Health & Safety
Violence & Harassment

It is our right work in an environment that is free from all forms and sources of violence/harassment.

Employers must strive to eliminate the risks of violence/harassment. Our members face violence and harassment in all sectors, whether it is in a hospital emergency room, a psychiatric setting, a geriatric facility or nurses who work in the community visiting clients. Harassment is not acceptable and such behaviour can escalate and has escalated to violence.

It is not “part of the job” to be physically or verbally abused by patients, residents, clients, the public or other employees. Don’t put up with it.

If you are in danger, call the police. ONA is there to protect you and to help you find the right resources.

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ONA Guidance and Resources

The resources, information and directives that ONA has produced will help you deal with violence and harassment in your workplace.

Joint Health & Safety Committee Resources

Your safety committee/co-chair has the power to write recommendations to your employer and your employer has to respond in writing within 21 days. Tailor the templates below to help you to get started.

Ministry of Labour

There are specific sections in the Occupational Health and Safety Act related to workplace violence and harassment. The Ministry of Labour can inspect workplaces or investigate complaints, injuries or accidents with a view to determine compliance with health and safety law.

When inspectors find violations, they can lay charges and prosecute offenders or issue orders. Consult with your ONA bargaining unit leadership and Labour Relations Officer for help, but if danger is imminent, call the police and call your local Ministry of Labour office and use the resources on this page to help you address issues in your workplace.


External Resources

Ministry of Labour – Workplace Violence and Harassment: Understanding the Law

Workplace violence prevention in health care: A guide to the law for hospitals, long-term care homes and home care

Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) – Personal Safety Response System (PSRS) Toolkit

Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) – Violence, Aggression and Responsive Behaviour (VARB) Project

Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) – Mental Injuries Tools for Ontario Workers

Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) – Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence

Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) – Fact Sheet: Workplace Bullying

Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) – Hospital Resources – Workplace Violence Prevention


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