SafeCare BC emphasizes injury prevention by providing continuing care organizations with the materials and resources they need to improve their workplace health and safety protocols, and establish a culture of safety. As such, SafeCare BC has taken the initiative to develop workplace health and safety policy templates in key safety areas.
The SafeCare BC policy templates are intended to provide continuing care organizations with documents that can be readily and easily adapted to fit within their organization’s operational realities. The templates are intended to supplement and enhance organizations’ existing workplace health and safety policies, or to help establish policies where none currently exist.
The templates were developed and approved by SafeCare BC’s Technical Advisory Committee, which is comprised of Union, WorkSafeBC, and Employer Representatives.
The SafeCare BC policy templates are provided to SafeCare BC members as a benefit of membership.
SafeCare BC also developed policy templates on the following workplace health and safety issues:
- Violence Prevention
- Safe Resident and Client Handling
- Exposure Control Plan Template
- Respiratory Protection Program Template
- Respiratory Protection Policy Template
- COVID-19 Safety Plan Templates
Continuing care workers interact closely with residents and their families, often under difficult circumstances. Residents may act aggressively due to their medical condition (such as dementia status), or the medication they are taking. They may also have a history of violent behaviour, or feel frustrated and angry as a result of their circumstances. Acts of violence and aggression currently account for 11% of injury claims within continuing care1. Violence Prevention Policies can reduce the risk of injury to continuing care workers, improve workplace safety, and create a more positive working environment.
Download SafeCare BC’s Violence Prevention Policy Template:
Musculoskeletal injuries related to resident handling are the number one cause of injury in long term care. Back strains alone account for 30% of all work-related injuries reported; other strains account for 44%. Studies have clearly demonstrated that injury rates among care workers can be significantly reduced by increasing the use of mechanical lifts and restricting manual resident handling by care workers2,3,4. Moreover, studies looking at the manual lifting of residents have found that the effort required to do so routinely exceeds care workers biomechanical capacities2,5,6. In addition to this, transitioning from a manual to lift-based transfer system is safer and more comfortable for residents and is associated with fewer violent or aggressive resident behaviour incidents1,3. Safe Resident Handling policies can reduce the risk the musculoskeletal injuries by establishing a ‘no-lift’ approach as the standard operating procedure.
Download SafeCare BC’s Safe Resident Handling Policy Template:
Download SafeCare BC’s Safe Client Handling Policy Template:
Fit Testing Resources
If your organization uses N95 respirators, staff will need to be fit-tested to use them safely. This means making sure the respirators have been tested to ensure a full seal before they are used so that the staff using them are properly protected. Staff should be fit-tested annually on the make, model, and size of respirator that they will be provided with at work.
We have developed a Respiratory Protection Program Template and Respirator Protection Policy Template to support this in practice.
Use this template to customize your policies and procedures around a respiratory protection program.
Exposure Control Plan
As a healthcare employer, you are required to have an exposure control plan for communicable diseases. Your exposure control plan must be reviewed at least annually and updated as necessary in consultation with the joint occupational health and safety committee or the worker health and safety representative.
We have developed an Exposure Control Plan Template that is designed to be modified based on the needs of your organization and includes links to resources including a risk assessment worksheet and a planning checklist. Whether you are reviewing and updating your current plan, or developing one for the first time this template and the associated resources will guide you through the process.
- Safety Plan Template – Assisted Living
- Safety Plan Template – Long-term Care
- Safety Plan Template – Home and Community Care
1 SafeCare BC (2015). SafeCare BC Members – Injury Trends Profile by Organization Size. Accessed here.
2 Collins, J., Wolf, L., Bell, J., Evanoff, B. (2004). An evaluation of a “best practices” musculoskeletal injury prevention program in nursing homes. Injury Prevention, 10, 206-211.
3 Pompeii, L., Lipscomb, H., Schoenfisch, A., Dement, J. (2009). Musculoskeletal injuries resulting from patient handling tasks among hospital workers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 52(7), 571-578.
4 Provincial Residential Care Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Team. Provincial Safe Resident Handling Standards for Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention in British Columbia.
5 Nelson, A., Lloyd, J., Menzel, N., Gross, C. (2003). Preventing nursing back injuries: Redesigning patient handling tasks. American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal, 51(3), 126-134.
6 De Castro, A. (2004). Handle with care: The American Nurses Association’s campaign to address work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 9(3).