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DHB, Allied Security fail assaulted security guard

E tū says Allied Security and the Waikato DHB failed in their duty to protect a hospital security guard who suffered serious injuries in an assault at Waikato Hospital early on Wednesday morning.

The guard was injured after she stepped in to protect nursing staff.

E tū Waikato senior organiser, Iriaka Rauhihi, who has visited the member, says she’s in a bad way in Waikato Hospital’s high-dependency unit, and the union is providing support for her and her family.

“She’s suffered severely, with multiple injuries to her head, face and body, and will require multiple surgeries. It’ll be a long road to recovery and we’re lucky we’re not dealing with a fatality,” she says.

Iriaka says the woman’s family is horrified by what’s happened to her.

“Obviously they are shattered and frightened. They want to know how come she was injured like this and why wasn’t she safe?”

The guard is employed by DHB security contractor, Allied Security which Iriaka says has consistently failed in its obligation to protect its security guards from harm.

She says under-staffing and working weeks in excess of 60 hours are common.

“Our members tell us they’re really tired, over-worked and fed-up. It’s about this employer not putting in the resources and staffing to keep people safe, especially in high-risk areas like Henry Bennett and the Emergency Department.”

Iriaka says Allied is aware of the problems, but won’t address them, raising the question of whether it should be working as a health sector contractor.

She says the Health Sector Relationships Agreement requires Allied to work constructively on issues such as safety, but “Allied doesn’t think it has to be part of it.”

Iriaka says the DHB also has to accept that it too has a duty to ensure a safe working environment.

“We’re calling on the DHB to intervene to ensure the contractor is keeping its workers safe, because at the moment the guards don’t feel safe. They feel overworked and at risk.

“This is a clear example of how unsuitable Allied is in terms of working in the health sector and the DHB needs to reconsider this contractor. Our member has suffered a horrific ordeal which could have been prevented.”

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