Simon Fraser University recognizes the right of all employees of the university to work without fear and concern for their personal safety. The university is committed to the prevention of violence, and promotes a violence-free environment. Acts of threats and violence against employees are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

What is workplace violence?

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.

Most of us don’t think about being hurt at work through an act of violence. But for many workers, it's a risk that exists every day. In fact, violence is on the rise in B.C. workplaces. Economic conditions resulting in downsizing and re-engineering contribute to the list of circumstances that lead to violence in the workplace. Cashiers, receptionists, counsellors, security guards, faculty and teaching assistants are all examples of people who, through the course of their work, might encounter aggressive behaviour that crosses into the realm of physical violence, or the threat of physical violence.

Safety at work

To increase your safety at work, we encourage the following:

  • Know the location of the nearest telephone and alarm.
  • Know the employees in the surrounding offices and be aware of their hours.
  • If you’re suspicious of people hanging around, receive strange phone calls, or feel threatened, contact Campus Security immediately at 778-782-7991.
  • If you feel uncomfortable after someone enters your workspace, trust your instincts.  Look directly at the person and make it clear you’re in charge and can’t be intimidated.
  • Plan emergency exits, know about safe places and pay phones in your area.
  • Stick to well-lit areas at night and either use the buddy system or call Security for a Safe Walk.
  • If someone you work with makes you uncomfortable, discuss the situation with a co-worker you trust or with the Human Rights Office and plan your response to potential problems.
  • If possible, keep the door leading to your office locked.
  • If you’re working after hours, contact Campus Security for the Lone Worker Program.