From CTV News: A for-profit long-term care home operator is facing three charges under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, following a COVID-19 outbreak at a London, Ont. facility last year that killed a registered nurse, CTV News reported Tuesday.

  • The nurse, 58-year-old Brian Beattie, died in May 2020 following a COVID-19 outbreak at the Kensington Village facility, and was the first Ontario nurse to succumb to the disease. Five residents at the facility also died during the outbreak, according to CTV.

According to CTV, the operator of Kensington Village, Sharon Farms and Enterprises Limited, is facing three charges under the Act:

  • Failing to provide one or more written notices of occupational illness to a director under s. 52(2) of the Act.
  • Failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker or workers to protect the health or safety of the worker or workers contrary to s. 25(2)(a) of the Act.
  • Knowingly furnishing an inspector with false information, contrary to s. 62(3)(a) of the Act.

In a statement to CTV News, the facility said:

  • “Sharon Village Care Homes has always strived to provide, and maintain, a safe workplace for all our employees. During COVID we welcomed MOL inspections and recommendations. We are evaluating the charges that have been laid and are working with Counsel on our formal response. It is important that we let this process unfold. It is important to note, that the charges that have been laid are not related to any employee’s death nor are they related to the availability of PPE for staff and residents. Any suggestion otherwise is misleading and a disservice to our staff and families. We'll continue to work with our healthcare partners in our community to provide a safe and comfortable home for our residents and a safe and rewarding workplace for our staff."

Read CTV News’ full story here.

In a statement, the Ontario Nurses’ Associated welcomed the charges laid against Kensington Village.

  • “Brian Beattie had made complaints about PPE being denied, the stockpile of N95s being expired and locked up to prevent their use. Brian died of COVID-19 on May 11, 2020,” the statement reads.
  • According to ONA’s statement, Ministry of Labour inspectors “visited the home more than 10 times between May and June 2020 and issued a number of orders related to hygiene, cleaning, social distance and training.”

In the same statement, ONA President Vicki McKenna said: “This tragedy was preventable. There were glaring violations at Kensington Village and ONA sincerely hopes that the mistakes this employer made are a lesson to other facilities to take occupational health and safety, and infection prevention and control seriously. These charges, we hope, mean that Brian’s death was not in vain.”

Read ONA’s full statement here.

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