Violence risk assessed
As part of ensuring a safe campus environment, the U of S a year ago conducted a violence risk assessment of all of its workplace areas.
The move was prompted by a June 3, 2004 finding by Saskatchewan’s Occupational Health & Safety office that the University wasn’t fully meeting provincial legislation which requires that employers identify any area where a violent incident could occur, that any staff positions at risk of violence be identified, and that measures to minimize risk be identified.
U of S Community Safety Manager Janice Lavoie says as soon as the University received that notice, she and Department of Health, Safety & Environment (DHSE) Director Sunil Choubal developed a process for every department, college and administrative unit on campus to complete an assessment of the risk of workplace violence. A booklet with resource materials, fact sheets and a survey form on violence risk went out across campus in June 2004.
“There’s no better place to identify problems and develop solutions than right within each unit,” Lavoie says.
She says results of the survey showed that people across the University found the workplace very safe, but issues light adequate lighting, office lock-up at the end of the day, and cash-handling procedures needed attention in some cases. The survey also addressed the potential of violence by strangers, customers, co-workers and people in personal relationships with staff.
Lavoie says supervisors and staff across campus did a good job of the assessment and developing site-specific violence prevention plans for their offices. Information on the issue can be found at: www.usask.ca/dhse/community-safety.