The Seven Safety Virtues
The Seven Safety VirtuesJR & Associates, LLC
Does Your Center Safety Program Practice The Seven Safety Virtues?Are your employees working safely? If so, do you know why your employees are working safely?If its because youre watching them, they might revert to sloppy habits when youre not looking. If theyre working safely because theyre being browbeaten into it, theyre probably not going to keep it up for very long. But if theyre working safely because youve created a strong safety culture, your work place safety program has legs.
Employees in a strong safety culture work safely because of these 7 safety virtuesEmployees know what they are supposed to do.Employees know how to do what they are supposed to do.Employees know safety is important and affects them directly.Employees are about safety.Employees know that their center cares about safety.Employees never forget about safety.Employees know shortcuts arent worth the risk.
Employees know what they are supposed to doThey have been over the center safety rules many times and in several formats. A manager or supervisor has talked to them and made sure they understand. They have passed quizzes on the policies and rules and know whom to ask if they have questions.How often?Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and Annual In-servicesWhen?Monthly General Staff meetings, Bi-Weekly payday meetings, individual department meetings.By whom?Administrator, Staff Developer, Department Heads or outside consultant or guest speaker.
Employees know how to do what they are supposed to doWorkers have practiced enough to feel comfortable with procedures. Someone instructed, corrected and coached them until they got the procedures right.When and how?During In-service instructionReturn demonstrations as often as it takes until employees get it right.
Employees know safety is important and affects them directlyEmployees have learned how accidents can affect them, their families, their co-workers, and the center, both personally and financially. They know the center enforces its safety rules. They also know that working safely is part of their performance appraisals and can affect their pay and job security.i.e. --- injuries are a real pain (it hurts!)i.e. --- recovery time can be extensive! i.e. --- lifes daily activities can be greatly curtailed! As well as social activities!i.e. --- co-workers have to pick up the slack!i.e. --- tough to care for residents when you have allot of injured staff, let alone admit more residents!
Employees care about SafetyWorkers care about safety for the reasons just described, but they also care because they have invested time and energy in addressing safety problems. They know that their safety ideas, concerns, and complaints will get a fair hearing by their employer.HOWWhen safety hazards are identified, they are fixed.When safety concerns are raised they are addressed.When safety ideas are proposed they are discussed in the appropriate format.When complaints are filed, they are responded to timely.
Employees know that their employer cares about safetyYour employees have seen accidents and near-misses investigated promptly and thoroughly and have been informed of the results. They expect safety issues to be part of center communications and training. They have observed that the center corrects hazards and establishes and maintains safe work practices. Investigated using: Critical Analysis of Employee Incident / AccidentsCommunications Safety Committee Posters New Letters Payroll stuffers etc...Safety Walk through Surveys done by everyone.
Employees Never forget about safetyEven on days when employees feel distracted, they still remember to work safely because its become a habit.Habit defined:an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.
Employees know shortcuts arent worth the riskEven when employees are tempted to take shortcuts around the demands of work safety, they dont take the risk because they are aware of the consequences of carelessness in the workplace.
Road BlocksBad attitude by a manager/supervisors or employeesComplacent - I know this job so well I can do it blind foldedTired worn out from too little sleep or too many hours at workRisk-taking does a job with out enough training, doesnt pay enough attention to trainingEmotional angry or upset by something that has happened at home or at workReckless thinks safety isnt important or dont apply to meSelfish thinks that no one else is affected by my actions Budget woes N T
Combative Residentsand Employee InjuriesA Second look!
Are Residents to blame?IE was attempting to get patient out of bed; patient slapped IE's RT jaw; IE tried to put pillow behind head of patient and patient punched IE in the noseEE & Co worker lifting to reposition a patient in wheelchair & patient started spitting at EE & to avoid spit the EE twisted left side upper & lower back.Patient requested to go to bed & IW removed soft belt in wheelchair, the patient refused was fighting & agitated & the IW along W/another worker were holding the patient's hand & the patient bit the IW left 2nd index finger
Are Residents to blame? cont.IE was trying to hold arms of resident to put resident in wheelchair; resident became combative and grabbed the IE RT hand, abrasion & redness to RT handIW was attempting to restrain a resident, resident scratched IW in the right eye, with fingernailResident physically attacked employee, injuries to left upper leg and left kneeIW was struck by a patient in the back of the neck and the right shoulder
Employee Injuries from a combative resident should be a
Possible reasons for Combative behaviorCombative behavior for resident is unusual and is a reaction to:change in conditionchange in caregiver, or caregiver was abusive in some wayCombative behavior is normal for resident because:resident has a psych diagnosisresident is confusedresident always reacts negatively to carecaregiver was new to resident, orcaregiver was abusive in some wayCombative behavior unexpected because:resident new to centeremployee new to center employee not trained
Possible solutionsPREPARE YOURSELFKnow your residents, avoid surprises!Review the care plansLearn about the new residentAsk questions / what is their history?Check to see if any change of conditions took place from the last time you worked with the residentKnow how to approach an upset residentIf a resident becomes combative, back away, leave them be! Come back when theyve settled down.
Possible solutions cont.Greet resident with preferred nameIdentify yourself to the residentSpeak to resident while providing careRemain calmEncourage resident to talk Listen attentively as resident speaksUse courtesy when communicatingDo not argue with residentInform resident before leaving the room
Last but not least KNOWLEDGE
Make sure your staff attend in-services on dementia and cognitively impaired residents and understand what theyve been taught
The best offence is a good defense!
NEWS FLASHNEEDLE STICKS Gone Wild!Important, any reported needle stick must be thoroughly investigated as to the following factors:What exactly was the employee doing when they were poked?What kind of syringe was it?If it was a safety syringe was it activated?If it wasnt one our syringes, where did it come from?If the needle stick was a result of a full sharps disposal box, what kind was it?Lastly:What corrective action has been taken to avoid future sticks?