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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

RK MacDonald Nursing Home recognized for commitment to safety

In one year, RK MacDonald Nursing Home was able to combat high costs and commit to safety.  WCB Nova Scotia recognized the Antigonish facility for its achievement  on May 30. WCB Nova Scotia CEO Stuart MacLean congratulated the organization for their achievements in engaging staff and creating a culture of safety. 

“RK MacDonald is putting safety first for everyone,” said MacLean, “residents, employees and visitors alike.”

MacLean also recognized the work of tireless safety champions like Terry MacIntyre, whose career as a physiotherapist solidified the importance of safety for him.

“I’ve seen too many workplace injuries that have had significant physical and emotional consequences and a lot of these could have been prevented,” said MacIntyre.

When RK MacDonald began working with WCB in 2014, they had high claims and high costs.  Though claims for 2014-2015 remained at a steady number, they were able to reduce their costs by more than $250,000.  So far in 2016,  they have only one registered claim and no time-loss claims.

RK MacDonald worked to increase visibility and support for their Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee, bring awareness to workplace bullying, and add safety as one of their core values.

The organization’s commitment continues.  Even in the face of major leadership changes, the organization stuck to the yearlong commitment.  Largely in thanks to the efforts of MacIntyre, the team at RK MacDonald moved along to improve their safety process despite the uncertainty.  This included making sure leaders recognize employees’ safe work practices.

“Catching staff doing their job safely is a lot of fun and very rewarding for all parties,” said MacIntyre, who emphasizes teamwork between senior leaders and staff.

Today, RK MacDonald is focused on safe practices and preventing injuries and committed to teaching safe patient handling and movement practices to employees and student nurses.

 “We are transforming from a ‘why bother to report anything’ culture, to a culture of accountability,” said MacIntyre.

The Workplace Safety Strategy identifies healthcare as one of the sectors requiring particular focus to improve workplace safety. With 1,680 time-loss claims last year, this sector accounted for the highest volume of time-loss injuries in 2015. The focus that RK MacDonald has placed on safety is needed across the board, and in 2016, WCB Nova Scotia will work closely with our stakeholders and partners to begin developing a five-year healthcare safety action plan. 

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