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Urgent, serious approach to workplace saftey for nurses

Urgent, serious approach to workplace saftey for nurses needed, says NZNO

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) says Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) needs to get serious about enforcing a zero-tolerance approach to violence in the workplace if the now regular assaults against nurses are to stop. It says the two recent incidents in which nurses have suffered serious injury and harm must be more than a wake-up call for CDHB and WorkSafe that something urgent needs to be done.

NZNO Organiser John Miller said it is absolutely unacceptable for anyone to feel scared to go to work because they could be stabbed, burned, beaten, punched or strangled.

"Surely this is going to negatively affect the quality of the care they can give.

"We have been speaking out about the safety of nurses and other staff in the workplace for years. NZNO has also been working for some time to support security, safety and good practice environments for it members at CDHB.

"This has included participating on working groups that have made recommendations to CDHB around issues such as employing security guards and urgently funding and pursuing improved practice environments to make inpatient settings safer.

"CDHB’s acute mental health services has been under pressure for some time with an increase in acute mental health presentations which require modern safer in-patients facilities to be developed and funded. This must be given high priority.

He said NZNO is also calling on WorkSafe to step up and take an urgent proactive approach to violence in the workplace for all health workers.

"Where is WorkSafe’s involvement in all this? We know WorkSafe has had serious assault reports from CDHB’s Specialist Mental Health Services, and there have been more than enough publically reported incidents that should be triggering ‘WorkSafe’s involvement.


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