WorkSafeBC says review of TNRD bullying/harassment policy part of 'regular prevention process'

WorkSafeBC found that employees at the TNRD “have not been effectively trained on compliant bullying and harassment policy and procedures” and ordered that “without delay, the employer is directed to provide workers and supervisors with bullying and harassment training.”

WorkSafeBC has ordered the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to update its bullying and harassment policy and procedures.

But when asked by KTW if the order came as a result of a regular review of the regional district’s Respectful Workplace Policy or as a result of a complaint or complaints from TNRD employees, a WorkSafeBC media spokesperson told KTW:

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“The inspection was conducted as part of WorkSafeBC’s regular prevention process. The inspection report and subsequent orders were generated following the employer’s submission of their Respectful Workplace Policy.”

According to an inspection report obtained by KTW, WorkSafeBC found that TNRD policy contravened the Workers Compensation Act section 115 (1)(a) in that:

• the reporting procedures did not outline how (e.g. verbally, written) or when to report incidents or complaints, nor what to include in their report.

• the investigation procedures did not include complete roles and responsibilities, how investigations would be conducted (e.g. focused on finding facts, considering evidence, being sensitive to the parties including assistance during the investigation process, etc.) nor provision for record keeping,

• the simplified chart to provide a high-level overview of the process introduced additional steps and roles/responsibilities not included in the policy.

• the policy and procedures did not include provision for annual review.

As a result, the WorkSafeBC officer conducting the inspection, Erin Guy, wrote that employees at the TNRD “have not been effectively trained on compliant bullying and harassment policy and procedures” and ordered that “without delay, the employer is directed to provide workers and supervisors with bullying and harassment training.”

The regional district was given until Feb. 21 to submit to WorkSafeBC a report of compliance.

TNRD chair Ken Gillis told KTW regional district takes seriously the recommendations from WorkSafeBC.

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