Hospital  >  Welcome  >  Safety, Quality, Strategy, and Management  >  Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies

Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies

Sunnybrook staff cheering and holding hands

A right to be safe and secure

Violence in the workplace presents a risk to the well being of Sunnybrook staff, physicians, volunteers, patients and visitors. It is everyone's responsibility to prevent violence in the workplace. At Sunnybrook, we strive to create a positive environment with mutual respect and open communication.

In response to Bill 168 (Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace and other matters) Sunnybrook has updated its violence and harassment policies and programs, employee reporting and incident investigation procedures, an emergency response procedure for violent events and a process to deal with incidents, complaints and threats of violence.

Types of abuse include:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Psychological
  • Verbal/Bullying
  • Cyber Bullying
  • Domestic

The hospital has related policies including:

Discrimination and Harassment

  • Sunnybrook is committed to providing a work environment that is free from discrimination, systemic discrimination, harassment, and where the dignity and value of every individual is respected.

Working Alone

  • Sunnybrook has established specific practices and procedures to minimize the risks of injury or violence to staff who, due to the nature of their work, are required to work alone and may require emergency assistance during the course of working alone.

Code White

  • This policy provides guidelines for implementing a patient focused, therapeutic model for interacting with an actual or potential violent or out-of-control person.

Internal Responsibility System

  • Sunnybrook supports a health and safety system with defined and established roles and where all employees are responsible for health and safety in accordance with their position in the hospital and the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Work Refusal

  • Sunnybrook follows the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements for work stoppages when an employee has reason to believe their health and safety is in danger.


  • It is the policy of Sunnybrook that together we will create working environments that welcome the diversity of our workforce and are built on a foundation of respectful behaviour. This ensures that staff, physicians, volunteers and students feel included, experience the reality of belonging, and are able to fulfill their potential at Sunnybrook.