Assaults on Healthcare Workers on the Rise

October 16, 2018, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been to a hospital, urgent care clinic or doctor’s office lately then you have likely noticed code of conduct signs liberally posted. The reason for this is that assault rates on healthcare workers have soared in the last several years. The problem is huge 68% of nurses and PSQ in the province have reported an incidence of physical violence at least once on the job in the last year according to the Toronto Star.

Health care work has always been hard work and the risk of injury has always been high. Advancements in technology have meant that musculoskeletal injuries have decreased significantly (back injuries from lifting patients) but the rate of injury is still higher than in manufacturing and construction. Falls and exposures to chemical and biologics is also a source of injury and again at higher rates than in construction and manufacturing.

Workplace violence however is the factor that has become increasingly significant and unacceptable. According to the Ontario Nurses’ Association Workplace violence injuries were up 6.45 in 2014 to 680 nurses being assaulted while at work. This does not include the other healthcare staff who are also assaulted.

According to the ONA blog:

The Endless List Of Workplace Violence Incidents That Are Happening In Ontario Health Care Settings Is Nothing Less Than Horrifying.

Workplace violence happens every day. On every shift. In all health care settings: hospitals, long-term care facilities, in the community. Registered nurses and other health care professionals face precarious and dangerous situations on the job each day.

Many health care professionals say that being pushed or spat on or kicked is part of the job. The Ontario Nurses’ Association is here to say that workplace violence should NOT be part of our job.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association aims to eliminate workplace violence. When you’re not safe, neither are your patients, clients and residents. We are here to help. We are here to take action. We need your stories. We may use them — and the information from your bargaining unit leaders — to protect you from violence at work.

Medical professionals’ site many factors for this increase. In hospital, first responder, and urgent care settings the drug epidemic is cited as a leading factor in the assaults. Many drugs make individuals’ behaviors erratic, explosive and unpredictable.

Health care staff are highly trained individuals who are trying to help people who are injured. They deserve our respect not violence. When they are injured on the job it costs everyone time, money, health and care.


Posted under Accident Benefit News, Disability Insurance

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