How to create a culture of safety in your clinic
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May 1, 2019
Many experts say that the key to safety in any healthcare workplace is to develop a culture of safety. What does this mean? Well, any safety officer can preach about training, PPE, and the like, but unless employees take ownership of the safety situation at work, the officer’s exhortations will just be rules they have to follow.
Developing a culture takes work—which there’s already plenty of. The best way to keep people accountable for their own safety is to have a plan in place, make learning fun, and use real-world examples to help them understand the consequences of their actions.
According to OSHA, there is an elevated incidence of work-related injury and illness among healthcare workers, and the impact of these incidents is staggering—affecting not only the workers themselves, but also their families, the institutions they work at, and ultimately the safety of the patients they serve. “It is not surprising that patient and worker safety often go hand-in-hand and share organizational safety culture as their foundation,” according to OSHA literature.
So, while the year is still young, get to work on creating your clinic’s safety culture—it’s much easier than you think. Here are some tips to get you started.
Be present, always. The most successful safety officers walk the floors, talk with employees, and watch for teachable moments to improve safety. Make sure your lab workers are wearing proper PPE, ensure that spills are properly mopped up, and tell your employees that noncompliance is not tolerated.