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Author Archive - David Hyde

David Hyde, M.Sc, CPC is a security and business risk consultant, author and educator with 26 years of broad-based leadership experience. He is principal consultant with David Hyde and Associates and in this role is a trusted advisor to a number of Canada’s top corporations on operational and reputational due diligence matters. Read more

Is driving a bus unsafe? It depends who you ask….

A recent investigation and ruling by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) has found that OC Transpo, the public transit operator in Canada’s capital city, is not doing enough to protect its bus drivers from workplace violence as required under the CLC.

 

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Understanding and addressing crime in the workplace

This column will address the increasingly important subject of crime in the workplace. A review of news headlines across Canada on any given day shows the sheer prevalence and harmful impact of work-related crime. Organizations have a moral and legal obligation to understand the crime threats they face and to take diligent steps in managing crime and security risks.

 

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‘If you see something, say something’ in the workplace

It’s been a month marred by violence and disruption. In recent days we have witnessed the troubling arrests of alleged terrorists in Toronto and Montreal, the heinous Boston Marathon Bombing, a violent takeover robbery and double-shooting at a Toronto bank, the assault of a Port Coquitlam, BC security guard, and sexual assaults at a Toronto community college to name a few. Each of these incidents had (or would have had) an impact on the workplace.

 

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Violence and threats against lawyers is a growing concern in Canada

The shocking death of an Arizona law firm partner last month at the hands of a mediation opponent has shaken up legal communities across North American and has brought the issue of workplace violence in the legal profession to the fore. In Canada, the issue of violence against lawyers has received little attention yet available research and anecdotal evidence suggest that many law professionals face a higher-than-average risk of work-related violence and threats.

 

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Five steps to a successful video surveillance system installation

Many organizations have introduced video surveillance in the name of improving safety and security within workplaces, physical facilities and public spaces. An all-too-common catalyst for the installation or expansion of camera surveillance systems is a crime or security incident that captures the attention of the media, the public, or both. In the immediate aftermath of a crime or other troubling occurrence, there is often pressure on senior decision-makers within the organizations to act swiftly and visibly to recapture the confidence of key stakeholder groups such as customers, shareholders or the public.

 

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Dispelling popular myths about video surveillance in workplaces, facilities and mass gathering areas

The presence of video surveillance cameras has become a normal and often expected part of everyday Canadian life from the workplace to almost every imaginable type of facility and mass gathering area. In the aftermath of crimes or other unsavoury incidents in stores, hospitals, concert halls, office reception areas, school campuses or other facilities, one of the very first questions asked is whether video images have been captured of the offender(s).

 

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Saskatchewan poised to enact the most far-reaching regulation to protect late night retail workers in Canada

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety has announced the enactment of a new regulatory amendment aimed at enhancing the protection of late night retail workers in that province. The new law comes into force on January 1st, 2013, and compels those operating late night retail establishments to conduct a hazard assessment and implement a range of specific crime prevention measures to protect late night retail workers.

 

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New case helps to further define the difference between “workplace harassment” and “legitimate management conduct”

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (“the Board”) has provided additional legal interpretation of workplace harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) in Amodeo v Craiglee Nursing Home Limited, 2012 CanLII 53919 (ON LRB), which was decided on September 19th, 2012. In drawing a clear distinction between “workplace harassment” and “legitimate management conduct”, the Board has provided some welcome direction on this sometimes contentious workplace issue.

 

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What can we learn from recent critical workplace violence incidents?

Under Canadian Occupational Health and Safety legislation, employers are obligated to take all reasonable steps to maintain a safe work environment. In many Provinces (e.g., Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta) as well as the Federal jurisdiction, employers are statutorily obligated to put in place a workplace violence prevention and intervention program (i.e., measures and procedures designed to mitigate the risk of harm from work-related violence)…

 

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The role of ‘threat management’ within a workplace violence prevention and intervention program

A growing body of research suggests that serious acts of workplace violence are frequently precipitated by “warning signs” (i.e., less serious incidents and/or observable “behaviours of concern”). Perhaps the most famous example in the cultural consciousness is the continuing signs of mental instability exhibited by Seung Hui Cho for a number of months prior to perpetrating the mass shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (“Virginia Tech”) in April, 2007.

 

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Navigating the issue of domestic violence in the workplace

Ontario’s recently enacted workplace violence amendment places a legal onus on provincially regulated employers to safeguard employees from the risk of domestic violence in the workplace. Additional jurisdictions are likely to follow suit. In legal terms, domestic violence is increasingly becoming a foreseeable workplace risk. In moral terms, inaction on this growing workplace issue would introduce unacceptable human risk.

 

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Expanded citizen’s arrest law and the Canadian workplace

The Conservative government is poised to enact the first substantive expansion of citizen’s arrest laws in Canada since 1955. The catalyst for the Bill C-26 amendment to the citizen’s arrest section of the Criminal Code of Canada was the 2010 case of Toronto grocer David Chen who faced criminal assault charges after performing a citizen’s arrest of a habitual thief he had seen stealing from his store earlier in the day.

 

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Conducting a workplace violence risk assessment: six common pitfalls

Despite the fact that a significant majority of Canadian organizations are legally obligated to conduct workplace violence risk assessments, it appears that uncertainty and inconsistency are commonplace when it comes to the actual conduct of the assessment. This month, we will take a closer look at workplace violence risk assessments: what they are, what they aren’t, common pitfalls in conducting them and some best practice considerations from the available literature.

 

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Video surveillance and the workplace – Part 2

A mixture of incognizance and apathy often prevails in the private sector when it comes to understanding and applying legal privacy considerations in the installation and use of video cameras…

 

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Video surveillance and the workplace – Part 1

A number of recent, unrelated legal developments have caught my attention in relation to video surveillance, privacy and the Canadian workplace. This blog post is the first of a two-part series that will identify some of these recent developments and consider their broader implications.

 

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