Blog Post #765 – Nurses Charge Unsafe Work

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is arranging to meet with the provincial government and the Ministry of Health develop a strategy physical harm against nurses.

This follows an incident on June 9, 2013 patient physically assaulted one of the nurses and injured three others at the Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ontario.

Linda Haslam-Stroud, ONA president and registered nurse, as data is being firmed up. “But I expect we’ll be getting together to discuss further how to develop some kind of action plan.”

Southlake nurses have requested extra security for dealing with Form 1 patients were considered risks to themselves or to others, nothing was done, Haslam-Stroud claims. Management took away the nurses’ panic buttons months before the incident as they were deemed too expensive, but return the buttons after the attack.

The ONA sought criminal charges against Southlake following the attack. The York Regional Police blades an assault charge against the patient, but filed no charges against the hospital itself.

Constable Laura Nicolle of the York Regional Police says “there were extensive consultations with the Crown’s office, which determined this was an issue of internal policy and didn’t meet the threshold of the criminal offense under section 217.1 of the Canadian Criminal Code.”

Matt Blajer, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Labour, says the ministry is investigating the incident.

Southlake released a statement on July 23, 2013 describing the response of its staff to the attack against nurses as “quick and responsive.” It added that the hospital has since initiated an internal route-cause analysis and contacted the provincial labour ministry.

My opinion

Nurses many times with their lives on the line for us. Never the so unappreciated when a report like this comes forward.

Violence and harassment legislation came into being July 2010 and every sector, including healthcare, must have an active policy and procedure dealing with these issues. Why this hospital did not have one is beyond me.

Ensure your workplaces cichlids ensure you have the workplace safety policy and procedure, violence policy and procedure, and a harassment policy and procedure to better protect your workers. That is the law!

I find that the healthcare industry is the slowest to change and the hardest to deal with. Nurses will tell you that that is pretty well an accurate statement.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Violence and Harassment’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.

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