Group home operator in Thunder Bay, Ont., fined $80K after workers attacked by resident
Health & Safety assault Fines ontario Thunder Bay
A group home operator in Thunder Bay, Ont., has been fined $80,000 after two workers were attacked by a resident.
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care operates a mental health treatment group home in Thunder Bay for high-risk client residents between the ages of 12 and 17. At the time of the incident, the group home had two regular full-time workers that directly assisted the resident youth and several other workers in management, administrative and training positions.
On May 16, 2022, group home staff unlocked the office the manager shared with another worker, to allow a client resident in to speak with the manager. The resident was frustrated about an issue and verbally aggressive. The situation escalated and the resident assaulted the manager.
The worker, who was also present in the office, attempted to use verbal de-escalation strategies with the client but was unsuccessful.
A second worker entered the office and pulled the client off the manager, allowing the manager and first worker to leave the office. The resident assaulted the second worker, who got out of the office and held the door shut to contain the resident. The resident exited the office through the window.
Emergency Medical Services attended the group home.
A Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development investigation determined that Dilico Anishinabek Family Care had a written workplace violence policy and program, but that it did not apply to workplace violence involving clients. The ministry further determined that the organization had not conducted a workplace violence risk assessment of the group home.
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care failed, as an employer, to assess the risks of workplace violence contrary to subsection 32.0.3(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Following a guilty plea in Provincial Offences Court, Dilico Anishinabek Family Care was fined $80,000. The court also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.