VANCOUVER, April 29 /CNW/ - Safety concerns at health care facilities
operated by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has prompted
the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) to call on the
Minister of Labour to intervene with WorkSafeBC to ensure proper safety
procedures are followed at three of the authority's facilities.
The letter was sent to the minister April 27 by BCGEU president Darryl
Walker. The BCGEU represents employees at the three health care
"We are very concerned about the lack of safety procedures at the Seven
Oaks Mental Health facility," said Walker. "A violent client was placed
in the facility without the proper safety procedures being followed.
"For example, staff were not advised of the potential risk of the client
and VIHA's "Violence Alert Identification Policy" is clearly lacking,"
"I am also deeply concerned that management at Seven Oaks told employees
not to raise their health and safety concerns with their union," Walker
said. "This is not appropriate. Safety is of primary concern to
employees and should be for employers."
Other facilities facing problems include the Eric Martin Pavilion,
Adanac House, Tilicum Apartments and the mental health residential
facilities Empress and Blackwood.
There have been violent assaults on staff at some of the facilities.
"We have written to the minister to intervene since our calls to
WorkSafeBC have had limited success. We understand a WorkSafeBC
investigator went to the Seven Oaks facility on April 21 and we are
anxious to see the report," said Walker.
"Workers have become increasingly frustrated and angry over the growing
number of violent incidents in VIHA operations," said Walker. "Does
someone have to die before something is done?"
VIHA has been sanctioned by WorkSafeBC in the past and has been fined on
a number of occasions.
SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union
For further information:
Brian Gardiner, BCGEU Communications (604) 291-9611