B.C. psychiatric hospital fined $650,000 for failing to protect its workers

The fine is the largest such administrative penalty

WorkSafeBC has fined the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital almost $650,000 for failing to protect the safety of its workers.

The workplace safety agency says the fine is the largest such administrative penalty and was imposed because the hospital in Port Coquitlam didn’t ensure the safety of its workers with adequate risk assessments, policies and training to prevent violence.

The hospital is a 190-bed facility that treats and rehabilitates people who come into contact with the law but are deemed unfit to stand trial or not criminally responsible for a crime because of a mental disorder.

READ MORE: 2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

The BC Nurses’ Union says the penalty stems from separate incidents involving nurses last year and that both nurses remain physically and mentally traumatized by the attacks.

WorkSafeBC says in a statement that the same employer has received an administrative penalty for related violations in the last three years.

The Provincial Health Services Authority says it has been working with the union and WorkSafeBC to address safety issues at the hospital and has made improvements since the incidents occurred last spring.

READ MORE: South Okanagan man who attacked his doctor wins appeal

“Staff safety is paramount to us and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure we provide a safe working environment for our staff,” Lynn Pelletier, vice-president at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, said in a statement.

It says the improvements include hiring more security and clinical staff, adding more clinical supervision and upgrading the facility.

The union says the fines validates concerns that nurses have been reporting at the facility for years and the employer is now moving in the right direction by hiring forensic safety officers.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nanaimo Boat Show full of ideas about how to get out on the water

Show takes place Sept. 19-22 at Waterfront Suites and Marina on Stewart Avenue

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates try to chart a path to victory

Conservatives, NDP, Liberals set sights on votes needed to unseat Green incumbent

Andrew Scheer makes campaign stop in Parksville

Federal Conservative leader talks tax cuts, environment

Nanaimo remembers Terry Fox and runs for his cause

Terry Fox Run was held Sunday at Bowen Park

Regional District of Nanaimo losing forest, farm lands

Growth strategy report shows mixed results relative to regional district’s goals

Nanaimo remembers Terry Fox and runs for his cause

Terry Fox Run was held Sunday at Bowen Park

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Clippers earn five out of six points in BCHL action

Nanaimo splits with Alberni Valley, beats Chilliwack

UVic students killed in Bamfield bus crash were from Winnipeg, Iowa City

Authorities said the two victims were a man and a woman, both aged 18

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Most Read