100 Days Injury Free at Kaigo Retirement Communities

August 12, 2014 | News

Be Care Aware- Success Story

Last month SafeCare BC launched the Be Care Aware campaign aimed at raising awareness around the importance of safety in the workplace.

As part of the campaign, we challenged YOU to join hundreds of your continuing care colleagues across the province in creating safer work environments

We are pleased to highlight the success story of Kaigo Retirement Communities. Last summer, Kaigo redesigned their approach to Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) to improve workplace safety throughout their organization. Just last month, Kaigo proudly reached a new milestone of 100 days injury-free. Read the full story below.

100 Days Injury-Free

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Staff At Kaigo Retirement Communities Celebrated 100 Days Injury-Free This Summer

When Wendy Calhoun, Managing Director at Kaigo Retirement Communities, and her OH&S committee gathered to review their monthly injury report last summer, they noticed injury rates to be on an upward trend. With three campuses of care accommodating over 120 complex care residents and nearly 60 assisted living clients, Kaigo faced a significant challenge ahead.

“The OH&S committee reviews injury reports at each monthly meeting,” says Calhoun. “At the August 2013 meeting we realized that the number of injuries associated with lifts and transfers was a concern.”

Musculoskeletal injuries(MSI) associated with lifts and transfers was not an issue exclusive to Kaigo. Every year over 2600 continuing care staff require time off work due to a work-related injury.

To address the issue, management decided to take a proactive approach and revise safety procedures within the workplace. The plan required new thinking while staff needed more injury preventative education said Calhoun.

The Kaigo strategy employed a two part system that involved risk assessments of high injury procedures, and spot checks using a client handling assessment form.

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Staff Enjoying A Celebratory BBQ For Their Safety Success

“Staff participated in an education session on safe lifts and transfers. Staff have also been trained as peer leaders to assist with training new staff on safe lifts and transfers, as well as assisting with spot checks using the Client Handling Spot Check Tool,” says Calhoun. “The OH&S committee members have been very proactive in informing the staff of the importance of proper body mechanics to prevent MSI injuries.”

Calhoun noted how performing correct lift procedures is not only safer for staff, but safer and more comfortable for the resident. In addition to offering staff training on safe resident handling and developing the Client Handling Spot Check Tool, Kaigo has incorporated an innovative pre-shift routine.

“We have also began a 3 to 5 minute warm up stretch prior to beginning their [staff member’s] shift,” says Calhoun. “The OH&S information board is in a highly visible area and the staff enjoy reading the fit tips and keeping informed of injury free days.”

Since rolling out their injury prevention plan, Calhoun and Kaigo Retirement Communities have seen a nearly 100% drop in workplace injuries. Just last month, Kaigo celebrated a remarkable 100 injury-free days in the workplace. This commendable achievement was celebrated with a staff BBQ to recognize their terrific progress.

What is perhaps most notable about Kaigo’s story is the success that Calhoun, the OH&S team, and the entire staff at Kaigo have had in developing a culture of safety.


“The OH&S information board is in a highly visible area and the staff enjoy reading the fit tips and keeping informed of injury free days”-Calhoun

“Staff have a better awareness of the importance of preventing injuries and the effects that injuries have on the work environment,” says Calhoun. “Staff are talking about safety and feel okay with reminding their co-workers not to take short cuts and to follow the resident’s care plan for lifts and transfers. This ultimately improves the care of the resident.”

Calhoun has said she is excited to carry on their OH&S safety success and participate in SafeCare BC’s upcoming workshops.

Kudos to the entire staff at Kaigo Retirement Communities for tackling workplace safety in their organization!

Do you have a safety success story? We want to hear! Let us know what you are doing to create a culture of safety in your workplace. Contact Keivan Hirji at info@safecarebc.ca for more information.

And remember Be Care Aware!