Workplace violence is the second leading cause of injury for long-term care workers in B.C.

October 25, 2022 | News

Burnaby, B.C. – Yesterday’s announcement introducing new initiatives to reduce violence in the workplace for healthcare workers in targeted acute care locations is a crucial step in the right direction.

“We applaud this approach to violence prevention for at-risk hospital locations, and we look forward to seeing the review and revisions to the Provincial Violence Prevention curriculum,” said Saleema Dhalla, CEO SafeCare BC. “We would also like to see a focus on supporting existing work underway to support violence prevention in the continuing care sector, as there is a significant opportunity to innovate and build on these initiatives.”

Acts of violence are the second leading cause of workplace injury for long-term care workers in B.C., representing 2,367 cases, or 16 percent of all injuries over the past five years. In 2021 274 injury claims in long-term care involved acts of violence–up seven percent over 2020.

“Workplace violence is a complex issue across the entire health care continuum. In long-term care, it is particularly challenging, and it’s something that we manage every single day,” said Aly Devji, CEO. Langley Care Society. “Our staff care for some of B.C.s most vulnerable people, and it’s critical that they feel safe and secure while they do this important work.”

Workplace violence in long-term care involves many factors that require a comprehensive approach, including risk assessment, training, strategies, and support. The issue of violence towards healthcare workers in long-term care is complicated because those involved in violent acts may be cognitively impaired by dementia and other conditions that impact their behaviour.

“We recently completed a series of educational videos in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society to support staff in long-term care who provide care to residents living with dementia,” adds Dhalla. “These videos compliment our existing supports for violence prevention – including training, resources, and toolkits for the continuing care sector.”

Violence in healthcare is often underreported, but it should never be considered a normal part of the job. In an industry already experiencing critical recruitment and retention issues, all our essential healthcare workers must feel safe coming to work every day.

About SafeCare BC

Established in 2013, SafeCare BC is an industry-funded, non-profit association working to ensure injury-free, safe working conditions for continuing care workers in B.C. SafeCare BC strives to be the industry leader in advancing injury prevention and safety training for long-term care and home support workers. We are committed to improving health and safety within the workplace and responding to the needs and priorities of our members.

Media Contacts

Lisa Thibault | SafeCare BC