Worksafe BC hands out largest fine in British Columbia history

Forensics Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam, B.C. has been given the largest fine in the history of the province by Worksafe BC.

The penalty? $646,304.88.

BC Nurse’s Union President Christine Sorensen said this comes after two incidents last spring.

“There were two nurses who were working at Forensics Psychiatric hospital [and] were assaulted while they were trying to province care,” said Sorensen. “These two nurses were working in the maximum security unit and those two nurses have continued to suffer the effects of the injuries that they sustained at the time.

“So this is the largest penalty that has ever been issued by Worksafe in the history of the province to an employer for failing to provide a safe work place for their employees.”

Sorensen hopes the hefty fine isn’t removed from the healthcare system.

“In no way did we ever want or request that Worksafe takes the money out of the healthcare system,” Sorensen said. “We would rather that fine, that penalty amount be reallocated and perhaps overseen by Worksafe on specific initiatives to provide a safe work environment.

“The Forensics Psychiatric Hospital, however, is unique because it does represent the highest number of violent incidents that we have in any of the healthcare facilities.”

At least 200 BCNU members work at the facility and Sorensen says safety concerns have been a constant.

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