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Development of the action plan for the health and community services sectors has hit a milestone. After months of research, best practice review, and consultations, the latest phase of the project – working groups – has concluded. To mark this significant engagement with project stakeholders, a symposium was held.
On June 23rd, about 80 representatives from the working groups and project stakeholder committees came together for an afternoon of planning and brainstorming, using the possible actions that have been identified by the working groups.
It was an opportunity for all involved in the project to gain deeper knowledge and understanding of the entire working group process.
And while everyone in the room wore a different hat to their day job, there was one very important common priority that stood out – workplace safety.
Safer workplaces for health and community services workers is the objective everyone can stand behind, and it was inspiring to see and hear the commitment from everyone in the room. From government and organized labour, to employers and front-line workers, everyone is united to achieve this common goal.
We know that the face of workplace safety is changing. It’s not just about hardhats and work boots and fall arrest harnesses. While those are still critical, that equipment doesn’t protect care workers from the hazards they face daily.
Safety considerations are different when a workplace is also the place someone lives. We need to find a way to encourage safer outcomes, and reduce the injury rate in health and social services, especially long-term care and home care.
Working in the care sector isn’t simple, and there are no simple solutions in sectors that are so complex. But the safety conversation is just beginning, and with the right people at the table, we’ll be able to get to a long-term action plan that will make a difference.