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Nurses at high risk for workplace injury

Workplace injuries can occur in a variety of settings. While construction work sites may be the first locations that many people think about when they consider dangerous workplaces, the reality is, health care facilities can be extremely dangerous to those who work there.

In fact, between 2009 and 2014, WorkSafe BC reported that nurses were the group that filed the most workplace injury claims. The claims arose from regular health care sites, emergency rooms and psychiatric wards. The direct contact nurses have with patients suffering a variety of illnesses can put them at risk of injury, including, for assault.

Recently, the province has decided to fund programs that could help prevent assaults on nures at the workplace. Four locations that provide care to patients, considered to be some of the most challenging, were selected. While this is a good start, the union president for BC Nurses pointed out that there are 12 additional health care facilities that could benefit from programs that prevent violence.

The facilities that were selected will benefit from $2 million that will be used for:

  • an increase in the number of staff members;
  • system panic button and distress system upgrades; and
  • violence prevention training.

While the ultimate goal is of course to eliminate workplace injuries for nurses, they do still happen on occasion. Serious workplace injuries can leave nurses unable to perform tasks associated with their jobs. In these situations it may be necessary to take some time away from work to recover. During that time, it could make sense to file a workplace injury claim with WorkSafe BC.

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