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Bullying, Harassment, and Prohibited Action Initiative

The Bullying, Harassment, and Prohibited Action Initiative focuses WorkSafeBC resources on conducting education, consultation, and enforcement activities around workplace bullying, harassment, and prohibited action (formerly known as discriminatory action). A particular emphasis will be placed on small businesses and vulnerable industry sectors.

Bullying, harassment, and prohibited actions are provincial occupational health and safety issues that pose a potential risk to the physical and mental health and safety of workers. In 2017, WorkSafeBC responded to over 4,800 inquiries and complaints directly related to bullying, harassment, and prohibited action. These areas have experienced an increase in activity and have a similar inspection, analysis, and file management process. In addition, nearly 50% of the 2017 complaints of prohibited action cite bullying and harassment as the safety concern raised that led to the alleged prohibited action. Therefore, these areas have been combined under one initiative to help streamline the complaint review and resolution process.

Our goals

  • Improved customer service by way of continuity of service and timely responses
  • Reduced duplication of work
  • Increased and improved outreach
  • Improved and sustained compliance

Our focus

  • Officers will assess employers’ compliance and actions to prevent and minimize bullying, harassment, and prohibited action around the reporting of health and safety issues in the workplace.
  • Officers will assess employers’ responses to effectively investigate and implement corrective measures in a fair and impartial manner. We will focus on industry sectors identified through the complaint process and targeted industry sectors with vulnerable workers.
  • Officer focus will be on outreach and responding to complaints and inquiries.
  • Officers will target employers in the hospitality, retail, small business, construction, and agricultural sectors. Targeted employers will be inspected to evaluate compliance.
  • Officers will consult and educate within these sectors to support sustainable compliance. Officers will also provide support to the objectives of the Program and Committee Evaluation (PACE) and Serious Injury Prevention Initiative (SIPI) programs.

Deliverables

  • Assess employer compliance through a targeted industry inspection strategy
  • Review and align officer practice within an integrated bullying and harassment and prohibited action program
  • Facilitate consultation with industry sectors to enhance understanding of employer, supervisor, and worker obligations and enhance compliance
  • Review and update the bullying & harassment resource tool kit
  • Assist industry sectors with educational resources to develop and implement policies, procedures, and training
  • Partner with industry associations to enhance policies and prevention practices in the construction sector
  • Complete an assessment of prime contractor awareness and implementation of bullying and harassment policies and procedures

What you can do

Our Bullying & harassment pages provide resources and information on how to understand and address some of the health and safety issues to focus on in your industry.