Today ACFO honours the Canadian workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness resulting from workplace-related hazards and incidents.

Every person has the right to work in a safe, healthy space. No one should be subject to violence, harassment, threats or verbal abuse, and no one should be forced to work in places that are hazardous to their health. Making work safer for Canadians not only means preventing violence and harassment, it also means eliminating dangerous toxins from the physical work space. For several years ACFO has been engaged in the fight to ban asbestos, a known carcinogen, from federal buildings. This continues to be a priority for us and is something we are especially mindful of today.

Workplace violence can happen once or can be part of a larger pattern. It is common and happens to many workers in Canada, but it is not acceptable nor is it simply “part of the job.”

Together with the Canadian Labour Congress, ACFO is calling on the federal government, in their capacity as both policy-makers and as an employer themselves, to prevent workplace violence and harassment and to make Canada a safer place for workers.

Specifically, we encourage the government to:

  • Move forward with a comprehensive asbestos ban;
  • Develop policies and programs in cooperation with workplace health and safety committees;
  • Offer training to prevent workplace violence, including harassment;
  • Identify workplace hazards and develop an action plan for addressing them;
  • Make it safer for workers to report harassment and violence by implementing anti-reprisal measures, including whistleblower protection;
  • Hire and train more federal health and safety officers; and
  • Recognize domestic violence as a workplace hazard.

If you have experienced violence or harassment in the workplace, please contact Labour Relations at We can advise you of your rights and options going forward. Remember that all conversations with a Labour Relations Advisor are strictly confidential and that ACFO will never take any action without your explicit consent.