TORONTO – Members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) will pause tomorrow to remember their colleagues who have been made ill, been injured or died on the job during Canada’s National day of Mourning and Remembrance.
“ONA is a leader in advocating for improvements in workplace health and safety,” notes ONA First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN. “Yet each year, thousands of workers are injured, made ill or killed in the workplace. Statistics show that workplace injuries and violence harm nurses and other health-care workers at a frightening rate.”
ONA members will remember their fellow registered nurses – Nelia Laroza and Tecla Lin – who were infected and died of SARS while caring for their patients. They will also pause to remember Lori Dupont, RN, who was murdered by a colleague while she worked in Windsor’s Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital.
“The Day of Mourning is a chance to also renew our commitment to improving workplace safety for all, so that nurses, allied health professionals and every working person is safer on the job,” says McKenna. “We are continuing to push for more stringent occupational health and safety laws, and for accountability for workplace safety from employers, CEOs, directors, officers and supervisors. ONA continues to call on the Ministry of Labour to hold these decision-makers accountable for the safety of their employees.”
Health-care sector workers are eight times more likely to experience workplace violence than those in the manufacturing industry.
ONA is the union representing 64,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as almost 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.