NAPE president Carol Furlong is crediting the provincial government on its prompt action on new safety measures for correctional facilities.

The union that represents the province's prison guards said it is pleased with new security measures that will help make staff more safe while on the job.

In response to what workers describe as a changing prison population, prison guards will now be armed with bear spray and metal detector systems. 

A recent bloody incident at Her Majesty's Penitentiary that put both prisoners and guards at considerable risk was a catalyst for the changes.

The incident led to talks between prison workers and the government.

Carol Furlong, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), said government was responsive to the issues that were raised.

"We're very pleased," said Furlong.

"People recognized that there is a change in environment at the Majesty's Penitentiary … that there was, and is, real potential for harm."

Justice Minister Darin King said the government heard this message.

"We recognized that they presented some very strong arguments for the positions they wanted us to consider," he said.

The government has moved to implement the changes immediately, rather than wait for the spring budget.