Tireless pressure from ONA results in several Occupational Health and Safety Act charges laid against Southlake Regional Health Centre
January 20, 2020
TORONTO, January 20, 2020 – After nearly one year of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) calling for action, charges against Southlake Regional Health Centre have finally been laid for a critical workplace violence incident involving a registered nurse and a security guard.
The Ministry of Labour has charged Southlake with nine counts under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Seven counts allege breaches of Section 25(2)(h) of the Act regarding taking every precaution reasonable, and two counts allege breaches of Section 25(2)(a) regarding providing information, instruction and supervision to a worker.
These charges relate to the January 2019 incident in which a registered nurse was viciously attacked in a workplace violence incident at Southlake. A security guard was also injured.
“ONA worked tirelessly, pressuring the Ministry and the Attorney General to press charges against this employer for its gross disregard of the OHSA, and its obligation to protect staff and patients,” ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN, notes. “It is clear that the inspectors have worked diligently to gather the evidence to support these charges.”
“Ever since the attack occurred, ONA tried repeatedly to convince the hospital to put several measures in place to protect workers and their patients to no avail,” McKenna adds.
“We are hopeful that these charges will set a precedent for other employers in the province in that they must do everything under the Act to protect and safeguard workers and patients,” she says. “These charges would not have happened without the continuous advocacy of ONA and our members.”
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.