“Respect in the workplace is the core value that drives safe and healthy workplace cultures to new standards.” – Paul Kells

Workplace bullying is prevalent and the research demonstrates the negative impact it has on productivity, cost of doing business, morale, health, safety and what we take from work back home to our loved ones.


  • 50% of all the people employed in this country will tell you they’ve been bullied at work
  • 1 out of 3 report health problem because of bullying – causing sick days, stress leave, insurance claims, and even some lawsuits
  • Another 1 out of 3 quit their jobs because they have been bullied or have seen it happen to someone else

Other employees are impacted too; lower morale, distrust, time spent dealing with the conflict equals lost productivity, cost and wasted energy. We need to prevent workplace bullying before it happens so that our people can focus on and be fulfilled by their work in a creative, productive, positive environment. The story does not end or start with bullying and the harm caused by intentional or unintentional abusive behaviours. Power imbalances also come in more subtle forms that conceal other potential risks. Vulnerable people, such as new and young workers or immigrants (or anyone else who might be inhibited in some way because they are on the wrong side of a power imbalance) are less likely to speak up when they feel uncomfortable. They may be too eager to accept projects for which they are unprepared in order to prove their worth.  

It is well known that new and young workers are far more at risk in their first three months on a new job. The failure to account for the barriers inherent in power imbalances are crucial for their co-workers, managers, supervisors and safety professionals to understand and address.

A new topic for health and safety professionals, managers, supervisors and joint health and safety committee members, Respect Matters represents a new way of thinking about safety. There is a high risk of injury, both mental and physical, when people do not report hazards and inappropriate behaviours. Often people make these choices because of power imbalances. Managers, supervisors and peers need to understand and recognize these imbalances in order to reduce the risks. Following this session, audience members will leave with:

  • A deeper understanding of physical and mental health risks associated with distractions from inappropriate behaviour, whether intentional or unintentional
  • Knowledge of the underlying causes and effects of power imbalances
  • Insights about how such power imbalances impact orientations of new and young workers
  • Techniques that managers and safety professionals can apply to reduce risks and address power differences
  • Crucial understanding about the importance of educating ALL bystanders to help eliminate bullying, harassment and discrimination

We are exploring partnerships with safety organizations across Canada. If you are interested in bringing the Respect Matters workshop to your area, please contact April at 902.449.2799 or via email