Occupational health and safety officers are working with health-care workers to raise awareness about strain, sprain and inflammation injury prevention.
Officers visited 36 health-care facilities across the province between March and July of 2016. The goal was to engage workers in discussions about health and safety programs.
The visits were also used to promote general safety compliance and awareness, and to identify areas for improvement while recognizing the efforts that are already being made.
“Our health-care industry is the largest single employer in the province. Unfortunately, it also has the highest injury rate,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. “We’re working to change this.
“We are focused on improving workplace safety across the province, and fostering the partnerships that help us achieve that goal.”
The visits by occupational health and safety officers resulted in several recommendations that are being shared with stakeholders today, Jan. 5. These include:
— training and education on maintenance, management and safe use of equipment
— implementing a well-defined occupational health and safety program supported by a joint occupational health and safety committee
— sharing and communicating policies and procedures as they are updated in an effective manner to staff
“AWARE-NS was pleased to participate in this collaborative effort,” said Susan Dempsey, executive director, AWARE-NS. “These efforts have allowed organizations to identify gaps and opportunities and will help build and refine safety management systems to reduce soft tissue injuries in long-term care.”
The steps to improve workplace safety are part of a larger initiative with a number of stakeholders in the health-care sector. Stakeholders include WCB Nova Scotia, AWARE-NS, the Department of Health and Wellness, the Health Association of Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, and others.
Government has continued to advance the goals laid out in the province’s Workplace Safety Strategy by improving education with industry and the public, increasing targeted inspections, and getting tougher on employers that continue to break safety laws.
A summary of the recommendations can be found at: novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety/.