February 5th, 2019

FOI shows long-term care workers suffering most from injuries at work

HALIFAX - A Freedom of Information request obtained by the NDP Caucus shows that the highest rates of on-the-job injury occur in the health care sector, especially among Continuing Care Assistants in long-term care.

“Many people have told me about putting their backs out, for example, as a result of lifting, or sustaining serious injuries from repetitive strain in long-term care,” said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. “This new data is more proof about the need to address the inadequacy of staff levels for residents in our nursing homes, and to implement mandatory improved staff ratios.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents hundreds of long-term care workers across the province. CUPE has called for an increase in the care provided to residents of long-term care by creating a staff ratio of 4.1 hours of care per day per resident.

“When you’re working short and under time limits, it can be easy to get hurt,” said Louise Riley, Chairperson of CUPE’s Long-term Care Coordinating Committee. “Increased numbers of staff in nursing homes would benefit residents and workers. It would make sure residents get the care they deserve and that staff have adequate support to do their work safely.”

The NDP introduced a bill in the fall to legislate staff ratios in long-term care.