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New security measures at mental health centre

The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre at its Brockville Mental Health Centre site has been ordered by the Ontario Labour Relations Board to implement new security measures, according to a statement from the Ontario Nurses’ Association.


June 6, 2016
By Canadian Security

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The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) has successfully appealed the Ministry of Labour’s non-issuance of orders to improve the safety and security of RNs and other front-line health-care workers in the forensic treatment unit at Brockville Mental Health Centre.

ONA reports that the centre has been ordered “to install a new electronic and alarm system to summon immediate assistance, provide better staff training and hire properly trained security who must be present in the forensic treatment unit 24 hours a day, seven days week..”

The ONA statement goes on to say security officers will perform routine and random patrols of the care units, respond to emergency codes, and respond as directed by clinical staff. In addition, the hospital must develop a flagging policy and procedure to identify patients with a risk of workplace violence, their behaviours, triggers, control measures and procedures to protect workers.

In addition to the trained security professionals in the forensic treatment unit, ONA says a main security office will be located within that unit, and security cameras installed and monitored. The association says staff training will be improved and include specialized defense from sharp-edged weapons.

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Brockville Mental Health Centre was charged with five infractions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to protect its workers stemming from an incident in 2014 in which a registered nurse was stabbed multiple times in the head and neck by a patient. ONA appealed the orders written by the Ministry of Labour with regard to this incident.

“This employer had been resisting any pressure to take additional measures to keep our dedicated registered nurses and health-care workers safe while they provide quality patient care to these very ill patients,” said ONA president Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “As nurses, we should never have to face violent attacks while providing the care our patients require. Our patients and our RNs will be safer for this decision. Violence is not part of our job.”

ONA is a union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals.