Last week our firm had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Annual Bob Derby Charity Golf Tournament, which is hosted by MoveUP. The tournament supports the Red Shirt Foundation, an organization with a mission to stop workplace violence by providing resources and tools to assist with creating healthy, safe workplaces. Jane Lindstrom and Marlene Lunn (pictured above) attended the tournament on behalf of the Red Shirt Foundation and spoke about the important work they are doing on this front.
The Red Shirt Foundation was born out of the tragic deaths of Michael John Lunn and Fred McEachern, who were shot and killed in 2014 at the Nanaimo mill where they worked by a former employee. Michael was the plant chairman for his union and was active in protecting the workers’ rights and advocating for safety at the mill. The gunman’s trial is scheduled to begin shortly.
As we heard from Jane, Marlene, and Fred’s family, the loss of these men in this manner was heart-breaking and they are missed daily. Tragically, these deaths may have been preventable and the Red Shirt Foundation continues to work towards preventing and eradicating workplace violence. You can support their work by being a leader against violence in your workplace and by donating to the Red Shirt Foundation’s important work.
Unlike Ontario, British Columbia does not require employers to have workplace violence policies and procedures. The Ontario occupational health and safety legislation requires employers to proactively address violence from all possible sources, including customers, employees, and domestic partners. As part of this, Ontario employers must assess the risk of workplace violence that may arise from the nature, conditions or type of work or workplace, and develop measures and procedures to control the identified risks.
While British Columbia joined Ontario in requiring employers to proactively address and prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace, B.C. has not extended these same requirements to addressing and preventing violence in the workplace.