Health & Safety
AT WORK FOR
EVERY WORKER IN BRITISH COLUMBIA HAS THE RIGHT TO WORK IN A SAFE & HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT.
THE RIGHT TO KNOW
THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE
THE RIGHT TO REFUSE UNSAFE WORK
The right to refuse unsafe work if the worker reasonably believes the task or environment is dangerous to their own health and safety or to another worker.
THE RIGHT TO WORKER PROTECTION IN RELATION TO PROHIBITED ACTION
CUSTOMER VIOLENCE IS NOT PART OF OUR JOB
Customer violence and abuse is fast becoming one of the most prevalent issues in retail workplaces.
Workplace violence is “the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that the worker is at risk of injury.”
When a customer engages in behaviour such as yelling, swearing, name-calling, stalking (or cyber-stalking), making verbal or physical threats, or physical violence towards a retail worker, they are engaging in violence in our workplaces.
Putting up with customer violence and abuse is not part of any retail worker’s job.
With our Not Part of Our Job initiative, we are engaging UFCW Local 247 members to raise their voices. By educating and empowering our members, we want to promote better enforcement of health and safety laws and push retail employers and legislators to take all necessary action to create safer workplaces for all retail workers in BC.
WHAT TO DO WHEN CUSTOMERS BECOME VIOLENT
There are some practical steps retail workers can take when customers become violent or abusive, including:
- Getting to safety
- Contacting management or 911 emergency services. It is often appropriate to call 911 in these situations.
- Getting First Aid, if needed
- Reporting the incident to your Union (UFCW 247 Workplace Violence Reporting Form or by phone at 1-800-667-2205), WorkSafeBC Prevention Services (Online or by phone at 1-888-621-7233), and Your Supervisor/Manager.
If you have been injured, be sure to report it to WorkSafeBC (Online or by Teleclaim at 1-888-967-5377). Remember, an employer telling you to not report a workplace injury or disease is against the law.
- Getting help to deal with the trauma-related impacts of workplace violence, whether through a doctor’s referral to mental health services, your employer’s confidential Employee Family Assistance Program (if available), or WorkSafeBC’s Critical Incident Response program (Online or by phone at 1-888-922-3700).
HOW TO REPORT A VIOLENT INCIDENT TO YOUR UNION
UFCW Local 247 members can confidentially report an incident of customer violence and abuse to their union by getting in touch with the Union Representative, calling our head office at 1-800-667-2205, or submitting a report online:
Once we have reviewed your report, we will follow-up with you about the situation and work with you on how to proceed. All contact with us is confidential.
SPREAD THE WORD
Ask your Shop Steward or contact your Union Representative about resources available to UFCW 247 members to get conversations going in your store.