New safety officers at Manitoba hospitals aimed at reducing workplace violence


New security staff are scheduled to be in place at Manitoba’s largest hospital on Monday in a bid to reduce violence.

Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara says the safety officers at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg will be armed with pepper gel and are to be later set up at other health-care settings across the province.

Health workers have complained about escalating violence from people under the influence of drugs or having mental health issues.

The Manitoba Nurses Union filed a grievance, alleging its members were not in a safe workplace.

Asagwara says the safety officers have undergone training in de-escalation tactics and other skills.

Nurses union president Darlene Jackson says she welcomes the new officers, but is not confident there will be enough to keep everyone safe.

   This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2024

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