Karen Fields


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Occupational Health and Safety




Ontario Government Releases its “Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care” Report

On August 20, 2015, we reported on the Ontario Government’s intention to elevate violence prevention for health care workers.  On May 15, 2017, the Ontario government released its “Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Report”.  This is a joint report of the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and the executive committee and 17 person Leadership Table members that put forward the recommendations.  A full list of the participants is included in the Report.

The Report and its Recommendations has a goal of improving workplace safety culture towards violence, reducing violent incidents and making health care settings safer for both staff and patients.  Implementation will take place in three Phases.  Phase 1 will focus on nurses in hospital settings; Phase 2 will focus on all workers in hospital and long term care homes; and Phase 3 will focus on all workers in the broader health care sector. The Report has 23 recommendations and 13 Tool Kits and resources to assist in the implementation of the recommendations.

The leadership group focused on four components for recommendations:

  1. Leadership and Accountability.Eight recommendations come under this component and include the importing of the CSA standard on psychologically safe and healthy workplaces.We reported on that CSA standard Z1003/BNQ9700-803-5 on October 11, 2012.Also recommended is an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to expand the powers of the joint health and safety committee designated member.With these 8 recommendations, four Tool Kits have been developed to assist in the first phase of the plan.They include:
    1. Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Sustainable Framework;
    2. A Transition Tool Kit;
    3. An Organizational Assessment Tool; and
    4. Workplace Violence Prevention: Program Assessment Checklist.
  2. Hazard Prevention and Control.Nine recommendations come under this component and include recommendations to amend the Ministry of Labour Policy and Procedure Manual to ensure that all risk assessment conducted by hospitals are adequate; to develop additional tools to support incident reporting; patient transfer; work refusal procedures; changes to post-secondary student training to include workplace violence and prevention; and the development of minimum training standards for those providing security in hospitals.
  3. Indicators, Evaluation and Reporting.This component has two recommendations:To ensure that the reporting systems include workplace violence incidents that not only result in physical injuries but psychological as well; and ensuring that the calling of Code White (a code to note a potentially violent situation) is consistent across hospitals and that the call response systems are similar. And,
  4. Communication and Knowledge Translation.This component has four recommendations including the creation of consistent communication protocols between hospital and external care environments; and expanding the existing communication protocol to prepare health care facilities to receive an incoming patient for a psychiatric assessment.

CCP will continue to report on any amendments of the OHSA from these recommendations.    Click here for a list of CCP team members who can assist with all of the OHSA and workplace safety issues.


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