(Black Press File)

Colony Farms hospital hit with largest WorkSafeBC penalty in history

B.C. Nurses’ Union release says violent attacks still occur at the site

WorkSafeBC has levied its largest ever penalty against the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.

The union representing workers at the Colony Farm hospital announced Thursday the compensation board has issued a more than $600,000 fine against it.

The administrative penalty, $646,304.88 all told, covers two separate incidents in spring 2018 when BC Nurses’ Union members were assaulted because the “employer failed to maintain a safe workplace for staff and failed to assess and control the risk of violence at the site,” the release said, adding that the assaulted nurses remain physically and mentally traumatized.

READ MORE: 2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

READ MORE: Union calls for more security at Colony Farm hospital following staff injuries

The hospital, which treats people who are deemed unfit to stand trial or are found not criminally responsible because of mental illness, has had longstanding issues related to workplace violence, including a stabbing in 2012. It has the highest number of violent incidents with time loss-related injuries across the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Despite increased security and staffing changes announced by the PHSA in September 2018, violent attacks on members and staff still occur at the site, the union said.

READ MORE: Increased security, staffing changes coming to Colony Farms

“We support WorkSafeBC’s decision to impose the administrative penalty, as this validates the concerns nurses have been documenting and reporting for years,” said president Christine Sorensen.

“If nurses do not feel they are safe from physical attacks, they cannot focus their attention effectively on the patients’ health-care needs.”

While the union said the employer is moving in the right direction with the hiring of forensics officers, “they need to act with more urgency.”

READ MORE: Staff member allegedly assaulted by patient at Colony Farms

For its part, the union said it’s reviewing the penalty and considering its options, including the ability to request that the funds be reinvested into safety and violence prevention.

Further penalties can be issued to the PHSA the next time a nurse or health-care worker is assaulted, the release said.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sisters, sexual abuse and one Surrey family’s bond in new movie ‘Because We Are Girls’

Cloverdale’s Jeeti Pooni led effort to create the documentary, set to debut at festivals

Surrey Historical Society holds ‘memory social’ Sunday

Gathering will be a chance to offer, share stories

Drowning victim fondly remembered

Immigration consultant Jay Atienza Razon, who worked out of Newton, drowned in a kayaking accident March 29

Khan Michael Bourne, of Sechelt, shot dead in Surrey

Police say Bourne was found laying on the ground, with gunshot wounds

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read