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Working with Employees, Physicians, Learners and Volunteers

Improving staff safety in community emergency departments

Dog 9

Improvement comes from learning. In the fall of 2016, government, along with NSHA, CUPE, Unifor, NSGEU, WCB, AWARE-NS, Paladin Security, police services, the Department of Labour, the Department of Health and Wellness, formed an ad hoc working group on safety protocols, as a result of a safety incident at Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Middleton. The group was tasked with making recommendations, focused on violence reduction, to improve workplace safety for employees, patients and visitors in the 26 community emergency departments.

The group reviewed best practice in violence prevention within the province and across Canada, examined available data on injuries, and conducted an environmental scan of existing policies and practices within community emergency departments. A consensus was reached on 12 recommendations and the report Improving Workplace Safety in Nova Scotia’s Community Emergency Departments was submitted to the Minister of Health and Wellness on Jan. 13, 2017. It was released publicly on Jan. 20, 2017 and is available at: http://novascotia.ca/dhw/publications/Community-ed-safety-protocols-report.pdf

NSHA is working on recommendations and has initiated a joint health and safety advisory group in partnership with the four unions that represent our employees.