MISSISSAUGUA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 7, 2013) - The President of Local 966 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 966) expressed her support today for an independent third-party investigation of an incident in which an 84-year-old resident of a Region of Peel long-term care facility was trapped in an elevator for more than 24 hours.
"When we learned of this incident, we immediately contacted our counterparts at the Region of Peel to request that we be involved in this investigation. We have not yet had a response from the Region," said Mary-Jo Falle, President of CUPE 966, which represents staff of Malton Village, where the incident took place.
"Clearly, there were failures of protocols. Only an independent investigation to determine what went wrong will ensure that it won't happen again," she added.
On the evening of December 23, an 84-year-old resident of Malton Village returned from a family outing. It is believed the elevator malfunctioned, trapping the resident between floors. Staff had believed the resident was staying with family.
Falle said any investigation should examine if protocols across a wide range of issues were followed, including maintenance and upkeep of physical infrastructure such as elevators.
"Since the Mississauga train derailment and evacuation in 1979, there has been a protocol that malfunctioning elevators are to be repaired immediately, to ensure that staff can move residents quickly in the event of an evacuation. This is critical for resident and staff safety, and is one of many issues the investigation needs to address," she said.
"These are critical health and safety issues which affect both our members and the residents we care for. That is why it is imperative for the Region to permit a transparent process and to call a meeting of the joint Health and Safety Committee so we can identify the areas where all of us-employees and management-have to improve our processes and protocols," Falle added.