Policy Number: CS-1402-2012
Policy Title: Violence Prevention and Protection
Policy Owner: Chief Human Resources Officer & Director, Security Services
Effective Date: February 1, 2012
Last Revised: April 17, 2019
On this page:
- Application and Scope
- Accountability and Compliance
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Policy Revision Date
- Specific Links
Mohawk College is committed to maintaining a safe learning and working environment free from violence and threats of violence. This policy sets out the reporting and complaint process as well as the framework to enhance the safety and security of the College Community, respond to situations involving serious threats and acts of violence on College premises and at College-related events and minimize the probability of recurrence of dangerous situations and behaviours.
2. Application and Scope
This policy applies to all members of the College Community, contractors and suppliers who experience, witness or are made aware of an act of violence, or threats of violence. This policy also applies to external organizations that lease College space, operate on College property or who are directly connected to any College initiatives.
This policy applies to all activities that occur while on College owned or leased property or while at other location(s) where an employee may be located as a result of their employment, or while an employee is engaging in College business activities or at College-related events.
“Intimidation” is a statement or behaviour that is reasonable for an individual to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the person that could cause physical injury.
“College Community” refers to all students, employees, volunteers and visitors on Mohawk Campuses and/or carrying out Mohawk College activities
“Serious Threat” is a statement or action that can be reasonably interpreted as an intention to inflict pain, injury or damage even in the absence of any threat to immediate bodily harm
“Supervisor” refers to a person who has charge over a workplace or authority over a worker as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
“Temporary Direction” refers to an order by the Director of Security Services directing a person to leave and remain off campus, off College property and away from College-related events for a period of time. This direction is limited for the duration of the investigation and is not punitive in nature.
“Threat(s)” is a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone.
“Violence Risk Assessment Team (VRAT)” is a multidisciplinary team of trained professionals from different departments, Security Services, Student Rights and Responsibilities and Human Resources who assess, investigate and provide management strategies in response to potential concerns or threats of violence to the College community.
“Weapon” refers to anything (or resembling anything) used, designed to be used or intended for use in causing death or injury to any persons, or for the purpose of threatening, intimidating, causing fear or physical damage.
“Worker” Refers to a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation, including:
- A secondary school student who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled.
- A person who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology, university, private career college or other post-secondary institution.
- Such other persons as may be prescribed who perform work or supply services to an employer for no monetary compensation.
“Workplace Violence (as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act)” refers to:
- The exercise of physical force in the workplace by a person against an employee that causes or could cause physical injury to the Worker;
- An attempt to exercise physical force against a worker in the workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker;
- A statement or behaviour that is reasonable for an employee to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace that causes physical injury.
- The College is committed to preventing violence and creating a safe space for anyone in our College Community who has experienced violence.
- The College is expected to be a safe and positive space where members of the College community feel safe to work, learn and express themselves in an environment free from violence.
- All reported incidents of violence will be investigated to the best of the College’s ability and in a manner that ensures due process.
- The College recognizes workplace violence as an occupational hazard and is committed to providing an environment free from violence.
- Violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If you see something, say something.
4.1 Education and Training
- The College is responsible for posting a copy of this policy and communicating to all employees, students, visitors and contractors that violence is prohibited at Mohawk College. Such communication will include ongoing, proactive education/prevention campaigns and delivery of training for employees in violence prevention measures.
- All College employees will be oriented to this policy and trained in the response and reporting procedures outlined above.
4.2 Domestic Violence
In situations where the College (as the employer) becomes aware that a domestic violence situation exists that would likely expose an employee to physical injury while in the workplace, the College will take reasonable precautions to protect the employee, including, the development of a safety plan with Security Services.
4.3 Persons with a History of Violence
For situations involving persons with a history of violent behavior in the workplace, where an individual can be expected to encounter the violent person on College property and the risk of violence is likely to expose the individual to physical injury, the College will take precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the individual.
4.4 Hazard Risk Assessment
- The College will ensure hazard risk assessments are conducted to evaluate the risks of violence that may arise from the nature of the workplace, the type of work required or the conditions under which the work is to be performed.
- Supervisors are responsible for conducting hazard risk assessments for their departments and implementing controls for those risks.
- In accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the College will inform the appropriate Joint Health and Safety Committee of the results of any workplace violence assessment.
5. Accountability and Compliance
5.1 Accountability Framework
This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
The Chief Human Resources Officer and Director, Security Services will be responsible for monitoring compliance with this policy.
Weapons are not permitted on College property or at College related events. Exceptions may be granted by the Director, Security Services after safety strategies and restrictions have been put in place to ensure the safety of the College community, or, where carried in the line of duty by an officer of the law.
- It is understood that the information provided and/or alleged during the reporting may be of a sensitive nature, with implications for the individual’s reputation, rights to privacy and confidentiality.
- The College is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals and the confidentiality of information and will balance the need to ensure the safety and security of students and employees against requirements for maintaining confidentiality of information.
- Information will only be shared with necessary College officials and services to prevent harm.
- The College will only disclose personal information reasonably necessary to protect the individual.
6.3 Investigation and Adjudication
- The College is committed to handling all incidents of violence and threats of violence as expediently as possible.
- Security Services will respond and investigate all reported incidents of violence and threats of violence, always keeping the safety of the College Community as the first priority.
- Security Services may activate the Violence Risk Assessment Team.
- A Temporary Direction may be issued if it is determined that the continued presence of an individual could constitute risk of danger or the potential for additional violence to the college community or that the continued presence of the individual could be perceived to interfere in an investigation.
- To fully comply with its obligations, the College may initiate or continue an investigation in the absence of an employee or student request to do so.
- Violations of this policy will hold members of the College community accountable by imposing discipline and other sanctions, up to and including expulsion and termination. In doing so, the College will act in accordance with established Collective Agreements, Terms and Condition of Employment, Codes of Conduct and College policies.
6.4 Protection from Reprisals, Retaliation or Threats
- Mohawk College will not tolerate retaliation against individuals making good faith reports as referenced in this policy.
- In the event that an individual is shown to have initiated proceedings under this policy and procedures in a frivolous or vexatious manner, the College may take formal disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or termination.
7. Roles and Responsibilities
7.1 Mohawk College, as an employer, shall be responsible for:
- All reasonable preventative measures to protect employees and others at the College from workplace violence;
- Advising the Joint Health & Safety Committee of the assessment results and provide a copy in writing;
- Establishing procedures, policies and work environment arrangements to mitigate the risk to employees from violence.
- Proper maintenance and testing of all security systems including, but not limited to, surveillance cameras, lighting, duress alarms, intercom.
- Ensuring all employees are trained on this policy.
- Review the policy annually with the Joint Health & Safety Committee to ensure any new violence hazards are identified.
- Establishing reporting procedures with respect to workplace violence.
- Ensuring a process is in place for responding to, and investigating incidents of workplace violence.
- Posting, communicating, and providing access to this policy for all employees.
- Reviewing this policy after any violent or harassment events to determine if changes need to be made.
7.2 Supervisors/ Managers shall be responsible for:
- Properly communicating and enforcing this policy to employees.
- A workplace violence risk assessment is conducted;
- Ensuring all employees within their department are adequately trained in procedures addressing workplace violence and risk factors.
- Encouraging employees to report complaints or incidents of workplace violence.
- All reports/complaints/incidents of workplace violence will be addressed in an appropriate and timely manner.
- Prompt reporting of all complaints or incidents of workplace violence to Human Resources and/or Security Services departments.
7.3 Workers and the Mohawk College Community shall be responsible for:
- Compliance with this policy and all related procedures at all times for their own protection and the protection of others within the workplace;
- Immediately report any Serious Threat or Intimidation to Mohawk Security Services.
- Full cooperation in any investigation of complaints or incidents of workplace violence as indicated within this policy.
- Their own actions at all times
- Contributing positively to the college environment
- Conducting themselves in a mature and responsible manner
8. Policy Revision Date
8.1 Revision Date
The Chief Human Resources Officer and the Director of Security Services will be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness and reviewing this policy on an annual basis or more frequently as necessary.
10. Specific Links
- GC-4301-1982 Student Human Rights
- GC-4302-2015 Sexual Assault and Sexualized Violence
- CS-1317-2012 Respectful Workplace (Harassment and Discrimination)
- CS-1401-1979 Health and Safety
- SS-3200-2006 Student Behaviour
- Preventing and Responding to Workplace Violence: Safety Tips and Guidelines
- Support Staff Collective Agreement
- Academic Staff Collective Agreement
- Terms and Conditions of Employment for Administrative Staff
- Departmental Violence Hazard Assessment Form
- Control Measures for Workplace Violence Risk Activities
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
Appendix A - Procedure for Reporting
Procedures below are in order of severity.
1. Violence Incidents/Threat of Violence
Individual who become involved in or witness an incident involving violence or the threat of violence are required to:
- Ensure their own safety
- Do what is safely possible to ensure a victim’s safety
- Contact Security Services immediately or call 911 if necessary
- Make a formal statement to Security Services
2. Imminent Danger
Any individual who believes there is imminent danger while on college property or while engaged in any College-approved activity will:
- Contact Security Services:
- Call extension 55 on College phones (other than IAHS) or extension 88 on university phones at IAHS
- Call 905.574.5111
- Through the use of any of the following as applicable to the specific location:
- Duress alarm
- Emergency intercoms in hallways and parking lots
- Emergency button on Bell payphones
- Use of the Mohawk safety app
- Through another individual
- Contact local police by calling 911 from any phone
3. Non-Urgent Threats
Incidents involving statement or behaviours which do not present an immediate risk of physical harm, but make the individual feel threatened or otherwise concerned for their safety must be immediately reported. Examples of such unwanted activity include, threatening comment, note, email, voicemail, gesture or a behaviour such as stalking.
- Reporting avenues include:
- Immediate Supervisor, Human Resources, Faculty Member, Student Rights and Responsibilities Office, or Security Services
4. Domestic Violence
Individuals in personal relationships involving domestic violence are encouraged to report their concerns to their immediate Supervisor or Security Services in order to provide awareness and allow the College to enhance their safety.
The College will take precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the employee and/or student, through the development of an individual safety plan with Security Services.
5. Persons with a History of Violence
An employee must immediately inform their Supervisor if there is the potential for encountering on college property a person known to him/her as an individual with a history of violence and if the risk of violence is likely to expose the employee to physical injury. The Supervisor must assume responsibility for informing Security Services.
6. Threatening Behaviour
Anyone who becomes aware of a person exhibiting behaviour that may lead to violence must immediately contact Security Services. Examples of such behaviour include inappropriate discussions or communication via email, websites or in essays, fascinations with death or weapons or anti-social behaviour.
All employees, students and visitors are required to immediately report to Security Services any possession of a weapon on college property or during a college-approved activity.
All individuals are encouraged to report persons of concern to Security Services. If you See Something, Say Something.