Violence Prevention Policy

Policy on Violence in the Workplace (Policy 66)

Purpose and application

1.         This Policy formally establishes the University’s commitment to the prevention of violence in the workplace. 

2.         This Policy applies to all members of the University of Ottawa community, including the University’s employees, volunteers, students and visitors.  Contractors hired by the University are also expected to observe and comply with this Policy where warranted.

Workplace violence

3.         Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the term “workplace violence” means,

a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or may cause personal injury to the worker;

b) an attempt to exercise physical force against a worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker; or

c) a statement or behaviour that it is reasonable for a worker to interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker, in a workplace, that could cause physical injury to the worker.

Policy statement

4.         The University will not tolerate acts or threats of workplace violence.

5.         The University is committed to protecting the University community and will take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker and to prevent workplace violence. While students, volunteers and visitors are not subject to the provincial legislation on occupational health and safety, the University abides by the policy statements made in this Policy in the case of students, volunteers and visitors.

6.         The University will assess, and reassess as necessary, the risks of workplace violence that may arise from, among other factors, the nature of the work or activity, the associated functions and the risk reduction measures in place.


7.         All members of the University community are responsible for maintaining an environment that is free from workplace violence.

8.         Individuals can report instances of or threats of workplace violence by contacting Protection Services:

In an emergency (for example, if an individual feels that the threat of or incidence of violence will occur imminently, or has been the victim of or witness to workplace violence)

  • Phone (emergency number): 613-562-5411. Call 911 for areas not serviced by Protection Services, for example, leased premises at 1 Nicholas, or the World Exchange Plaza
  • Emergency phones:  Located throughout campus. Press the button to contact Protection Services (
  • Panic buttons:  (
  • Public phones:  Located throughout campus. Dial 613-562-5411 free of charge or press the pre-programmed button located under the keypad.   (
  • In person: Visit the Protection Services offices (on main campus, at 141 Louis Pasteur; at Roger Guindon Hallroom 2013; and at other locations on the University’s campuses), or alert a Protection Services officer.

If it is not an emergency (for example, to discuss safety concerns or when the threat or incidence of workplace violence is not imminent)

  • Phone: 613-562-5499 (off campus) or extension 5499 (on campus)

9.         Reports of threats or incidence of workplace violence will be assessed by Protection Services and the Ottawa Police, with assistance as required from other University staff or other University services, such as Human Resources, Health Services, Counselling and Personal Development, the Office of Risk Management and Legal Services.

10.       Reports of threats or incidence of workplace violence will be treated in a confidential manner and in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.


11.       Individuals who engage in workplace violence will be held responsible and will be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment. Criminal and civil proceedings against an individual may also be undertaken, and other measures that are appropriate in view of the individual’s relation to the University may be taken, such expulsion from an academic program and prohibition from entering the University’s premises through the issuance of a notice of trespass.


12.       This Policy must be applied in conjunction with the following, through which the University implements its workplace violence prevention program:

a)         applicable occupational health and safety legislation:

b)         the University’s administrative policies, procedures and directives

c)         the services offered by the University to prevent violence

d)         the collective agreements relevant to the circumstances surrounding an incident of  workplace violence:

Reprisals prohibited

13.       No individual can be disciplined, sanctioned or intimidated for complying with this Policy or for reporting a threat or an incidence of workplace violence. 

Policy review

14.       This Policy shall be reviewed by the University annually and in accordance with the applicable health and safety legislation.

No exception

15.       No exception or amendment may be made to this policy without the approval of the Administrative Committee.

Policy owner

16.       This policy is owned by the Office of Risk Management

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