(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

Cancer campaign close to home for firefighters

Annual daffodil drive collects money to fight an illness all too comon in the profession

Langley gymnasts golden at provincials

LGF and Flip City win multiple all-around champion awards

Aldergrove Easter event line-up for families staying local

Easter egg hunts in apple orchards, bouncy castles, facepainting, bunny-petting and more.

Young ukulele players wow Langley audience

The performance highlights several upcoming concerts.

Langley police seek new leads in hit and run cold case

Six years ago, someone struck a young woman with a car and drove off

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Man driving wrong way on Highway 17 ‘seriously’ injured after crash: Surrey RCMP

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Most Read