Leading LeadingAge

A new fiscal year for retro is beginning this month.  With it, comes a new safety initiative that will focus on Leadership-Led safety programs.  Over this past year, our loss control specialist, Cathy Reineke, has been working with our members to focus on basic safety and health compliance issues.   This year, the bar will be raised a notch and the focus will be educating leadership on the importance of workplace safety.

Cathy will be working with our members as follows:

We will be working with members to instill leadership-led safety programs. 

  1. We will be asking Executive Directors, HR, and CFO’s to attend at least two Safety Committee Meetings a year.  Without leadership, these efforts do not get traction.  We will be asking for leaders to issue the “charge” when it comes to safety, and then back up these efforts by being present more than incidentally in safety efforts.  We will encourage management to find employees doing their job correctly (Cathy’s Caught You Safe program) and recognize them, in front of their peers, performing their jobs safely.    
  2. We will be seeking members’ involvement in instilling a safety culture.  This will be evidenced by establishing recognition programs for safety efforts by employees.  Many have recognition programs already established.  If this is the case, we will be asking them to add a “safety recognition” component in their already existing systems. 
  3. We will be encouraging the Executive Directors to accompany us on our inspections.  Our goal will be to get to 25% of our Executive Directors accompanying us on these tours.  They need to be seen “walking the talk”. 
  4. We will also be evaluating members on how they retrain employees after they have been injured due to an unsafe act.  This could involve having them redo relevant Relias training, or in the case of a lifting injury, show documentation of them visiting OT/PT personnel in their own facility, to get refresher training. 
  5. Cathy will be increasing efforts during her tours to engage more employees in answering questions about safety.  This will help us understand how well their training may be working, and where they may need to increase their efforts if employees cannot answer basic questions.   

Your leadership in workplace safety and health and instilling an effective safety culture will pay off in terms of happier and safer employees and residents.  Improved retrospective rating performance is only one of the benefits that comes from having an effective safety culture in your community.