February 12, 2020
CRPO would like to advise registrants of a recent incident in the Burlington/Milton/Oakville/Halton Hills area. A Registered Psychotherapist had a brief phone consultation with a prospective client where the client insisted on further consultation in person. When the in person portion of the consultation concluded, the client left the therapist’s office but remained on premises. It is alleged that the client sexually assaulted another person working on the premises.
Individuals working in the health care sector are at greater risk of violence than professionals working in other sectors. As such, CRPO encourages registrants to consider their own safety and the safety of any support staff in their interactions with current or prospective clients.
Being aware of potential hazards, warning signs and how to assess for threats to your own safety are key first steps in preventing violence in the workplace. Establishing procedures to address incidents that could arise in your practice setting is encouraged.
If you have reason to believe that a client presents a risk of serious bodily harm to themselves or another person, please review our Guideline on Disclosing Information to Prevent Harm, available here.
The Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) has put together a number of resources that can be applied in the various practice settings that CRPO registrants are likely to work in. If you work for an organization, it may have already taken steps in this regard. See PSHSA’s series of workplace violence risk assessments here. A tool that can be applied in any sector is available here.
Questions? Please contact our Practice Advisory Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Government of the United Kingdom, Health and Safety Executive. Violence at Work Statistics, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causinj/violence/work-related-violence-report-2018.pdf on February 12, 2020.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/case/ostb4370.pdf on February 12, 2020.