Why we all need to “Be Care Aware”

July 16, 2014 | News


What do a police officer, a carpenter, and a rancher have in common?

The question sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but the answer is anything but: they all have lower workplace injuries than continuing care workers. In fact, if you were to compare BC’s law enforcement sector with its continuing care sector, for example, you would see that the continuing care sector has an injury rate that is nearly double that of law enforcement.

This reality is surprising to many. But more importantly, it raises an important question: What can we do to fix this? How can we take better care of those who take care of others?

In launching our “Be Care Aware” campaign, we have two simple goals: spark the conversation around workplace safety, and create a call-to-action to initiate change. Higher injury rates are not a forgone conclusion – they are not simply the “cost of doing business”. We know this because we can see measureable differences within and between organizations when they implement a robust safety program. We see differences when organizations effectively engage their workforce in the safety/quality process, and we see differences when people within an organization become advocates for change. We see change when people are involved, because people make change – not policies, rules, training, or regulations.

That concept is centre to our “Be Care Aware” campaign. We are challenging you as a person working in the sector to create positive change. Everyone, regardless of their role within an organization, has something to contribute. Being “Care Aware” means:

You walk the talk. You model the behaviour you promote – whether it be using a mechanical lift to transfer a resident, or reading the latest safety bulletin.

You recognize excellence in others. You give positive feedback to others when you see them making smart, safe decisions.

You are not a bystander. You provide gentle guidance when you see a coworker being unsafe, and you report unsafe working conditions when you come across them.

You are always learning. You actively seek out opportunities to improve and update your skill sets, whether it be attending a workshop, reading material online, or researching a topic.

By joining the “Be Care Aware” challenge, you can help create the momentum needed to promoting a culture of safety within the sector. I encourage you to spread the word and challenge those you work with to “Be Care Aware”. Change, after all, starts with you.

 

– Jennifer Lyle, Executive Director

 

For more information on our “Be Care Aware” challenge, and for additional resources, see our “Tools” and “Initiatives and Education” sections on our website.