Human Resources Legislative Update

Ontario to Move Forward with Recommendations on Preventing Violence in the Healthcare Sector

Human Resources Legislative Update

Ontario to Move Forward with Recommendations on Preventing Violence in the Healthcare Sector

Date: May 16, 2017

The Ontario government has announced that it will be moving forward with certain recommendations from the Workplace Violence Prevention Care Report (Report), released on May 15, 2017, to enhance safety in hospitals and to reduce incidents of workplace violence across the healthcare sector.

Among other things, the government will be consulting with stakeholders on the following recommendations:

  • create transition teams to assist and advise on implementation of workplace violence prevention in hospitals
  • create a workplace safety standard for healthcare workplaces
  • amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to allow a designated member of the joint health and safety committee to be included in certain workplace violence investigations
  • amend the OHSA to require certain information be provided to workers who experience workplace violence
  • provide more clarity on a nurse’s right to refuse to provide care to patients in situations involving workplace violence
  • require post-secondary institutions to provide students with training on workplace violence and prevention
  • develop minimum training standards for those providing security in hospitals
  • address various issues relating to workplace violence incident reporting systems
  • create communication protocols between hospitals and external care environments to minimize the risk of violence to healthcare workers and patients
  • expand the existing protocol with respect to receiving an incoming patient for psychiatric assessment.

Further to the recommendations in the Report, the following activities are underway:

  • promotion of the use of Public Service Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) Violence, Aggression and Responsive Behaviour tools in Ontario hospitals
  • ensuring the adequacy of risk assessments conducted by hospitals by amending Ministry of Labour Policy and Procedure Manual
  • posting information about Ministry of Labour fines under $50,000 against healthcare employers.

Among other things, the scope of work and timelines with respect to the following recommendations are being developed:

  • develop resources to help hospitals create a psychologically safe and healthy workplace
  • in consultation with PSHSA and stakeholders, create tools to support, among other things, incident reporting and investigation, code white and patient transit
  • provide more supports for patients with known aggressive/violent behaviour.

The government has already implemented the recommendation to provide more details regarding legislative compliance and requirements in the workplace violence section of the Ministry of Labour healthcare sector plan.

Hicks Morley will continue to monitor these recommendations and will provide updates as they become available.