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Not every workplace injury is the result of an accident

There are many common causes of injury at work. These include slips and falls, hazardous equipment, and dangerous work sites. However, some workplace injury sources may not be immediately obvious to an outsider. Several Vancouver-area nurses are entirely too aware of what those sources may be.

In September 2016, a psychiatric patient was moved to a quiet room at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. This patient was known to be aggressive, but the hospital lacked adequate facilities to properly care for him. He became violent with two nurses, despite the presence of a security guard. The following month, a nurse was kicked in the head by a mental health patient who had been brought in by police. These incidents followed a March 2015 incident in which a nurse suffered multiple injuries after a patient attacked her.

An investigation found that 62 violent acts were committed against staff at the hospital between 2008 and 2015. WorksafeBC reports that there are an average of 1,000 incidences of violence against hospital staff each year in British Columbia. Numerous recommendations have been put forth aimed at making hospitals safer places for nurses and other staff, but not all of them have been implemented so far.

Assaults such as these can lead to serious long-term physical difficulties, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. While attitudes toward what constitutes a workplace injury are gradually changing, it may not occur to everyone to seek compensation for their suffering. A man or woman who has been injured at work in the Vancouver area, regardless of the cause, should consider speaking with a lawyer experienced with all manner of labour and employment law for advice and assistance. 

Source: Vancouver Sun, "Violent assaults on nurses by patients continue at Abbotsford hospital", Pamela Fayerman, Nov. 14, 2016

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