Violence and threats against nurses are never acceptable

Effective health care depends on safe and skilled health care workers, and nurses’ ability to deliver this standard of care is clearly impacted by the frequently experienced dangers of dealing with people in volatile situations.

Threats of violence and intimidation against health care workers have increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNA has learned of and is extremely concerned about social media posts, anti-vaccination protests (sometimes by pop-up) and other individual threats that target nurses.

Employers are required to provide safe workplaces for employees, and to educate all employees about how to report health and safety problems they experience or see developing, including the potential for workplace violence.

Should any UNA member encounter any such threat or targeted action, you should assess if there is Imminent Danger. 

An imminent danger is a workplace hazard that puts you at immediate serious risk of death or serious physical harm. If you assess and determine there is an Imminent Danger, immediately contact your local police department or RCMP. After contacting the local police, call Alberta Health Services Protective Services.

If there is no Imminent Danger, call AHS Protective Services and make Protective Services aware of the threat or targeted action.

If one of these protest occurs outside your workplace, contact Protective Services immediately.

Members are being asked to contact Protective Services even when the local police or RCMP are called in order to ensure that the employer assesses and, where necessary, remain present if local police leave the scene.

UNA members employed by a non-AHS employer should contact the local police or RCMP and notify management and their employer’s security services of any threats.

When a threat occurs, don't forget, you can ask for a safe walk to your vehicle.

If you have any further concerns or questions, contact your UNA Labour Relations Officer or Occupational Health & Safety Advisor at 1-800-252-9394.