Keeping Oakville’s Health Care Professionals Safe on the Job

Ontario Moving Forward with Recommendations to Prevent Workplace Violence

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Keeping Oakville’s Health Care Professionals Safe on the Job
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About the Author

Kevin Flynn

Kevin Flynn

Kevin Flynn is the MPP for Oakville. He is the Minister of Labour, and has held the following positions: Chief Government Whip, Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, and the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure. He has been involved in Oakville politics since he was elected in 1986.

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Ontario is continuing to enhance safety for health care professionals at work by implementing recommendations from the Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Report, released on May 15, 2017.

Due to the nature of their work, health care workers, including nurses and doctors, face a number of workplace hazards such as exposure to infectious diseases, ergonomic hazards, slips, trips and falls, as well as violence.

Ontario’s Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Leadership Table endorsed 23 recommendations and outlined further practical steps needed to make hospitals safer, reduce incidents of workplace violence in hospitals and across the health sector and change attitudes around safety for health care workers.

Ontario is making progress on a number of these recommendations, including:

  1. Developing resources and supports to help hospitals create a psychologically safe and healthy workplace based on the Canadian Standards Association
  2. Creating a campaign aimed at increasing awareness and preventing workplace violence amongst health care professionals, including nurses
  3. Increasing supports for patients with known aggressive or violent behaviours
  4. Creating reliable reporting systems for workplace violence incidents
  5. Posting information about all government fines against employers in health care under $50,000

The Leadership Table will continue to work on recommendations to help prevent violence against all hospital workers and the broader health care sector.

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Protecting the health and safety of health care professionals is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

“We are committed to providing a safe, healthy and respectful environment for everyone who walks through our doors,” said Sylvia Rodgers, Senior Vice President, Clinical Programs and Chief Nursing Executive. 

“We have an active Workplace Violence & Harassment Prevention Steering Committee and recently launched an awareness campaign aimed at preventing violence in our hospitals and sharing the message that verbal or physical abuse of patients, staff, physicians, visitors or volunteers will not be accepted.  The campaign began during North American Occupational Safety and Health Week and our hope is that it will encourage further conversations around this serious issue.”

QUICK FACTS

  1. Ontario’s Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Leadership Table brought together key stakeholders and experts, including patient advocates, to help develop the recommendations in this report focused on preventing violence against nurses.
  2. Since 2003, Ontario’s annual rate of workplace injuries has dropped by more than 50 per cent, making the province’s workplaces the safest in Canada and among the safest in the world.
  3. The health care sector represents 11.7 per cent of Ontario’s labour market and is the largest sector impacted by violence in the workplace.
  4. Violence claims make up 11 per cent of the lost-time injuries in hospitals.

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