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P.E.I. employers may soon be required to develop workplace harassment policy

Elizabeth Pederson, an Occupational Health and Safety Education Consultant, speaks to Montague council during a presentation last week. Occupational Health and Safety is now offering employers courses to help prepare them for an upcoming requirement to develop a workplace harassment policy.
Elizabeth Pederson, an Occupational Health and Safety Education Consultant, speaks to Montague council during a presentation last week. Occupational Health and Safety is now offering employers courses to help prepare them for an upcoming requirement to develop a workplace harassment policy. - Mitch MacDonald

Workers in P.E.I. may soon have more protection against bullying and harassment in the workplace.

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act is in the process of being updated to include a definition of workplace harassment, which will result in employers eventually being required to develop a workplace harassment policy.

The update would include a statement that workers are entitled to work in a harassment-free environment, said an official with the Workers Compensation Board.

During a recent presentation to Montague council, OHS education consultant Elizabeth Pederson said there are two workshops being offered to help employers prepare for the changes.

Pederson travels across the province to help employers and organizations with resources and prevention.

She recalled one time visiting a manufacturing plant with close to 200 workers, where she assumed the major hazard would be the heavy equipment.

“When we got down to the front line, the number one hazard (workers said they) felt was bullying. So that really shocked me,” said Pederson. “Don’t assume just because (someone) works in a very dangerous environment with machinery, that it would be their number one hazard.”

Anyone who employs one or more people fall under the act.


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