Workplace violence evolving

Glenn French wanted to know the truth. After hearing countless employers saying, “We don’t have that problem here,” he decided to canvass every trade union and labour organization in Canada. He wanted to know if violence in the workplace was an issue.  In the mid 1990s, he mailed surveys to hundreds of unions, from the fishermen in the west to the loggers in the east, and he was overwhelmed with responses.

“I was inundated with the answers to the questions that I sent, but people began to send me information that I didn’t request, such as security reports, occupational heath and safety statistics, near misses, their opinions, their surveys and it was quite impressive,” says French. “Clearly it was an issue of some concern.”

Shortly after, French decided to close his private clinical counselling practice and start the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence, a Toronto consultancy that studies trends in workplace conduct within Canada.

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