of Education)

2.2 Debriefing: A process of receiving information after an event from those involved in the event. It can range from a simple description of events to more intensive questioning, investigation, review and planning. (Source: Ministry of Education)

2.3 Direct Contact: Any employee who directly supervises a student that has a history of aggression/violent behaviour.

2.4 Domestic Violence: a pattern of behaviour used by one person to gain power and control over another person with whom they have or have had an intimate relationship. The behaviour may include physical violence, sexual, emotional, and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking and using electronic devices to harass and control. (Source: Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario).

2.5 Employee: is any person included in the definition of a “worker” under the OHSA, including, but not limited to regular, occasional, probationary, and contract employees and co-op students. 2.6 Employer (AMDSB): means a person who employs one or more workers or contracts for the services of one or more workers and includes a contractor or subcontractor who performs work or supplies services and a contractor or subcontractor who undertakes with an owner, constructor, contractor or subcontractor to perform work or supply services.

2.7 Indirect Contact: any employee who can be expected to encounter a person in the course of their work who has a history of aggression/violent behaviour (e.g., yard duty, lunch supervision, cleaning/maintenance, office administration, library, etc.)
 
2.8 Supervisor (Principal, Vice-Principal, Administrator, and Manager): means a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker.

2.9 Student Safety Plan: a written document containing response measures for a student whose behaviour is known to pose an on-going risk of workplace violence. The Student Safety Plan outlines what to do / how to respond, in that it can serve as a crisis-response plan which outlines specific roles and responsibilities of staff in dealing with specific challenging behaviour. The Student Safety Plan may include intervention strategies, such as, physical containment procedures, in accordance with Administrative Procedure 363 – Physical Containment.

2.10 Student Support Plan: a written document containing prevention measures used to eliminate or reduce inappropriate behaviour, thereby preventing the risk of workplace violence. The Student Support Plan is a written plan collaboratively developed to address the underlying reason for the challenging behaviour. The Student Support Plan includes proactive strategies that support a student at various stages of escalation.

2.11 Workplace: is defined under OHSA as any land, premises, location or thing as, upon, in or near which an employee works. For the purpose of this procedure it includes any place an employee performs work or work-related duties or functions.

2.12 Workplace Violence: as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, workplace violence is:

a) The exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker,
b) An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to a worker,
c) A statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to a worker.

Note 1: Workplace violence against a worker may be a one-time occurrence or involve repeated behaviours over time that causes or could cause physical injury.

Note 2: A person does not need to have the capacity to understand that their behaviour causes or could cause physical injury to a worker to be workplace violence under the OHSA.

3. Responsibilities

3.1 Director

The Director of Education is required to:
      • establish a workplace violence prevention statement and review it at least annually as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Sections 32.0.1 and 32.0.2; and
      • establish a workplace violence prevention program through this administrative procedure that details the measures taken to prevent, reduce and respond to workplace violence, as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Sections 32.0.2;

3.2 Superintendents

Superintendents are required to:
      • ensure this administrative procedure is implemented by Principals/Supervisors and employees and other employees working on behalf or AMDSB;
      • ensure Workplace Violence Risk Assessments and subsequent reassessments are performed and communicated as required (see section 4.0 of this procedure);
      • review recommendations and approve measures to reduce violence and promote a positive working and learning environment, as well as approve resources to investigate and resolve incidents of workplace violence; and
      • review reports of their regional workplace violence incidents and participate/facilitate in investigations or debriefings as necessary.

3.3 Principals/Supervisors

Principals/Supervisors are required to:
      • ensure this administrative procedure is implemented at their school/site and adhered to by all employees;
      • ensure a copy of the Director’s most current Workplace Violence Statement is posted on the Health and Safety Bulletin Board;
      • assist with conducting Workplace Violence Risk Assessment and subsequent reassessments as required (see section 4.0 of this procedure) and ensure preventative actions are taken as deemed necessary;
      • advise employees of any potential or actual workplace violence risks of which the principal/supervisor is aware and take every reasonable precaution for the protection of employees by ensuring current measures are reviewed and revised, or measures are newly established, as required by this procedure to prevent or respond to workplace violence;
      • ensure that Student Support Plans, Student Safety Plans, Transportation Support Plans, and Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plans and any revisions to those Plans are communicated to direct contacts as required by this procedure;
      • ensure that employees having direct contact review and sign student plans (i.e., Student Support Plan, Student Safety Plan, Transportation Support Plan, Transportation Safety Plan);
      • ensure safety devices, such as personal protective equipment (e.g., jackets, arm guards, shin guards, gloves, hat, etc.), are provided, maintained and used, as directed, to prevent or mitigate harm to an employee. If the safety device is required to be worn, ensure instructions are written into the plans (e.g., Student Support Plan, Student Safety Plan, Transportation Support Plan, Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plan);
      • ensure that Student Support Plans, Student Safety Plans, Transportation Support Plans, and Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plans are applied by employees as directed;
      • ensure safety devices and procedures for summoning immediate assistance (e.g., public announcement system, two-way radios) are provided to employees, communicated, tested, maintained and used as required;
      • ensure a Notification of Potential Risk of Physical Injury Form is completed, reviewed and revised as required by this procedure and is made accessible to employees with direct and indirect contact with the individual having a history of violence (see section 5.4 of this procedure);
      • ensure that employees having direct and indirect contact sign the Notification of Potential Risk of Physical Injury Acknowledgement Form, in order to verify the forms have been reviewed;
      • complete required training and participate in exercises applicable to the job responsibilities (e.g., Violence Prevention in the Workplace training, Behaviour Management System training, Emergency response, etc.) and apply the training to prevent and respond to workplace violence;
      • ensure employees complete required training (e.g., Violence Prevention in the Workplace, Behaviour Management System Training, Applied Behaviour Analysis training, etc.), and apply the training and/or other instructions/direction for preventing and responding to workplace violence applicable to their job responsibilities;
      • investigate workplace violence hazards/incidents and implement corrective actions as required by AP 175-Accident, Incidents and Occupational Illnesses;
      • support employees involved in an incident of domestic violence affecting the workplace (e.g., personal safety plan)
      • notify the Superintendent of Safe Schools when a serious workplace violent incident or threat occurs (e.g., incident involving the police or emergency medical services called, multiple employees harmed, significant property damage occurs, etc.)
      • ensure incident debriefings are held as required.

3.4 Employees

Employees are required to:
      • review, sign-off and apply any additional measures provided by the administrator/supervisor to prevent and/or respond to workplace violence;
      • participate in risk assessments, investigations, debriefings, consultations, team meetings, emergency exercises, etc., related to preventing, responding or managing workplace violence when required;
      • ensure safety devices, such as personal protective equipment or communication devices provided by the employer or administrator/supervisor are used and applied as directed to prevent or respond to workplace violence;
      • report to the principal/supervisor the absence or defect in any equipment or protective device.
      • complete required training and participate in exercises applicable to the job responsibilities (e.g., Violence Prevention in the Workplace, Behaviour Management System training, etc.) and apply the training in order to prevent and/or respond to workplace violence;
      • summon immediate assistance, when necessary, to respond to workplace violence;
      • report workplace violence hazards/incidents to the principal/supervisor or designate as required by AP 175 Accident, Incidents and Occupational Illnesses;
      • report serious student incidents which meet the OHSA definition of workplace violence to the principal/supervisor, or designate, as required by AP 351 Code of Conduct and Police/School Board Protocol; AP352 Promoting Positive Student Behaviour or AP 357 Violence-Free Schools;
      • inform the principal/supervisor or designate, Human Resource Services or their Union if they or another employee is subject to a non-work related violent situation or domestic violence that may expose themselves or any employee to physical injury in the workplace.

3.5 Students and Adult Learners

Students and adult learners are required to:
      • adhere to Administrative Procedure 351 Code of Conduct; and
      • report workplace violence hazards/incidents to the principal/supervisor or designate, or any AMDSB employee.

3.6 Parents/Guardians/Family Members

Parents/Guardians/Family members are required to:
      • report workplace violence hazards/incidents to the principal/supervisor or designate, or any AMDSB employee.

3.7 Other Individuals of the Board Community (e.g., Volunteers, Service Providers/Agencies, Visitors, Daycare, Contractors, Community Use Clients, etc.)

Individuals of the Board Community are required to:
      • adhere to Administrative Procedure 351 Code of Conduct; and
      • report workplace violence hazards/incidents to the principal/supervisor or designate, or any AMDSB employee.

3.8 Superintendent of Education (Safe Schools)

The Superintendent of Education (Safe Schools) is required to:
      • respond to workplace violence emergencies or threats that involve police and coordinate a response on behalf of AMDSB; and
      • investigate workplace violence emergencies/serious threats; ensure debriefings are completed as required; and any system level corrective actions are implemented.

3.9 Superintendent of Education (Learning Services)

The Superintendent of Education (Learning Services) is required to:
      • establish programs and services to serve the needs of students with special education needs;
      • provide training (e.g., BMS, ABA techniques) and professional development to Principals/Supervisors or designates and other employees to prevent or respond to workplace violence;
      • review requests for use of non-stocked personal protective equipment or devices;
      • review reports of workplace violence incidents; and
      • participate in investigations when required.

3.10 Superintendent of Education (Human Resource Services)

The Superintendent of Education (Human Resources) is required to:
      • provide training to all employees on the Workplace Violence Prevention Statement and the contents of this Administrative Procedure;
      • ensure incidents/complaints of workplace violence between a principal/supervisor and their employee are investigated; and
      • ensure reports/complaints of reprisal or the threat of reprisal when an employee follows the OHSA or AMDSB measures and procedures related to workplace violence are investigated and any corrective actions are implemented.

3.11 Environmental Health and Safety Advisor

The Environmental Health and Safety Advisor is required to:
      • maintain this administrative procedure;
      • provide the results of risk assessment or reassessments in writing to the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC);
      • coordinate workplace violence prevention awareness training;
      • provide communication resources to worksites;
      • audit and communicate compliance of this administrative procedure;
      • assist with investigations and hazard assessments as required; and
      • monitor incidents, provide reports and make recommendations to principal/supervisors, employees and Senior Staff to prevent and/or reduce workplace violence.
      • notify the union/JHSC about workplace violence incidents as required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and AP 175 Accident, Incidents and Occupational Illnesses.

4. Workplace Violence Risk Assessments and Reassessments

4.1 AMDSB will assess the risks of workplace violence that are likely to expose a worker to physical injury that may arise from the nature of the workplace, the type of work and the conditions of work.

4.2 An initial risk assessment will be performed whenever a new physical location is acquired or leased by the Board.

4.3 The Principal/Supervisor of the workplace will review the workplace violence risk assessment at least annually and reassess the risks of workplace violence as required (see list below), to ensure that the related workplace violence statement and the current measures continue to protect employees from workplace violence. Reassessment may be triggered by the following circumstances, but is not limited to:
      • critical injury of an employee due to workplace violence;
      • lockdown situation;
      • change in the physical environment of the workplace (e.g., major construction/renovation);
      • change in the type of work performed at the school/site which may result in an increased potential risk of workplace violence;
      • significant increase in frequency or severity, or a singular significant and severe incident of workplace violence;
      • a significant increase or change in the population of a school/site; and
      • significant community event or external risk.
4.4 Risk Assessments and reassessments will take into consideration any existing measures already in place and additional measures needed to minimize risks of workplace violence.

4.5 When additional measures are identified as needed, corrective action will be implemented.

4.6 The results of the risk assessment or reassessments must be provided in writing to the Joint Health and safety Committee, and to the employees at the school/site (i.e., staff meeting, email or posting on the Health and Safety Bulletin Board)

4.7 Refer to Appendix B Workplace Violence Risk Assessment tool.

5. Workplace Measures

The following components are current measures that have been instituted to recognize risk of, respond to and/or reduce workplace violence.


5.1 Controlled Access & Security

5.1.1 All K-6 and K-8 schools have been equipped with a front door integrated intercom, camera and remote release control system, and all external doors are locked from arrival bell to dismissal bell.

5.1.2 All persons, including visitors authorized to be on school premises, must report their presence to the school office and obtain the principal’s permission to remain on the school premises. The principal shall establish and implement a practice to ensure volunteers and authorized visitors are easily identified in the school. (refer to AP160 Access to School Premises)

5.1.3 All schools have been equipped integrated controls to lock external doors that are equipped with automated closure hardware, in the event of a lockdown emergency (Refer to AP179 Lockdown and Hold/Secure)

5.1.4 Some schools or work sites and buses use video security surveillance.

5.2 Student Enrollment

5.2.1 The principal/supervisor or designate will ensure the Student Registration Form 302A (online and hard copy version) has been fully completed and reviewed as required by AP 302 Student Enrollment, specifically the question related to Student Safety and/or Behaviour Plan, prior to registering the student into the school.

5.2.2 As deemed necessary, the principal/supervisor or designate may review the Ontario Student Record, consult with parents/guardian, sending school/agency, Learning Services, etc. when a history of violence is identified.

5.3 Learning Services Programs and Services

5.3.1 When the administrator and direct contact employees identify workplace violence caused by student behaviour a School Team Meeting will be held to consult and develop, communicate and implement additional differentiated and universal strategies appropriate for addressing the areas of need for the student and/or classroom. Strategies may be incorporated into a Support Plan or Safety Plan as required.

5.3.2 Should the strategies be unsuccessful or there is an increase in the frequency or intensity of violent incidents to employees or other students the principal/supervisor will proceed to an Enhanced Team Meeting and/or request additional services (e.g., Psychoeducational Assessment, Student Support Teacher referral or Applied Behaviour Analysis Team referral). The Enhanced Team Meeting may also include outside agencies. When parents are included in the meeting it is called a Case Conference. Consents will be obtained as required in the Board’s Special Education Plan.

5.3.3 Should the strategies continue to be unsuccessful the principal may request a Central Team meeting as described in the Board’s Special Education Plan, which is reviewed and posted annually on the Board’s website. This meeting may be requested through the designated school System Administrator of Learning Services.

5.3.4 The principal/supervisor and employees are expected to follow the recommendations and strategies provided by the Learning Services Department staff in order to prevent or reduce workplace violence.

5.4 Student Support Plan, Transportation Support Plan, Student Safety Plan and Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plan

5.4.1 The Student Support Plan and the Transportation Support Plan, herein after referred to as Support Plans, are prevention measures used to eliminate or reduce inappropriate behaviour, thereby preventing the risk of workplace violence. A Support Plan is a written plan collaboratively developed to address the underlying reason for the inappropriate behaviour. The Support Plan includes proactive strategies that support a student at various stages of escalation.

5.4.2 The Student Safety Plan and the Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plan, herein after referred to as Safety Plans, are response measures for a student whose behaviour is known to pose an on-going risk of workplace violence. The Safety Plan outlines what to do / how to respond, in that it can serve as a crisis-response plan which outlines specific roles and responsibilities of staff in dealing with specific challenging behaviour. The Safety plan may include intervention strategies, such as, physical containment procedures, in accordance with Administrative Procedure 363 – Physical Containment.

5.4.3 The principal/supervisor will establish Support Plans and/or Safety Plans as required for the protection of employees, students and individuals of the board community. The development of the Support Plans and Safety Plans may involve consultation with central staff, employees, as well as parents/guardians and/or community agency representatives.

5.4.4 Support Plans and Safety Plans will be documented, dated and maintained electronically through Clevr™ and the most recent copies stored in the Ontario Student Record (OSR). These are confidential documents that are accessed and shared only as necessary.

5.4.5 The Support Plans and Safety Plans must be reviewed by the principal/supervisor or designate at a minimum within the first 30 school days, at the start of the second term/semester and at the end of June.

5.4.6 The Support Plans and Safety Plan will also be reviewed and/or revised by the principal/supervisor or designate:
      1. when there is a change in behaviour that increases the risk of violence;
      2. when there is a change in behaviour such that the behaviour no longer presents a risk of violence; and
      3. when there is a violent incident involving the student.
5.4.7 Hard copies of Support Plans and Safety Plans will be made accessible to all employees having direct contact with a student for whom a plan has been established.

5.4.8 Employees having direct contact with a student for whom a Support Plan or Safety Plan has been established must read the plans, sign an acknowledgement within one week of being informed about a new/revised Support Plan or Safety Plan. Employees must apply the most current strategies written in the Plans.

5.4.9 Employees must report to the principal/supervisor or designate when there is a change in behaviour that could increase the potential for violence or when a change in behaviour indicates a reduced risk of violence, which, in turn, results in the Support Plan or Safety Plan needing to be reviewed and/or revised.

5.5 Occasional Teacher/Supply Staff Information Folders

5.5.1 Occasional Teacher (OT) Information Handbooks and Supply Staff Binders will provide employees information, including personal information, related to the risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour, if the employee can be expected to encounter that person in the course of their work (indirect contact) and the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the employee to physical injury. The information may include Student Support Plans and/or Student Safety Plans, notes, timetable, schedules, seating plan, maps, process for summoning immediate assistance, etc.

5.5.2 The principal/supervisor or designate will ensure OT/Supply binders are available, contain the appropriate information, are reviewed and kept current.

5.5.3 The primary teacher or primary support staff will be responsible for ensuring the information is maintained, current and dated.

5.5.4 The OT/Supply binders will be stored in a secure area in the main office or designated area (e.g., near the occasional employee sign-in register) that is accessible to employees only.

5.5.5 Occasional Teachers and Supply Staff must review and follow the information in the OT/Supply binder.

5.5.6 The primary teacher and primary support staff and/or principal/supervisor must review/revise the OT/Supply binders at a minimum within the first 30 school days of the school and at the start of the second term/semester, or as often as necessary when there is a change in circumstances.

5.5.7 The Occasional Teacher and/or supply staff will report to the principal/supervisor or designate if any information that is missing, illegible or requires clarification.

5.6 Transportation Assignments

5.6.1 When a student with specialized needs requires staff support on a school bus/vehicle, the Guidelines for the Use of an Education Assistant as Student Support on a School Bus/Vehicle must be followed - Appendix J

5.6.2 The principal/supervisor will determine when a student requires support on a school bus/vehicle and submit a new or amended Request for Transportation Form to the System Administrator of Learning Services and Huron Perth Student Transportation Services.

5.6.3 If the student has a history of violent behaviour, a Transportation Support Plan, Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plan must be established and communicated to the designated employee before approval to support student transportation.

5.7 Notification of Potential Risk of Physical Injury Process

5.7.1 A Notification of Potential Risk of Physical Injury, herein after referred to as Notification Form (Appendix C) is a control measure used to provide employees with information, including personal information, related to the risk of workplace violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour, if the employee can be expected to encounter that person in the course of their work (indirect contact) and the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the employee to physical injury. The Notification Form includes personal information as well as information describing triggers, early warning signs and procedures to respond and seek assistance. The Notification Form is derived from information on the Student Support Plans and/or Student Safety Plans.

5.7.2 The principal/supervisor will determine and establish the Notification Form when employees must be informed about a person with a history of violent behaviour based on the definition of workplace violence.

5.7.3 If the person with a history of violent behaviour is a non-student (e.g., parent, spouse) the principal/supervisor must consult with the Superintendent of Education prior to completing and communicating the Notification Form.

5.7.4 The principal/supervisor will place the Notification Form, acknowledgement form, and a revision log in a yellow duo-tang.

5.7.5 The yellow duo-tang will be stored in a secure area in the main office or designated area (e.g., near the occasional employee sign-in register) that is accessible to employees only. If the Notification Form is located in a separate location, written instructions must be provided directing employees to the location of the Notification Form. Note: Only one copy of the Notification Form may be maintained.

5.7.6 When a Notification Form is established or revised, the principal/supervisor must determine which employees having indirect contact (i.e., an employee likely to encounter and be exposed to physical injury) must be informed; advise the employees of the location of the Notification Form, and instruct them to review the notification, sign the acknowledgement form, and apply the information.

5.7.7 Whenever a new individual is added or an existing Notification Form is revised, the principal/supervisor must record the date of the addition or revision on the revision log. The revisions on the Notification Form must be marked (e.g., highlighted, different colour text), and indirect employees must be advised and sign the acknowledgement form again.

5.7.8 As necessary, the principal/supervisor must inform employees (including contract workers, etc.) from the Education Centre, Information Technology or Facilities, and at the Centre for Employment and Learning, when they are likely to encounter a person with a history of aggression/violent behaviour specific to the work activities performed.

5.7.9 When instructed by the principal/supervisor or designate, school employees with indirect contact must review and follow the information on the Notification Form when instructed, and sign the acknowledgement form.

5.7.10 When occasional employees with indirect contact attend a school/site for the first time they must review, sign the acknowledgement form and follow the information on the Notification Form. In addition, each time they return to the same school/site they must check the revision log and review any new information and sign the acknowledgment form again if changed.

5.7.11 Education Centre (e.g., Learning Services, Learning Resources) employees who have direct contact with students must review, sign the acknowledgement form and follow the information on the Notification Form. In addition, each time they return to the same school/site they must check the revision log and review any new information, and sign the acknowledgement form again if changed. If working directly with a student for whom a Student Support Plan or Safety Plan has been established, the employee must also review the plans and sign the acknowledgement form.

5.7.12 Education Centre (e.g., Human Resource Services, Procurement, Finance, etc.), Information Technology and Facilities employees who do not have direct contact with students are not required to review the Notification Form when visiting a school; however, they must be aware that there may be a potential risk of physical injury related to workplace violence when performing work at a school, and they must consult with the principal/supervisor or designate prior to performing work.

5.7.13 Centre for Employment and Learning employees must review and follow the information on the Notification Form when instructed, and sign the acknowledgement form.

5.7.14 The Principal/supervisor must review annually the Notification Form for accuracy at a minimum within the first 30 school days of the school and at the start of the second term/semester.

5.8 Personal Protective Equipment

5.8.1 Personal protective equipment is available in combination with other strategies, measures and procedures to prevent or reduce physical injury. Personal protective equipment may include, but is not limited to, padded jackets, arm guards, shin guards, gloves, hat, spit shield, safety glasses, etc. See Appendix D for examples of stocked personal protective equipment available.

5.8.2 The principal/supervisor will assess and determine if personal protective equipment is required to protect employees. The principal/supervisor may involve Learning Services Staff, EHS Advisor and employees with direct contact to make this determination.

5.8.3 If it is determined that personal protective equipment is required to be worn, specific instructions regarding its use will be set out in the Plans (Student Support Plan, Student Safety Plan, Transportation Support Plan and the Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plan).

5.8.4 The principal/supervisor or designate will provide each employee that requires personal protective equipment with their own device(s). The principal/supervisor should also keep extra personal protective equipment available for occasional employees.

5.8.5 Corporate Services will stock various sizes of standard authorized personal protective equipment. The principal/supervisor or designate will order the personal protective equipment, providing approximate sizes and quantities needed. Personal protective equipment must fit the user properly.

5.8.6 Special requests for non-stocked personal protective equipment or other safety devices (e.g., bumper pads) related to workplace violence involving students must be approved by the Superintendent of Education (Learning Services).

5.8.7 The principal/supervisor and employees will use or wear the personal protective equipment provided as directed when written in the plan (e.g., Student Support Plan, Student Safety Plan, Transportation Support Plan and Student Behaviour Intervention Plan).

5.8.8 The principals/supervisor and employees will inspect their personal protective equipment prior to use, maintain their personal protective equipment and notify the principal/supervisor or designate to report damaged or missing personal protective equipment.

5.8.9 Unused personal protective equipment in like-new condition may be returned to Corporate Services for inspection, cleaning and restocking.

5.9 Training

5.9.1 All employees will review the Workplace Violence Prevention Statement and contents of this procedure upon hire and at least annually through the
Employee Health and Safety Handbook via the Safe School Training System.

5.9.2 All employees will complete Workplace Violence Prevention Awareness Training upon hire and every three (3) years, through the online Safe Schools System.

5.9.3 Behaviour Management Systems (BMS) training will be provided through the Learning Services department to all principals, vice-principals and education support staff (e.g., Education Assistants, Designated Early Childhood Educators, etc.). The Behaviour Management Systems Training program is an intervention program designed for educators and incorporates information on child development and behaviour, as well as behaviour management strategies, including planning, observing, verbal and non-verbal cues, non-physical and physical interventions and debriefing.

5.9.4 Additional training for preventing and responding to workplace violence may be provided as determined necessary (e.g., Student Support Team recommendations and Applied Behaviour Analysis Team recommendations).

5.9.5 All Administrators/Supervisors and employees will participate in the required training and apply the strategies taught during the training in their work.

5.10 Responding to Workplace Violence

Summoning Immediate Assistance

5.10.1 The principal/supervisor or designate will ensure the school/site has appropriate communication devices and procedures in place for employees to summon immediate assistance when workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur. Examples of communication devices are attached as Appendix E -Types of Communication Devices.

5.10.2 All communication devices must be tested in September to ensure they are operational and are maintained during the school year, as directed through a system memo on the Start-up Health and Safety Checklist
 
5.10.3 The principal /supervisor or designate will ensure all employees are made aware of and trained in the procedures to summon immediate assistance.
 
5.10.4 When workplace violence occurs or is likely to occur, principal/supervisor or designate and/or employee should summon immediate assistance.

5.10.5 The principal/supervisor or designate must notify the police, fire or ambulance and the regional superintendent, as required by:
        • AP 175-Accidents, Incidents and Occupational Illness
        • AP 176-Bomb Threat
        • AP 179-Lockdown and Hold/Secure
        • AP 351-Code of Conduct (includes the Police-School Board Protocol)
        • AP 357-Violence Free Schools
In the event police are involved they may take control of the school/site.

5.10.6 The superintendent responsible for safe schools will be notified by the regional superintendent and may take control of the situation on behalf of AMDSB (e.g., liaise with police, media, etc.)

5.11 Work Refusal for Workplace Violence

5.11.1 Employees have a right to refuse work or to do particular work where the employee has reason to believe that workplace violence is likely to endanger themselves. Refer to Administrative Procedure 414 – Refusing Unsafe Work.

5.12 Domestic Violence in the Workplace

5.12.1 All employees will be provided awareness training about domestic violence through the Workplace Violence Awareness Training through the online Safe School Training System. Additional information about supports available and resources for victims of domestic violence can be found in Appendix G – Recognize and Respond to Domestic Violence in Your Workplace.

5.12.2 The principal/supervisor will take every reasonable precaution to protect employees in the workplace when they are aware that domestic violence is likely to expose employees to physical injury in the workplace (e.g., Notification of Potential Risk of Physical Injury Forms, personal safety plans, notifying police, trespass orders, etc.)

5.12.3 Employees who have information that they or a co-worker may be subject to domestic violence, that may expose the individual or co-workers to physical injury in the workplace, have a responsibility to inform their principal/supervisor; or designate except where the principal/supervisor or designate may be party to the domestic violence, in which case the employee must inform the Superintendent of Human Resource Services.

5.12.4 When made aware of the potential for domestic violence in the workplace, the principal/supervisor must advise their regional superintendent and together will assess the risk of domestic violence and put in place precautions to protect employees (e.g., personal safety plan, Notification Form, trespass order, etc.) Assistance from the Superintendent of Education (Safe Schools), police, and other victim support services may be used.

5.12.5 The principal/supervisor or designate will advise the victim to contact the police, if they feel at risk of physical harm, inside or outside the workplace; or at home.

6. Reporting and Investigating a Workplace Violence Hazard/Incident/Threat

6.1 All hazards and incidents, including threats of workplace violence must be reported, documented using the online Employee Hazard/Incident Report through eBase, and investigated as required by AP 175 Accident, Incident and Occupational Illness, AP 352-Promoting Positive Student Behaviour, and AP 357 Violence Free Schools. Refer to Appendix E - Workplace Violence Reporting Process in School Boards.

6.2 If an incident or complaint is reported that a worker has exercised workplace violence as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Human Resource Services must be notified and may assist with the investigation.

7.  Debriefing

7.1 Regular debriefing sessions should be scheduled by the principal/supervisor or designate with staff who deal with challenging behaviours to review and discuss:
      • Behaviour trends or incidents, behaviour logs, etc.
      • Strategies used and results, programming, etc.
      • New information or strategies to implement
      • Updates to support plans, safety plans, supply folders, etc.
7.2 Critical (violent) Incident Debriefing will occur when an incident meets the following reporting requirements
      • AP 175-Accidents, Incidents and Occupational Illness
        • Injuries that result in first aid treatment, health care or lost time
        • Upon request by an employee or administration
      • AP 176-Bomb Threat
      • AP 179-Lockdown and Hold/Secure
      • AP 351-Code of Conduct
      • AP 352-Promoting Positive Student Behaviour
      • AP 357-Violence Free Schools
      • AP 363-Physical Containment
7.2.1 Immediate debriefing should occur as soon as possible after the critical (violent) incident and include:
          • Assessment of injuries
          • Allow staff to talk about what happened
          • Opportunity to express feelings and opinions
          • Discuss if additional support is needed
Immediate debriefing following a critical (violent) incident should not include:
            • Judgement
            • Inappropriate remarks or statements
            • Counselling
            • Objective review of the event
7.2.2 Follow-up debriefing must be held or at least scheduled by the principal/supervisor within 3 school days after the incident and include personnel directly involved or impacted. The principal/supervisor should try to hold debriefings that require participation from external agencies (e.g., police) within 2 weeks of the incident.

The follow-up debriefing may be facilitated by one of the team or someone that was not directly involved in the incident. The follow-up debriefing should include:
        • Check-in
        • Review - the facts of the incident
        • Examine - the response to the incident and contributing factors
        • Assess - the situation - strengths and gaps
        • Think - Act - brainstorm, negotiate and agree to actions/strategies
        • Evaluate - is it working
The follow-up debriefing will be documented. Refer to Appendix I - Debriefing Form.

8. Communication

8.1 The Workplace Violence Prevention Statement and key information and instructions of this administrative procedure will be included in the Employee Health and Safety Handbook, which is provided to all employees on hire and annually through the Safe School Training System.

8.2 Other methods of promoting a positive workplace environment and communicating this procedure may include, but are not limited to school newsletters, meetings, memos, websites or social media, contract documents and training, etc.

9. Records

9.1 All correspondence and other documents generated under these procedures will be stored in a secure file in the school/site, education centre or electronically.

9.2 Records related to workplace violence that will be kept include, but are not limited to the following:
      • Risk assessments, reassessments and action plans
      • Student Support Plans
      • Student Safety Plans
      • Transportation Support Plans
      • Transportation Behaviour Intervention Plan
      • Notification of Potential Risk of Physical Injury forms
      • employee hazard/incident reports and summaries;
      • Safe Schools incident reports
      • Investigations including notes and witness statements;
      • Police reports
      • Employee safety plans (e.g., domestic violence)
      • Training records
      • Debriefing Form
9.3 Records must be stored and retained in accordance with Administrative Procedure 196 – Records Management MFIPPA, or as required by the Ontario Student Record Guidelines and /or the OHSA.

10. Privacy & Confidentiality

10.1 It is the duty of all employees and individuals within the board community to respect privacy and keep personal information related to individual behaviours, hazards, incidents or investigation related to workplace violence confidential to the greatest extent possible.

10.2 Information obtained about workplace violence including identifying information about individuals involved shall not be disclosed unless disclosure is necessary to protect individuals, to investigate the incident/complaint, or to take corrective action. Personal information may only be provided to an outside agency in compliance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, or as otherwise required by law.
 
10.3 All correspondence and other documents under these procedures are subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and must be marked “Private & Confidential”.

11. Freedom from Reprisal

11.1 The right to freedom from workplace violence includes the right to freedom from any reprisal or the threat of reprisal when an employee follows or otherwise exercises their rights under the OHSA or under the AMDSB policies and procedures related to workplace violence.

11.2 If an employee believes they have been fired or punished for exercising their rights under the OHSA or under AMDSB policies and procedures related to workplace violence, they can report the reprisal and circumstances to any of the following:
      • Principal/Supervisor
      • Superintendent of Education
      • Human Resource Services
      • Joint Health and Safety Committee Member
      • Union
      • Ministry of Labour
      • Ontario Labour Relations Board
11.3 Alleged reprisals shall be investigated by Human Resource Services and if substantiated, are subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Administrative Procedure 406 – Progressive Discipline and applicable collective agreements.

Appendix A - Workplace Violence Prevention Statement
Appendix B - Workplace Violence Risk Assessment
Appendix C - Notification of Potential Risk of Physical Injury
Appendix D - Personal Protective Equipment
Appendix E - Types of Communication Devices
Appendix F - Workplace Violence Reporting Process in School Boards
Appendix G - Workplace Violence Reporting Process in Avon Maitland District School Board
Appendix H - Recognize and respond to domestic violence in your workplace 
Appendix I - Debriefing Form
Appendix J - Guidelines for the Use of an EA as Student Support on a School Bus/Vehicle
 
Revised May 2020