Preventing Workplace Violence - What is being done at the Winnipeg Health Region?

At the Winnipeg Health Region, management is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy workplace for its employees, patients and visitors. The Region demonstrates commitment through the creation of a policy that clearly indicate a zero tolerance for workplace violence, verbal and nonverbal threats and related actions.

Management commitment and employee involvement are complementary and essential elements of an effective safety and health program. To ensure effectiveness of the program, management and frontline employees must work co-operatively.  Employee involvement is essential; it portrays their commitment to safety and health.

At the Winnipeg Health Region, we clearly want compassionate and quality care for our patients and clients.  While doing so, we also want to ensure that our employees are safe while delivering patient care.

The Region is continuing to work with all sites with assistance from Workplace Safety and Health Committees, Respectful Workplace Committees, Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health (OESH), Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Division, and other Professionals to ensure that our employees are provided with a safe and healthy work environment.

Management’s commitment is shown by ensuring the following activities occur:

Respectful Workplace Policy: Implemented to ensure a process is in place to address harassment and violence in the workplace.  This includes awareness, prevention, the complaint process and follow-up. 

Worksite Assessment: At each Winnipeg Health Region site, the potential of violence and the level of risk must be assessed.  At each site, a Respectful Workplace Committee exists to assist in ensuring assessments are completed, appropriate controls are considered and implementation of these controls is recommended to management.   The Committee’s mandate is described in the OESH Respectful Workplace Program

Injury/Near Miss Reporting: A process is implemented for reporting injuries or near misses. Information from these reports will allow tracking of injuries (including verbal and physical abuse), investigation, and implementation of corrective actions.

Survey Screening: To collect employees' ideas on the potential for violent incidents and to identify or confirm the need for improved security measures.

Employee Training: Training and education to ensure that all staff are aware of potential violence situations and how to protect themselves and their co-workers through established policies and procedures.  OESH with consultation and feedback from Site Educators are collaborating to ensure training package/modules are created specific to risks and appropriate training and information is provided to affected employees

Seeking Advice: Obtaining advice from the sites’s Respectful Workplace Committee, safety and health professionals, law enforcement or security specialists. These experts can provide fresh perspectives to improve a violence prevention program through involvement in planning and workplace.

Employee’s Commitment

Understand the Respectful Workplace Policy which covers processes for reporting and follow-up relevant to harassment concerns/formal complaints.

Be aware of your personal safety in situations such as while walking alone to work, in parking lots, secluded areas and vehicle safety. 

When working alone or in isolation, understand what you need to do and work with your manager to ensure a plan is in place.  For community, if you are working with a client/patient who may be violent, ensure that you have a site visit plan (SVP) for this client/patient.

Be aware of risks relevant to violence in your particular work area. 

Report your concerns to your manager as soon as possible and work co-operatively towards a resolution.

Report all injuries/near misses to ensure appropriate follow-up and assistance is provided to you to address your safety, health and well-being.

Participate and be involved. 

If you require further assistance, contact OESH at your site, your Workplace Safety and Health Committee or Respectful Workplace Committee.


  • OESH Group
  • HR at Your Site for more information.

Prepared by Ethelinda Padua, CRSP, OESH in consultation with OESH Safety and Health Coordinators.

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