Nurse Injured; Hospital Fined $50k

trip-hazard

St. Joseph’s Health Care London has been fined $50,000 after a nurse was injured while providing medication to a patient in a hospital room.

On May 5, 2013, the nurse was administering medication to a patient. As she left the bedside, the nurse lost balance and fell; a foot had become entangled in a cable attached to the bed-check equipment. The nurse’s injuries included a broken arm.

Dangling cords were a known hazard in the workplace and had been documented in the inspection records of the Workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee. The cord in question had not been secured by any means, although hooks, clips or Velcro had been previously identified as methods of securing cords.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the hospital failed to provide adequate information, instruction and supervision with respect to avoiding trip hazards associated with the cords that are part of the bed check equipment, contrary to Section 25(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

St. Joseph’s Health Care London pleaded guilty to failing to protect the health or safety of the worker. Justice of the Peace Michael A. Cuthbertson imposed the fine June 5 in Ontario Court of Justice, London.

A 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge is added to the fine, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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