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It took years of prodding health employers and two different provincial governments, but the Hospital Employees Union is taking a lot of credit for the Aug. 15 announcement of a special $15 million fund to buy patient lifting devices to reduce on the job injuries in BC health care facilities.

The patient lift fund is part of a series of short-term measures taken by the new Liberal government to deal with BCs chronic nursing shortage. Expanded utilization of other nursing professionals like Licensed Practical Nurses and Care Aides is also part of the plan.

Were extremely pleased that our campaign to make workplaces safer has produced another victory, says Chris Allnutt, secretary-business manager of the 46,000-member HEU, CUPEs health services division in BC.

Its a cruel irony that health care facilities are the most dangerous places to work in BC for on-the-job injuries, he said. The fund will make a real difference at the bedside for caregivers and patients. It will also save millions of dollars over the long run by reducing injury rates.

HEU represents about 15,000 LPNs and Care Aides in health care facilities across BC