The Forensiz Psychiatric Hospital at Colony Farm in Coquitlam. (physicaltherapy.med.ubc.ca)

Union calls for more security at Colony Farm hospital following staff injuries

BC Government Employees Union accuses employer at forensic psychiatric hospital of being ‘complicit’

The union representing workers at the forensic psychiatric hospital at Colony Farm in Coquitlam is accusing the employer of a “clear and willful pattern of neglect” after a series of recent assaults on staff.

The BC Government Employees’ Union said in a release Wednesday it has recorded 21 injuries to staff since May at the hospital, which treats people who are deemed unfit to stand trial or are found not criminally responsible because of mental illness.

“Workers are being assaulted while treating patients without risk assessments being done, with inadequate security protection,” BCGEU treasurer Paul Finch said in the release. “One could make the case that the employer is complicit in these attacks on hospital staff.”

The union said it has called for more security personnel in rooms when staff interact with potentially violent patients.

It said Dr. Connie Coniglio, the chief operating officer at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, has refused to bring in additional personnel because it could “increase patient anxiety and trigger violent incidents,” while citing a WorkSafeBC report in March stated more security staff does not cause violent outbreaks.

Black Press Media has reached out to the Ministry of Health for comment.

WorkSafeBC has issued 57 safety orders at the hospital and levied a $171,000 fine in the past five years, the release said, along with 102 inspection reports showing the employer’s failure to protect its workers.

The union is also asking the government to ensure the employer conduct risk assessments on patients and fill the funding gaps in risk assessments, such as self-defense training for staff.



laura.baziuk@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read