Blog Post #896 – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Fined $80,000 After Workplace Violence

Excerpt from the government of Ontario’s ‘Newsroom’


The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has been fined $80,000 following a workplace violence incident where staff members were physically assaulted by a patient.

On January 14, 2014 a registered practical nurse performing rounds on the night shift was attacked from behind by a patient. This patient had a history of violence and had not been following the prescribed medication plan. The first assault occurred in the hallway of a unit at the Queen Street facility and continued at a second location near the nursing station. A co-worker intervened in the assault and was also injured.

Both workers suffered physical and psychological injuries.

The patient was charged by the Toronto Police Services and convicted for this assault.

CAMH pleaded guilty to failing to develop, establish and put into effect measures and procedures including safe work practices to protect workers in the circumstances on the night shift from workplace violence or the risk thereof posed by a patient .

The fine was imposed by Judge Robert G. Bigelow. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

My opinion

The law(s) in contravention:

CAMH was found guilty as is required by Section 8 of the Health Care and Residential Facilities Regulation (Regulation 67/93) which states,

“Every employer in consultation with the joint health and safety committee or health and safety representative, if any, and upon consideration of the recommendation thereof, shall develop, establish and put into effect measures and procedures for the health and safety of workers.”

CAMH was also found guilty of a contravention of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) section 25, subsection 1(c) which states,

“An employer shall ensure that,

(c) the measures and procedures prescribed are carried out in the workplace.”

The healthcare industry is one of the hardest sectors to put things in place. I was surprised that more safety issues like this one is not heard of more and more. The key factor in all this was the fact that the patient was not on his/her meds and that lack of “competent” supervision was the end culprit.

I would really enjoy finding out what type of permanent corrective action plan was instituted to ensure this did not happen again? If one was designed, then how was it announced and initiated? Was there adequate training in all this?

Yes, I would really be interested in what they found and answered.

Ensure your workplace is a safe place!

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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