Stat Facts: Long-term care workers experience high rates of violence, low rates of reporting incidents

A survey of more than 1,000 long-term care workers in Ontario found almost half regularly experienced physical violence on the job, reports The Star. While 80 percent said they endured acts such as pushing and shoving, 60 percent admitted they experienced sexual harassment.
Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, said, “It’s hard to imagine another environment in which this kind of level of violence would be tolerated.”
The survey was conducted by Toronto-based firm Public Polling for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents 25,000 long-term care workers across the province.
Despite the high levels of workplace violence reported by those surveyed, the poll found that 53 percent of respondents had never filed a formal report with their employer. 
One of the ways unions can help tackle this issue of workplace violence is to encourage health care workers to report any incidents or accidents experienced on the job. USW District 6 Health Care Workers Council have already put some hard data behind these concerns related to safety, creating an online incident reporting system so that they could track the volume and nature of the problems in their workplaces.
The online form asks members questions about the nature of the incident he or she is reporting, including whether it resulted in physical or verbal abuse of a worker. It also allows members to report what they believe to be the root cause of the problem, be it chronic understaffing, understaffing due to sick leave, lack of training, excessive overtime or another cause.
If you’d like to learn more about the union’s efforts to combat workplace violence, please reach out to Tamara Lefcowitz at or contact your district health care coordinator.

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