MEDIA RELEASE: Improving Safety in Health Care

I WILL REPORT: A necessary first step only

For Immediate Release - August 27, 2018

Saskatoon – SEIU-West leaders have viewed the recent video released by the Saskatchewan Association of Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) leading their campaign for change, # I WILL REPORT. The message being conveyed is an important one and the goal appears to be to encourage health care staff to report occurrences of violence and aggression as they occur.

“The video produced by SASWH to lead their campaign is concerning,” said Neil Colmin, Vice-President of SEIU-West. “Too many of our members experience incidents of violence and aggression.”

SEIU-West members report violent incidents to their employer but there has been no real follow-up process and no resolution.

“You cannot improve safety by simply reporting such incidents,” continued Colmin. “Rather, the employer needs to commit to put a process in place to ensure that these type of incidents do not continue to occur. It is frustrating for our members who continue to report when no actions are taken to improve safety. It really does make us wonder if the underlying message is that the hazards we face daily are just part of the job we do.”

For some time now, SEIU-West leaders have been asking representatives of government, the SASWH, and employers to supply added information about our members who serve on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) committees as well as those health care facilities targeted by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) due to significant injury rates. We have met with mixed success. SEIU-West gathers data from our members regarding unsafe staffing levels; year over year this has become a more significant problem creating risk for patients, clients and residents as well as our members who provide hands-on care.

“While this video focuses upon the acute care setting, Registered Nurses, and primarily their Emergency Room risks, we also hear from our members who provide hands-on care that the risk of injury and incidents of violence and aggression are extremely common in other areas including long term care and home care settings,” added Colmin. “This video does not appear to be inclusive of the so many care providers who face the same abuse from the same client or resident on a daily basis. We have shared our misgivings with SASWH and hope that they will extend their efforts to ensure that our employers do something more than collect reports.”

SEIU-West represents more than 13,000 working people in the province of Saskatchewan. They include members who work in health care, education, municipalities, community-based organizations, retirement homes and other sectors. They are joined by one colour – purple – and one union – SEIU-West. Purple works in our communities! Visit www.PurpleWorks.ca to find out more about the members of SEIU-West.

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For more information, contact:
Christine Miller, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 306-652-1011 ext. 8733

 

Click here to download a printable PDF of SEIU-West Media Release: Improving Safety in Health Care

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