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Penetang mental health workers attacked in shower

Ministry of Labour orders Waypoint to hand over copy of video of assault
waypoint pic
Photo of Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care submitted by Waypoint

The Ministry of Labour has written three orders for Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care following an attack that sent three staff members to hospital.

A male nurse was knocked unconscious, two other female nurses suffered injuries in what their union called a 'blitz attack' in a shower area Tuesday at the Penetanguishene facility. 

All three workers, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees union, were treated and released.

The Ministry of Labour says inspectors issued the following orders to Waypoint:  two requirements for documentation; one order to establish a procedure for the use of showers within a specific unit.

"Our investigation remains ongoing," said Ministry spokesperson Janet Deline.

The union says the Ministry's first order tells Waypoint to hand over a copy of the video of the assault. The order, according to the union, says the video is to include the assault, as well as 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after.  

Pete Sheehan, president of Local 329 of OPSEU says the second order states the employer shall provide the inspector with any written records related to the violence and aggression for the patient who was arrested. 

And the third order says Waypoint must develop, establish and put into effect measures and procedures for the health and safety of workers related to unit-specific procedures for seclusion showers.

Seclusion is the same as segregation, according to Sheehan.

"I've been there 17 years and we've never had any written safety procedures for seclusion showers.  Each ward would have their own policies in place when they're doing seclusion showers but there's never been anything formally in place," he said.

"Absolutely, I think there's great positives coming out of it.  A lot of times we don't get any orders. This time the inspector has issued three."

Sheehan says workers are facing safety challenges with a cost-cutting trend to part-timers who may lack the depth of experience and patient continuity of full-time staffers.

OPP Sgt. Peter Leon confirms that a man is facing three counts of assault in connection with the incident.





Sue Sgambati

About the Author: Sue Sgambati

Sue has had a 30-year career in journalism working for print, radio and TV. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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