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Health Care High Risk Strategy

The 2018 Health Care High Risk Strategy (HRS) focuses WorkSafeBC resources on identified high-risk work practices within the health care and social services subsector. The primary focus will be on work areas and occupations where direct patient care is provided and the interactions between the health care worker and the patient or client can be observed.

Officers will apply a point of care inspectional process to aid in identifying at-risk workers. It should be noted that health care assistants have the highest number of time-loss claims (6 percent) of any occupation in B.C. Combined, health care assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, social workers, home support workers, and paramedics represent 74 percent of all time-loss claims in the health care and social services subsector. Point of care interactions between heath care workers and patients or clients pose the greatest risk of injury to health care workers, and put workers at risk for various injuries including serious injuries due to acts of violence.

Goals

  • Reduce the risk of workplace violence and related injuries to health care workers
  • Reduce the risk of overexertion or musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs), primarily due to patient lifting and patient mobility activities, to health care workers

Approaches

  • Apply point of care inspectional protocols with primary focus on violence prevention and employer internal responsibility systems
  • Implement various initiatives to educate employers, workers, and supervisors; build relationships; and encourage safe work practices with a primary focus on violence prevention

Deliverables and timelines

Activities

Details

Inspections — Violence
Q1–Q4 2018

Implement a program of planned inspections at approximately 100 locations (selected by employer and classification units — CUs), with a focus on preventing acts of violence in the high-risk CUs, employers, occupations, and departments

Inspections — Overexertion
Q1–Q4 2018

Implement a program of inspections focused on preventing overexertion injuries due to patient handling in long-term care

Violence prevention resources
Q1–Q4 2018

Develop and distribute violence prevention resources designed to improve awareness, change behaviour, and assist with OHS Regulation compliance

Overexertion resources
Q1–Q4 2018

Develop and distribute overexertion prevention resources designed to improve awareness, change behaviour, and assist with OHS Regulation compliance

HCA conference and HCA professional development
Q4 2018

Support injury prevention and professional development conference for health care assistants

Updates and results

WorkSafeBC’S High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives identify and target industries and employers with a high risk of serious workplace injury and a significant contribution to the serious injury rate. Each strategy focuses prevention initiatives on identified areas of high risk in order to apply resources and effort where they will be most effective. As part of our strategic initiative to develop measures to assess the effectiveness of prevention activities, we are providing updates of our High Risk Strategies and Industry Initiatives.

Note: To save space in bulleted lists, our update documents may refer to occupational health and safety as OHS. All references to the Act, refer to Part Three of the Workers Compensation Act. Penalties and warning letters reported in updates may have been initiated by inspections in a previous quarter.

Related resources