Saskatchewan Workplace Violence Prevention Initiative


The aim of a Provincial Violence Prevention Framework and Strategy is to reduce healthcare’s injury rates through targeted interventions; build a stronger culture of safety; promote the adoption of effective violence prevention initiatives; and prevent injuries caused by violence and acts of aggression.

Healthcare workers sustain 14% of all injuries in Saskatchewan. They also account for the highest number of claims submitted annually. It is important to note that many injuries, especially those that are violent in nature are not reported at all and are seen as simply part of the job. The Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) has received funding support from the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) to work with system partners to build and support the implementation of a provincial violence prevention strategy in the province.

The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has identified the healthcare industry as one of the top five rate codes that requires targeted initiatives to assist in the move to achieving a zero workplace injury rate. A best and promising practice out of Ontario has been identified through work with the Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) with the development of the Provincial Violence Prevention Tool Kit. Analysis of this tool kit by the SASWH has shown that the framework and tool kit are built on similar legislative, policy and best practice guidelines as here in Saskatchewan.

The SASWH has a signed memorandum of understanding with the PSHSA to share resources with agreement to maintain quality control and integrity of the resources shared. This workplace violence prevention program fits effectively into the Safety Management System, and it can enhance employee and patient safety, improve the quality of patient care, and promote constructive labour-management relations.

SASWH has established a Provincial Steering Committee to provide guidance on implementation of the Workplace Violence Risk Assessment Tool Kit for use in Saskatchewan. This Committee has representation from various healthcare employers, unions, and education institutions, Workers’ Compensation Board, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Health Quality Council, and the Saskatchewan Medical Association. In November of 2017 the Provincial Steering Committee endorsed the Ontario PSHSA violence prevention risk assessment tools and resources for application in Saskatchewan Healthcare system.

Special thanks and acknowledgement is extended to Henri Van Hulle, Executive Director of PSHSA and her team for the development and sharing of these valuable resources. Our partners and funders in this work are to be applauded for their support for the need for targeted interventions for the prevention of incidents of violence and aggression in the healthcare system.