“Violence in our workplaces will not be tolerated. Progress on workplace violence in health care cannot wait — it is an urgent and serious issue,” Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn said. “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,” Flynn said. 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
“Workplace violence is never acceptable,” Health Minister Eric Hoskins said. “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.”
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.
- 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.