Following the release of a member poll on workplace violence earlier in the month that revealed more than two out of three healthcare workers had been physically assaulted at least once in the past year, a new study by Jim Brophy, Margaret Keith and Michael Hurley conducted for the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OHCU) and CUPE provides a stark picture of how this toxic environment impacts Ontario hospital staff physically, psychologically, interpersonally and financially.
Urging the Prime Minister to amend the Criminal Code to make it a more serious offence to assault a health care worker (as was done to protect transit workers) and discourage gender-based violence, the OCHU identified key factors contributing to increased assaults by patients and visitors as “funding cuts and understaffing, a lack of respect for the workforce and a workplace culture that normalizes violence.”
In CBC’s The Current (Nov. 27), host Anna Maria Tremonti interviews study lead, Jim Brophy (read transcript or listen to podcast), while Global TV Toronto interviewed co-author Michael Hurley, OCHU President on the study findings:
The report was also subject of a question in the Legislative Assembly Monday, with the Minister of Labour responding on progress of the ongoing workplace violence prevention leadership table
South of the border, where health are workers are nearly five times more likely to become victims of violence than workers from all other industries combined, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has just sought the extension of a related violence research project. The study seeks to determine, in the six states that have enacted legislation requiring workplace violence prevention programs, how effective the laws of are in reducing violence against healthcare workers.
- Brophy, James T., Margaret M. Keith & Michael Hurley. 2017 Sep. 12. “Assaulted and Unheard: Violence Against Healthcare Staff.” New Solution