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Meet the Author: Dave Rebbitt

By Tamara Parris
Published: January 15, 2021 | Last updated: November 4, 2021 03:18:31
Key Takeaways

In this episode of Meet the Author we speak with Author Dave Rebbitt about his book "Harassment and Workplace Violence Investigations: A Practical Guide" and deep dive into topics that stem from our experiences and the groups discussion of the book with co-host Gary Wong.

In this episode of Meet the Author we speak with Author Dave Rebbitt about his book "Harassment and Workplace Violence Investigations: A Practical Guide" and deep dive into topics that stem from our experiences and the groups discussion of the book with cohost Gary Wong.

This book is a plain language guide to assist managers and safety professionals in conducting effective investigations into harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and workplace violence. Learn why this type is vastly different from an accident investigation.


The book contains guidance on the complaint and investigation process followed by selecting an appropriate investigator. There is an entire section on lessons learned from the latest case law in this growing phenomenon.

Click to purchase Book:

Connect with Dave:

Email: [email protected]




00:35:19Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:Great to meet you all. Looking forward to hearing more.
00:47:18Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:And, how can we move beyond wanting to fix harassment issues by putting a process or framework around it, that doesn’t address larger cultural issues in an organization?
00:47:46Tamara Parris:Excellent point!
00:49:53Janice Fingler:Sounds like the space between critical controls and weak signal detection ?
00:52:32Rosa Carrillo:Yes Janice I think we address it too late
00:53:18Rosa Carrillo:Brett that’s my question as well. Can this be handled via a structured process?
00:55:33Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:And - if we need a process for safe reporting, what else do we ALSO need in tandem with this to shift culture?
00:56:21Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:Does viewing harassment as a risk to the business, vs. A risk to a company’s culture/cohesion, fundamentally change our response to harassment? Just curious.
00:57:29Tanya Hewitt:As Pat Lencioni says, Don't assume your leaders are leading the way they want to
00:58:06Rosa Carrillo:Tanya good point
00:58:45Rosa Carrillo:Brett, jump into the conversation.
00:59:28Tanya Hewitt:I just learned of a new term - preference falsification - whereby people will not express themselves in order to go with the flow, not draw attention to themselves, etc. etc.
00:59:37Janice Fingler:Know of situation where complaint when to union. But it involved 2 employees, not employee-manager. A foreign territory for them, too!
00:59:47Rosa Carrillo:Dave’s approach could work to a certain extent, scare managers with the liability
01:00:02Tamara Parris:Yes Tanya, thank you for bring this in.
01:01:15Tanya Hewitt:Leaders are involved in every event: they either 1) do not know, 2) actively endorse or 3) tolerate (they know, but do nothing about it)
01:01:24Tamara Parris:Please do join in the discussion onmic
01:01:41Tamara Parris:we want to hear your thoughts and insights
01:02:52Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:Happy to voice mine when there is an opportunity, perhaps at the end :)
01:02:59Tamara Parris:thank you!
01:05:47Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:My experience in this space (likely less than many on this call), has been that if we ask more obliquely about more broad cultural drivers, we tend to see that harassment is the outcome of other factors in many cases, so by just asking ‘do you experience harassment’, we don’t understand the wider context.
01:08:06Paul Daly:Interesting legislative enactment and potential 'culture shift' here...
01:09:33Janice Fingler:Yes Brett. Can the word "harassment" have different interpretations ? ie. a collage or derivative of other aspects, interactions below the waterline. If we couldn't use that word, how could we understand the risk context.
01:10:20Rosa Carrillo:Thank you Paul for the link!
01:10:31Tamara Parris:Thank you Paul!
01:10:59Tanya Hewitt:I could share a story ...
01:12:25Tamara Parris:Yes please Tanya
01:12:36Tamara Parris:jump in next
01:13:03Paul Daly:Stigma = signal of disgrace (came up earlier in a mental health first aid course I'm on).
01:13:16Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:I also have a question: if you were brought into a company where harrassment/discrimination complaints were occurring, and they wanted you to put together a reporting process… what would your questions for them be? What else would you want to make sure was being implemented, alongside a reporting process? (Can you tell what I’m currently being asked to do? haha)
01:13:20Tamara Parris:thank you Paul
01:13:41Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:A definition I like: Psychological safety is when there’s no cost to being yourself
01:13:51Rosa Carrillo:Mental health first aid is a course? Paul
01:14:40Janice Fingler:THings can be so awful that even the board turns away the person who approaches them. Can't believe it. Some lessons for how covid seemed to "hit" us.
01:15:23Paul Daly:Yes, Rosa. They started in Australia and have now made their way to the UK and Ireland (and I suspect other areas?).
01:16:08Rosa Carrillo:Can you share a link to the course? Paul
01:17:48Paul Daly:the link above gives some background and this one is the adult course -
01:18:34Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:Here’s a local option for mental health first aid in the wilderness:
01:18:49Rosa Carrillo:Thanks Paul!
01:18:50John Huggett:
01:19:03Brett Trainor (she/her), Viewscape:I have to jump off - thanks everyone
01:19:14Tamara Parris:Thank you Brett
01:19:16Rosa Carrillo:Bye Brett. thanks!
01:19:38John Huggett:
01:20:13Paul Daly:That attachment is one of the resources they provide. I can send on the other documents to anybody who has an interest.
01:22:04Janice Fingler:Thanks John for that link. I also recently renewed by St. J ambulance first aid training and noticed that mental health had 2 segments in a 2 day course.
01:22:54Janice Fingler:So true - the "now what" part is never prepared for!
01:24:17Tanya Hewitt:Another good website
01:24:55Paul Daly:Perspective is key imo. Similar to the discussions at the previous session regarding an emergency/crisis - what one person deems 'unacceptable' (including behaviour) may not be deemed unacceptable to another person.
01:25:45John Huggett:
01:26:14John Huggett:I have to jump off... Thank you everyone. Dave, I just bought your book.
01:26:25Tamara Parris:Thank you John!
01:26:51Tanya Hewitt:Absolutely, Paul. In this case that I am describing, she wore this as an identity - as a source of pride, as distinguishing her from everyone else. However, people would not go into the kitchen when she was there, would take the other side of the street that she was on, etc. Many would refuse to go to meetings where they knew she was invited.
01:28:02Paul Daly:It's a really powerful example Tanya. Thanks.
01:28:06Rosa Carrillo:Filing a formal complaint—the process punishes the victim and usually causes more psychological injury.
01:28:37Tanya Hewitt:Absolutely, @Rosa. This is so poorly understood in the general public.
01:28:56Janice Fingler:how does one get investigative experience ?
01:28:57Tamara Parris:Dave Rebbitt's Book link to purchase:
01:29:13Paul Daly:'Whistleblower' has awful connotations, consequences and stigma still attached unfortunately.
01:29:20Rosa Carrillo:I just won a case against my insurance co. I don’t know how long it will take to recover from the bullying
01:30:17Tanya Hewitt:Wow Rosa. Thanks for sharing. I hope you are okay.
01:30:28Janice Fingler:Sometimes I wonder if insurance helps or hinders humans.
01:30:39Rosa Carrillo:I’m working on it Tanya. thanks!
01:33:09Janice Fingler:inspired to read your book on this important topic, Dave!
01:33:24Janice Fingler:Thank you everyone!
01:33:47Tanya Hewitt:Thank you - a very important topic.
01:35:39Paul Daly:'If somebody makes a complaint you have failed' - could that be turned on it's head to 'If somebody makes a complaint, you have high psychological safety and people feel that they can report the complaint?'. The response then matters!
01:38:36Paul Daly:Thanks everyone.
01:38:42Rosa Carrillo:Paul, its a good point but I’m not sure that would happen very often because it is such an unpleasant process.
01:39:19Paul Daly:Legal privilege (here anyway) is often enacted.
01:39:40Paul Daly:Where the document has been drafted in contemplation of litigation.
01:41:21kim.webber:Thank you!!


Our Guest

Dave Rebbitt is the author of "Harassment and Workplace Violence Investigations: A Practical Guide".

Leader, critical thinker, visionary, best selling author, writer, speaker

Dave is the CEO of Rarebit Consulting offering consulting services throughout Canada. With over 30 years of experience in health and safety, he has managed safety departments for many large companies, building and implementing several management systems. His career has seen a long list of accomplishments and firsts.

He has led major investigations, investigation teams, and supervised thousands of investigations in occupational health and safety, harassment and even technical failure investigations during his technical career in the military. Dave us also a licenced investigator.

He is the most published author, on safety, in Canada publishing blogs, books and peer-reviewed safety articles in international journals. His books, Effective Safety Committees (2018) and Harassment and Workplace Violence Investigations (2020), are unique in Canada and offer the only practical guidance in these areas.

As one of Canada’s leading safety professionals, Dave is a member of the Board of Governors for the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) and the Women in Occupational Health and Safety Society (WOHSS). He has also been a member of the Board of Directors for the Alberta Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB). He leads two national task forces on behalf of BCRSP.

Dave has a master’s degree in business administration and completed the first international research project on safety professionals in 2012, exploring the affect of safety professionals on traumatic fatality rates in three countries. It is a document widely referenced and giving rise to an international competency framework for safety professionals and practitioners through the International Network of Safety & Health Professional Organisations (INSHPO).Dave has taught a wide variety of courses at the University of Alberta in investigations, incident causation, and management systems. His peer reviewed articles explore issues at the cutting edge of today’s world of safety.

Dave is also a veteran, having served over 20 years in the Canadian Forces in various capacities, including the head of a nationwide safety program for training facilities.

In his spare time, he writes science fiction novels

Regular Hosts are:

Gary Wong, Complexity Facilitator at Gary Wong & Associates, Bachelor of Applied Science, Masters of Business Administration, safety and organizational change from a complexity perspective.

Tamara Parris, Community Development, Bachelors of Social Work, Occupational Health and Safety, and Emergency Management.

Rosa Carrillo author of The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership, safety leadership consultant, MS in Organizational development.

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Written by Tamara Parris

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Tamara Parris is the VP of Community and Business Development at Safeopedia, and owner of EHS Professionals Group on LinkedIn. Her passion is working with other EHS Professionals to collaborate in thought leadership, networking and connecting our industry peers to resources that will increase profitability and safety practices within their workplaces. Tamara has been in the Health and Safety field for over 20 years, her industry experiences include the Construction sector, CCTV and Security, and Commercial Retail industries.

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