Negligent training at the workplace is the demeanour that fails to comply with the law of safeguarding persons against harm. Generally, negligence is unintentional though the employer is held responsible for the tortuous encounters of workers. Usually, the company is assumed to have been negligent in equipping the workers with all the knowledge and skills necessary to provide a safe environment. In the court of law, the plaintiff must prove that his duty was breached and that he or she was hurt because of that breach.
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An example of negligence training was In Stacy v. Truman Medical Centre in 1992 (Barnes 2001). This consolidated appeal involved two unlawful deaths that were filed after a fire occurrence in room 327. Stephen Stacy and Dale Wheeler were the two patients who died because of the fire accident. As a result, Stephen’s family filed a wrongful death suit against the medical centre and one of its nurses. Consequently, Wheeler’s family brought a related suit, and the two cases were then consolidated for investigation and trial.
On that fateful day, Cheryl Stacy, Stacy’s sister had visited him. Cheryl found Stephen smoking a cigarette under the watchful eye of one of the nurses. Stephen was not supposed to walk around due to his head injuries. Cheryl had not been advised on Stephen’s smoking restriction while inside the room.
Furthermore, they utilized a plastic soup tray to dispose tobacco ashes since no hospital staff offered to get them an approved ashtray. It was not long before a nurse came and held Stephen back with fastens to prevent him from falling off the chair. At that moment, Stephen received a lit cigarette from Cheryl and subsequently disposed it in the wastebasket instead of the soup tray. Shortly afterwards, a fire started out in the wastebasket and spread out. The room was ill equipped since there was no smoke detector.
When the nurse in charge noticed the fire, she assumed that Wheeler was not in an immediate danger, and so she decided to first untie Stacy from his chair before embarking on putting out the fire by suffocating it with a cotton sheet. When her attempts failed, she ran out and cried for help. Afterwards, she returned and tried to smother the fire.
Because of the fire, the nurse in charge and other staff members grabbed Stacy by the legs and dragged him towards the hallway. During the process, Stacy’s restrains burnt up and he fell down from the chair to the floor. The nurse attempted to get back to the room, but she was barred by the extreme smoke, heat and flames. Later, the nurse and her colleague returned to the reception to ask for reinforcement while Wheeler remained in the room.
A co-worker called Caminos got into the room with a fire extinguisher trying to save Wheeler. However, the extreme heat and smoke prevented her from rescuing him. As a result, Wheeler died in the room from smoke related complications. Several weeks later, Stacy too died because of burns related complications.
The medical centre was obliged legally to train its nurses in the appropriate performance of their task. Despite the existence of the institution’s policy on evacuation upon a fire outbreak, the nurse on duty during the occurrence of this tragedy was not appropriately trained on the relevant procedures. Thus, the nurse’s breach of duty was related with the failure to remove the patient from the room.
To reduce negligence training, as in this situation, I should conduct proper training to all staff members in our organisation. Through these trainings, staff members are enlightened on the policies and skills for a safe working environment. The risk management unit will be of great importance in developing appropriate policies and strategies for training staff on legal responsibility. Lastly, the department should conduct several seminars to educate the staff members on laws and important law decisions relevant to their jobs (Orrick 2008).
Barnes, A. M. (2001). Health care law desk reference. Philadelphia, PA: American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Committee on Continuing Professional Education.
Orrick, W. D. (2008). Recruitment, retention, and turnover of police personnel: reliable, practical, and effective solutions. Springfield, Ill.: Charles C Thomas.