Implementation of workplace violence legislation in Ontario hospitals

Reasons for the study

Health-care workers experience high rates of work-related violence, including physical abuse and harassment. Workplace violence legislation under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) directs employers to adopt measures to reduce the risk of workplace violence, yet inspections conducted by the Ministry of Labour demonstrated a number of inadequacies with respect to implementing these measures. IWH researchers used a multiple case-study design to examine the conditions that support and limit the successful implementation of legislated requirements for the prevention of workplace violence in Ontario’s acute health-care sector.

Objectives of the study

  • To examine the measures organizations use to address workplace violence, as well as the perceptions of how these measures play out in practice
  • To understand decisions made about implementation strategies and processes used to prevent violence
  • To identify contextual factors (internal and external to the workplace) that have supported or challenged implementation of violence prevention policies and practices
  • To gain input about ongoing challenges associated with the prevention of workplace violence and strategies for improvement

Related scientific publications

Related interviews and articles

Related presentations

Project status

Completed 2017

Research team

  • Agnieszka Kosny, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • Era Mae Ferron, Institute for Work & Health
  • Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health
  • Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health
  • Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health
  • Sabrina Tonima, Institute for Work & Health
  • Andrea Chambers, Public Health Ontario

Participating organizations

  • Ontario Hospitals Association
  • Ontario Nurses’ Association
  • Working Groups of the Leadership Table on Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care

Funded by

Ontario Ministry of Labour