August 29, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KELOWNA - WorkSafe BC is investigating a serious workplace accident where a laundry worker was caught up in machinery at Kelowna General Hospital.
In an emailed statement, Alan Davies, director of support services for the Interior Health Authority, confirmed the accident happened last Friday, Aug. 21.
"Our thoughts are with our employee and their family during this time, and we wish them well with their recovery. Safety of our staff is our top priority for Interior Health and we are working with WorkSafeBC as well as conducting our own review of the incident to identify any opportunities to improve our operations to avoid a similar incident in the future.”
Davies would not release further information due to patient confidentiality regulations.
In-house laundry service at the hospital is provided by Hospital Employee Union members and union media spokesperson Mike Old says the accident was of great concern to them.
“Injuries in health care tend to be soft tissue, maybe the odd needle stick, but this accident is very unusual. Both employer and union are cooperating with WorkSafe BC," Old says. "The employer and us and WorkSafe BC all have same objective, to find out what happened and do what’s needed to make it safe for the workers. Our goal going forward is to ensure that workplace is safe and our members can contnue to provide excellent service.”
Old would not release more details of the accident.
The health authority is on the verge of a decision on the future of the in-house laundry service and has asked for tenders from outside firms with an eye to farming it out.
Union organizers have been picketing and protesting for months in Kelowna and other communities in the health authority region, urging the board of directors to scrap plans for privatization of laundry services.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015