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Keeping Health Care Professionals Safe on the Job

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Keeping Health Care Professionals Safe on the Job

Ontario Moving Forward with Recommendations to Prevent Workplace Violence

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 today. 

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:

  • Developing resources and supports to help hospitals create a psychologically safe and healthy workplace based on the Canadian Standards Association
  • Creating a campaign aimed at increasing awareness and preventing workplace violence amongst health care professionals, including nurses
  • Increasing supports for patients with known aggressive or violent behaviours
  • Creating reliable reporting systems for workplace violence incidents
  • 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.

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.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Violence claims make up 11 per cent of the lost-time injuries in hospitals.

Additional Resources


“Violence in our workplaces will not be tolerated. Progress on workplace violence in health care cannot wait — it is an urgent and serious issue. Together, our government and all its partners in the health care sector and the occupational health and safety system need to ensure workers have a safe and healthy workplace, and ensure they will return home to their loved ones safe and sound after a hard day’s work. By putting forward these recommendations, Ontario is moving towards delivering real, positive change for our health care workers.”

Kevin Flynn

Minister of Labour

“Workplace violence is never acceptable. Our government is committed to continuing to work with our health sector partners to prevent workplace violence and ensure that patients and health care providers have the supports they need.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Violence cannot be tolerated in our workplaces. The workplace violence progress report is a step in the right direction to prevent violence in health care. I look forward to the continued development of practical solutions to ensure health care workers and our patients are safe.”

Linda Haslam-Stroud

RN, President, Ontario Nurses' Association

“Ontario hospitals strive to create and maintain a safe work environment for all employees, enabling high quality care to patients and clients. I am proud of the ongoing commitment shown by our member hospitals and partners in preventing workplace violence. No one should be subject to violence in the workplace.”

Anthony Dale

President & CEO, Ontario Hospital Association

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