The Vancouver Island Health Authority does not adequately protect its workers from violent patients, according to WorkSafeBC.
The agency has issued nine corrective orders after investigating three cases of violent assaults by a psychiatric patient.
In one case, a psychiatric nurse was beaten so badly by a patient she remains off the job, 18 months after the incident.
In 2010, the same patient attacked a mental health worker, security guards and a fellow patient.
Two investigations by WorkSafeBC concluded VIHA staff members were not trained to protect themselves against attack and that information regarding a patient’s violent past wasn’t accessible to staff.
The head of VIHA’s residential psychiatric services, Kathy Reid, said short-term measures are now in place.
She also said a more detailed plan will be presented to WorkSafeBC officials at a follow-up meeting later this month.
At the moment, Reid said, there is no dedicated budget for reducing workplace violence.
“We need to do what we need to do to meet these orders, and we will just have to find the money,” said Reid,
This isn’t the first time VIHA has been cited by WorkSafeBC.
The health authority was fined more than $225,000 for not complying with WorkSafe orders on other violent incidents at hospitals in Nanaimo and Tofino.
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