Ontario Taking Action to Better Protect Health Care Workers
Province Creating Leadership Table on Workplace Violence Prevention
Ontario is establishing a Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Leadership Table to better protect health care professionals on the job.
Due to the nature of their work, health care workers face a number of workplace hazards including exposure to infectious diseases, ergonomic hazards, slips, trips and falls, as well as violence.
The members of the Leadership Table will bring together key stakeholders and experts, including patient advocates, to provide advice on how to reduce and prevent workplace violence for health care professionals. To start, the Leadership Table will focus on how to prevent violence against nurses in hospitals, followed by preventing violence against all hospital workers and preventing violence in the broader health care sector.
Based on the advice of the Leadership Table, Ontario will develop an implementation plan to:
- Make hospitals safer
- Reduce incidents of workplace violence in hospitals and the broader health care sector
- Change attitudes toward workplace violence and improve workplace safety culture regarding violence.
Protecting the health and safety of health care professionals is part of the government's four-part plan to build Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Since 2003, workplace injuries in Ontario have decreased by 40 per cent.
- The health care sector represents 10% of Ontario’s labour market.
- Workplace violence in the health care sector costs the health care system about $23.8 million annually for hospitals alone.
- Violence claims make up 10% of the lost-time injuries in hospitals.
“Workplace violence is a serious hazard in the health care sector and that’s simply not acceptable. We need to prevent violence before it happens. I look forward to seeing and acting on the recommendations from the Leadership Table so we can move toward safer working environments where every person working in the health care sector feels safe.”
“Ontario's skilled and compassionate health care workers are our health care system's greatest asset. Ensuring their health and safety in the workplace is of the utmost importance. This Leadership Table will help us to develop an action plan to improve workplace safety for all health care workers.”
“Registered nurses know the hazards they face every day in the workplace. The Ontario Nurses' Association's place at the Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Leadership Table will enable our dedicated Registered Nurses to have a voice and contribute to improvements in safety that will help to keep caregivers and our patients safer.”
Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN
“The health and safety of our workers is a top priority for all hospital leaders. We take the issue of violence in hospitals very seriously. The hospital sector is looking at new approaches to enhance workplace violence prevention in addition to existing strategies and programs. We welcome the government’s commitment to addressing this issue and we look forward to working with them and our union partners and other stakeholders to prevent these incidents from occurring in the future.”