Working Together to Create Change for the Better

February 24, 2014 | News


122(LHP)JLyleSafeCareBC“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
― Plato, The Republic

 

As I write this, SafeCare BC is officially four weeks old. The incorporation of SafeCare BC in January marked the culmination of years of hard work and the involvement of diverse stakeholders, including WorkSafeBC, the BC Care Providers Association, the Denominational Health Association, care provider employers, and care provider employees and their representatives. SafeCare BC’s incorporation also marks the start of a vital initiative for the long term care sector.

SafeCare BC is a member-funded health and safety association. Our membership is comprised of long term care employers who fall under the WorkSafeBC classification unit 766011. Our mandate at SafeCareBC is simple: We strive to ensure injury-free safe working conditions for long term care workers through preventative training, education, and resources throughout all of B.C.

Despite its simplicity, it is a bold statement. The health care sector reports more workplace injuries and time lost due to injury than any other sector in British Columbia. Within the health care sector, long term care holds the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of workplace injury claims.

The human and financial cost is significant. Long term care employers pay a WorkSafeBC base rate that is triple that of the health care sector average. Every year, over 2 600 workers require time off work due to a work-related injury. This has far-reaching implications, affecting everything from staff retention and facility costs, to staff quality of life and quality of patient care.

We have our work cut out for us. However, I am confident that together we can make difference. To that end, I strongly encourage you to engage and make your voice heard. SafeCare BC is your health and safety organization. The research conducted to-date on behalf of SafeCare BC has gone a long way to identifying needs and priorities – but engagement doesn’t stop there. We want your input. We want to hear about what works, what doesn’t, and what you need to make your workplace safer.

Over the next few weeks, SafeCare BC will continue to reach out to organizations, members, and frontline workers. I encourage you to do the same – whether it be via our Twitter and Facebook accounts, through email, a phone call, or by attending our inaugural meeting set for May 26th in Whistler

Thank-you to everyone who has been involved thus far. I look forward to working with you as we endeavour to create safer workplaces for long term care workers.

Together, we can make a change for the better.

 

Jennifer Lyle

Executive Director, SafeCare BC

 

Fast Facts:

–   Every year, 2 600 long term care workers need time off due to work-related injuries

–   Long term care employers pay a WorkSafeBC rate that is triple that of the health care sector average

–   Healthy work environments are positively correlated with better patient outcomes

–   Every year, WorkSafeBC pays out almost $17 million in claim costs in long term care

–   The long term care sector has more time lost injuries than any other sector in B.C.

 

References:

WorkSafe BC. (2009). Long-term Care in BC: A WorkSafe BC Overview. Retrieved from http://www2.worksafebc.com/PDFs/Healthcare/long_term_care_Mar09.pdf

WorkSafe BC (2014). Statistics for Health Care. Retrieved from http://www2.worksafebc.com/portals/healthcare/StatisticalReports.asp

Lundstrom, T; Pugliese, G; Bartley, J; Cox, J; Guither, C. (2002). Organizational and environmental factors affect worker health and safety and patient outcomes. American Journal of Infection Control, 30, 2, 93-106.