Workplace Violence Reporting

Road Map to Reporting Workplace Violence

All workers in Ontario have a right to a violence-free workplace. When a violent incident occurs, there are reporting requirements which must be observed. Through accurate reporting, appropriate measured steps can be taken to address violence, leading to a safer workplace for everyone.


To help in determining reporting requirements, the Road Map to Reporting Workplace Violence illustrates the pathways to be followed when documenting a violent incident.

Violence Incident Reporting Requirements

Workplace Violence Report

a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical 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;

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.

      • Completed by the victim(s) within 24 hours of the incident, or as soon as possible following the incident.

      • "A person does not need to have the capacity to understand that their behaviour could cause physical injury to a worker [for their behaviour] to be workplace violence under the OHSA. It is important to identify and manage inappropriate and/or unacceptable behaviours early to minimize the potential for these behaviours to lead to workplace violence."

The Road Map to Reporting Workplace Violence in Ontario School Boards: A Training Resource for Principals and Staff, 2019


Please note that a Workplace Violence Report must be completed even if there is no injury to the victim of violence.

Safe School Incident Report (SSIR)

      • Completed when a student commits a violent act which could lead to possible suspension or expulsion.

        • Behaviours which could lead to possible suspension or expulsion are found in...

-Education Act Sections 306(1) & 310(1)

-Program and Policy Memorandum 144 & 145.

      • In addition to the SSIR, an incident may need to be reported to the Ministry of Education under the criteria identified in PPM 120

      • Completion of this form is not a punitive measure. Mitigating circumstances are considered before application of consequences, if any.


Reporting to the Police

WSIB Reporting

      • Report to the WSIB if:

        • the injury results in the need for treatment beyond first aid or,

        • the worker was unable to go to work, or

        • the worker was paid less or received fewer hours of work.

      • The trauma of violence may also include mental-stress injuries.

      • Click here to file a report with the WSIB.

      • Call the unit office for guidance with this process. (905-574-6483)

Incident/Injury Report

      • Completed by the worker with their supervisor when the incident results in an injury to a worker.

      • A printed copy of the submitted report should be given to the teacher. Please ensure the report is accurate and adequately describes the situation.

Overview of Relevant Legislation and PPMs

Occupational Health and Safety Act - Workplace Violence Defined

OHSA Section 1(1) - “Workplace violence” means,


a) the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical 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;


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.

The Education Act - Section 300.2 - Reporting to the Principal

Reporting to the principal

300.2 (1) An employee of a board who becomes aware that a pupil of a school of the board may have engaged in an activity described in subsection 306 (1) or 310 (1) shall report to the principal of the school about the matter.

Same

(2) An employee shall report to the principal as soon as reasonably possible or, if a different time period is specified by the policies or guidelines, within that time period.

Principal’s duty to investigate

(3) A principal shall investigate any matter reported under subsection (1).

Informing reporter

(4) After investigating a matter reported under subsection (1), the principal shall communicate the results of the investigation to,

(a) if the matter was reported by a teacher, that teacher; or

(b) if the matter was reported by an employee who is not a teacher, that employee unless, in the principal’s opinion, it would not be appropriate to do so.

Same

(5) The principal shall not disclose more personal information under subsection (4) than is reasonably necessary for the purpose of communicating the results of the investigation.

Education Act - 306(1) - Incidents Leading to Possible Suspension

Activities leading to possible suspension

306 (1) Subject to a regulation made under clause 316 (1.1) (a), a principal shall consider whether to suspend a pupil if he or she believes that the pupil has engaged in any of the following activities while at school, at a school-related activity or in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will have an impact on the school climate:

  1. Uttering a threat to inflict serious bodily harm on another person.

  2. Possessing alcohol, illegal drugs or, unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user, cannabis.

  3. Being under the influence of alcohol or, unless the pupil is a medical cannabis user, cannabis.

  4. Swearing at a teacher or at another person in a position of authority.

  5. Committing an act of vandalism that causes extensive damage to school property at the pupil’s school or to property located on the premises of the pupil’s school.

  6. Bullying.

  7. Any other activity that is an activity for which a principal may suspend a pupil under a policy of the board.


Other Qualifying Behaviours

  1. Any act considered by the principal to be injurious to the moral tone of the school.

  2. Any act considered by the principal to be injurious to the physical or mental well-being of any member of the school community.

Education Act - 310(1) - Incidents Leading to Suspension and Possible Expulsion

Activities leading to suspension

310 (1) Subject to a regulation made under clause 316 (1.1) (a), a principal shall suspend a pupil if he or she believes that the pupil has engaged in any of the following activities while at school, at a school-related activity or in other circumstances where engaging in the activity will have an impact on the school climate:

  1. Possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm;

  2. Using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;

  3. Committing physical assault on another person that causes bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner;

  4. Committing sexual assault;

  5. Trafficking in weapons or in illegal drugs;

  6. Committing robbery;

  7. Giving alcohol or cannabis to a minor;

  8. Bullying (if the student has been previously suspended for engaging in bullying and the student’s continuing presence in the school creates an unacceptable risk to the safety of another person);

  9. Any activity listed in subsection 306(1) that is motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate;

  10. Any other activity that, under a policy of a board, is an activity for which a principal must suspend a pupil.


Other Qualifying Behaviours

  1. An act considered by the principal to be significantly injurious to the moral tone of the school and/or to the physical or mental well-being of others.

  2. A pattern of behaviour that is so inappropriate that the student’s continued presence is adjudged to be injurious to the effective learning and/or working environment of others.

  3. Activities engaged in by the student on or off school property that cause the student's continuing presence in the school to create an unacceptable risk to the physical or mental well-being of other person(s) in the school or Board.

  4. Activities engaged in by the pupil on or off school property that have caused extensive damage to the property or the Board or to goods that are/were on Board property.

  5. Any act considered by the principal to be a serious violation of the requirements for student behaviour and/or a serious breach of the Board or School Code of Conduct.

  6. Where a pupil has no history of discipline or behaviour intervention or no relevant history, a single act, incident or infraction considered by the Principal to be a serious violation of the expectations of student behaviour and/or a serious breach of the Board or School Code of Conduct.


Occurrences Requiring Police Response

Mandatory Notification of Police

  • At a minimum, the police must be notified of the following types of incidents:

    • all deaths;

    • physical assault causing bodily harm requiring treatment by a medical practitioner;

    • sexual assault;

    • robbery;

    • criminal harassment;

    • relationship-based violence;

    • possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm;

    • using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person;

    • trafficking in weapons or in illegal drugs;

    • possessing an illegal drug;

    • hate and/or bias-motivated occurrences;

    • gang-related occurrences;

    • extortion;

    • non-consensual sharing of intimate images; and

    • bomb threats.


Discretionary Notification of Police

  • Police response may also be needed in connection with the following types of incidents:

    • giving alcohol to a minor;

    • being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs;

    • threats of serious physical injury, including threats made on social networking sites or through instant messaging, text messaging, email, and so on;

    • incidents of vandalism; and

    • incidents of trespassing.

PPM 144 - Bullying Prevention and Intervention

The purpose of PPM 144 is to provide direction to school boards on policies and guidelines concerning bullying prevention and intervention.


Key Highlights

  • Any employee of the board who becomes aware that a student at a school of the board may have engaged in a serious student incident shall report the matter to the principal as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than the end of the school day.

  • Reports must be made in writing to the principal using the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form – Part I.

  • Employees must take seriously all allegations of bullying behaviour and act in a timely, sensitive, and supportive manner when responding to students who disclose or report bullying incidents.

  • If a employee has reason to believe that a student may be in need of protection, a call must be made to a children’s aid society according to the requirements of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act.

  • The principal must investigate all reports submitted by board employees and then communicate the results of the investigation to the teacher who made the report. If the employee is not a teacher, the principal will use their discretion when communicating the results of the investigation to that employee.

  • In all cases, the principal must provide the employee who reported the incident with written acknowledgement, using the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form – Part II

PPM 145 - Progressive Discipline and Promoting Positive Student Behaviour

The purpose of PPM 145 is to provide direction to school boards on their policies and guidelines concerning progressive discipline.


Key Highlights


Incident Response

  • Board employees who observe serious student incidents and/or any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour that is likely to have a negative impact on the school climate must respond to the violence and must report it in writing to the principal when, in the employee's opinion, it is safe to do so.

  • The incidents could occur any time at school and at any other school-related event.

  • Such inappropriate behaviour may involve bullying, swearing, homophobic or racial slurs, sexist comments or jokes, graffiti, or vandalism.

  • Potential responses to behaviours:

    • asking a student to stop the inappropriate behaviour.

    • naming the type of behaviour and explaining why it is inappropriate and/or disrespectful.

    • asking the student to correct the behaviour (e.g., to apologize for a hurtful comment and/or to rephrase a comment).

    • etc. There are myriad appropriate way to respond when addressing inappropriate student behaviour that may have a negative impact on the school climate.

  • If an incident involves a student with special education needs (and the employee is aware of this), they are expected to respond in a way that takes into account the student’s Individual Education Plan.

  • Board employees are not required to respond to incidents when, in their opinion, responding would cause immediate physical harm to themselves or to a student or another person. (Ontario Regulation 472/07).

  • Serious student incidents must be reported to the principal in writing using Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form – Part I.

  • Other incidents for which suspension or expulsion would not be considered must be reported to the principal orally as soon as possible.

Incident Reporting

  • Serious student incidents shall be reported to the principal so that the principal becomes aware of any activities taking place for which suspension or expulsion must be considered and to help ensure a positive school climate.

  • Reports shall be given in writing using the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form – Part I.

  • The report must be made to the principal no later than the end of the school day. If an immediate response is needed, the employee may make an oral report, but a written report must be made later.

  • All reports made to a principal shall be investigated.

  • The principal must communicate the results of the investigation to a teacher who make a report. If the employee is not a teacher, the principal will use their discretion when deciding to communicate the results.

  • In all cases, the principal must provide the employee who reported the incident with written acknowledgement, using the Safe Schools Incident Reporting Form – Part II.

  • must report it to the principal no later than the end of the school day. In cases where an immediate action is required, an oral report to the principal may be made.

  • Boards must also follow the direction provided in the ministry document Provincial Model for a Local Police/School Board Protocol, 2015 with respect to incidents that require police notification and response.

PPM 120 - Reporting Violent Incidents to the Ministry of Education

The purpose of PPM 120 is to provide direction to school boards on the development of procedures for reporting violent incidents to the Ministry of Education.


Key Highlights

  • All violent incidents committed by any person on school premises during school-run programs must be reported to the Ministry of Education.

  • If any of the following occur individually or in combination, the incident meets the threshold for reporting to the ministry:

    • possessing a weapon, including possessing a firearm

    • physical assault causing bodily harm requiring medical attention

    • sexual assault

    • robbery

    • using a weapon to cause or to threaten bodily harm to another person

    • extortion

    • hate and/or bias-motivated occurrences

  • Boards must follow the direction in Provincial Model for a Local Police/School Board Protocol regarding notification of the police if any of the above violent incidents occurs.