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Ontario Government Elevates Violence Prevention for Health Care Worker

In Ontario more than 550,000 people work at hospitals, long-term care homes and other health care workplaces.  The Ontario government reports that workplace violence in the health care sector costs the health care system about $23.8 million annually for hospitals alone and makes up 10% of the lost-time injuries in hospitals.   Although the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Health Care and Residential Facilities Regulation set out the duties of the various workplace parties to address workplace violence and harassment the Ontario government has decided to take further action to better protect health care workers.

All parties involved have focused on the issue.  The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) has been calling for action at various hospital locations because of the escalation of incidents reported in hospitals including in the emergency department, cognitive units and mental health units. 

The Ontario Hospital Association has stated that the health and safety of its workers is a top priority for all hospital leaders, taking the issue of violence very seriously, and looking at new approaches to enhance workplace violence prevention in addition to existing strategies and programs.

Key stakeholders and experts, including patient advocates will provide advice to the Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Leadership Table that is being established.   The focus will be a three-fold initiative to start.  They will first look at how to prevent violence against nurses in hospitals; then on how to prevent violence against all hospital workers and thirdly with preventing violence in the broader health care sector.

From the advice and recommendations the Ontario government is hoping to develop an implementation plan to (1) make hospitals safer; (2) reduce incidents of workplace violence in hospitals and the broader health care sector; and (3) improve the workplace safety culture with respect to violence.

CCPartners will continue to keep you informed with developments from the Leadership Table and initiatives from the Ontario government.

Please Note: This blog has been prepared as an informational service for our clients and other interested parties. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, a complete statement of the law or opinion on any subject. Although we endeavour to ensure the accuracy of the content, no one should act upon the information provided without a thorough examination of the law after the facts of a specific situation are fully considered.



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