Skip to content

Waypoint ordered to tighten security in wake of stabbings

Union wants metal detectors at facility
waypoint pic
Photo provided by Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care

The Ontario Public Employee's Union says Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care has been told to "tighten up" security policies and procedures following last week's stabbings.

Janet Deline, issues co-ordinator with the Ministry of Labour, confirmed Ministry inspectors have now issued nine work orders to the Penetanguishene facility.  

The orders include establishing “control and audit” of tools and to “protect workers from the hazard posed by uncontrolled tools and other items being used as weapons.”

The government also issued a "stop work order" for the use of the vocational services until the orders are put in place.

On April 14, inspectors returned to Waypoint and issued four more orders:

  1. The employer shall put into effect the measures and procedures with respect to the use of ‘hospital approved’ safety pens and pencils, that is designed to mitigate risk of injury to workers as a result of non-safety pens and pencils being used as weapons by clients.

  2. The employer shall re-assess the risk of workplace violence, with specific emphasis on the existence and effectiveness of measures and procedures in place to control and monitor access to tools and other items that could be used as weapons against workers, to ensure that controls are in place to protect workers from the hazard of workplace violence.   

  3. The employer shall provide information, instruction and supervision to workers with respect to the correct operation of the door allowing access to the nurse’s station in the Forensic program area.

  4. The employer shall review and revise (and reduce to writing, as required) all measures and procedures for the health and safety of workers associated with the operation of the Vocational Services area.

The Ministry says previous orders issued on April 8 and April 11 remain outstanding.

"It may not be exactly what we wanted but they are a start," said Pete Sheehan, president of the Ontario Public Service Employee's Union (OPSEU) local 329 

"The union was looking for more. We were looking for metal detectors to be installed on the units and vocational services," said Sheehan, who is at OPSEU's annual convention being held in Toronto.

The orders come in the wake of a violent attack at Waypoint last week in which two screwdrivers were used to stab two staff members and two other workers were injured in the melee.

A 32-year old patient is facing five charges including two counts of assault with a weapon.

Sheehan confirms that Waypoint was locked down and searched last month after receiving information that a patient had threatened a staff member.

The Ministry says the investigation at Waypoint is ongoing.

Here are the previously issued outstanding work orders:

Three orders were issued April 8 to Honeywell, the building owner and maintenance staff to:

  1. Develop, establish and put into effect measures and procedures for the control and audit of tools while workers are working in the Atrium building.

  2. Develop, establish and put into effect measures and procedures for the control and audit of job specific tools, parts, devices, and other items while workers are working in the Atrium building.

  3. Develop, establish and put into effect measures and procedures for the control and audit of tools, parts, devices, and other items from being taken home by workers.

Inspectors returned to Waypoint on April 11 and issued two more orders:

  1. The employer, in consultation with the joint health and safety committee, shall develop, establish and put into effect measures and procedures that protect workers from the hazard posed by uncontrolled tools and other items being used as weapons against a worker.

  2. The use of the vocational area to provide vocational program activities shall cease until the order above is complied with. (stop work order)



Comments


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.
Read more