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Yukon agency reports 'tremendous' support for regulations on workplace harassment

A report from the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board says almost 90 per cent of survey respondents say they have witnessed or experienced violence, harassment or bullying on the job.

Report says many Yukoners have witnessed or experienced violence, harassment or bullying on the job

The Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board conducted a round of consultation on violence and harassment in the workplace in which almost 90 per cent of the respondents said they had witnessed or experienced violence, harrassment or bullying while on the job. (Dave Croft/CBC)

A public consultation on harassment and violence in the workplace shows tremendous support for more prevention, Andrew Robulack, the spokesperson for the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board, said Thursday.

The board did the consultation last year on behalf of the territorial government and released a "what we heard" report this month.

"What we heard during the public engagement was a lot of workplaces experience incidents related to violence and harassment. And we were surprised by the range of workplaces that get to experience these types of events," said Robulack.

He said there's strong support among workers and employers who want guidance from government on prevention.

The board's report has been submitted to the government. It will be up to government to draft new regulations, Robulack said.

The report says it held stakeholder workshops in 2019 that included worker and employer representatives, government, the Yukon Human Rights Commission and community organizations.

Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board spokesperson Andrew Robulack says there's tremendous support in Yukon for measures to prevent violence and harassment at the workplace. (Vic Istchenko/CBC)

A public open house attracted 20 people and an online survey received 88 responses.

The report says more than 90 per cent of the responses agreed there should be new regulations aimed at prevention of workplace violence and harassment.

It says only 12 per cent of the respondents said they had never witnessed or experienced violence, harassment or bullying on the job.

Many Yukon employers have fewer than 10 employees, the report says, and concerns were raised about their capacity to implement and maintain a prevention program.

Other concerns were about confidentiality and retaliation for those who lodge complaints or report incidents.

The report says suggestions for addressing those concerns included training, education, enforcement and hazard assessments.

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