Attack at psychiatric hospital reveals security flaws

Attack at mental hospital reveals security vulnerabilities

The Coquitlam Forensic Psychiatric Hospital is a 190-bed facility.

Several violations of workplace safety rules have been discovered following an attack by a patient versus three employees at the Coquitlam Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in suburban Vancouver last month.

Two of the workers suffered concussions and another suffered back pain following the attack in the facility's kitchen, according to an incident report.

WorkSafeBC issued two orders to force the hospital to comply with regulations, citing failures in patient risk assessments and abuse-related policies, among others.

The employer has failed to establish procedures and policies to minimize the risk of violence against its employees, occupational health and safety officer Cris Barzan notes in one of his two reports.

< p class="e-p">In the other, it clarifies among other things that the violence risk assessment [of the establishment] omits the circumstances in which the employees will interact with the patient.

The 190-bed public psychiatric hospital specializing in the treatment of patients who are criminal or have been found not criminally responsible for an act has until August 7 to comply with WorkSafeBC requirements.

The Provincial Health Authority, which oversees the facility, did not respond to CBC News requests for comment.

Last month's incident is not the first to bring the province's Forensic Psychiatric Hospital the wrath of WorkSafeBC. In 2019, the facility was fined $646,302, the highest in the province at the time, following two patient-led attacks in which five employees were injured.

Employer was also fined $15,000 for failing to comply with WorkSafeBC orders in 2016 and $75,000 following another attack with an employee injury that occurred in 2014.

With information from Bethany Lindsay

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