agh_logoCreating a culture of safety for patients, residents, employees, physicians, midwives students, volunteers and visitors is the mandate of the Occupational Health and Safety Committees for Almonte General Hospital (AGH), Fairview Manor (FVM)  and the Lanark County Ambulance Service (LCAS).

“The two committees, one in the Hospital and Fairview Manor and the other in LCAS, have worked very hard to improve our culture of safety,” says Rena Bowen, who is the Director of Special Services for AGH/FVM and is an advisor to both committees. “They have done a very good job.”

North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is May 5-11, 2013. Its goal is to focus employers, employees, partners and the public on the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home and in the community.

“Thanks to the work of the Committees, the ratings in all three divisions for workplace injuries are better than the average for their counterparts across the province,” said Ms. Bowen.

Each year, the two Committees focus on five different occupational health and safety elements, ensuring that AGH, FVM and LCAS comply with provincial legislation and meet regulatory requirements and standards.

All employees are aware of which five elements being addressed each year. Employee training is provided, if required.

In 2013, two of the five elements the Occupational Health and Safety Committees are focusing on include a review of the organization’s health and safety policy statement and worker wellbeing.

“For example, for worker wellbeing, we may do a session on how to stay healthy when you work shifts,” explained Ms. Bowen.

President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider keeps staff updated through her staff/CEO forums on the progress the organization has made in the area of occupational health and safety.

The AGH/FVM Occupational Health and Safety Committee includes two worker representatives who belong to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), two worker representatives who belong to the Ontario Nurses’ Association, one worker representative who belongs to the International Union of Operating Engineers and one non-union worker representative. An equal number of management representatives also sit on the Committee.

The LCAS Occupational Health and Safety Committee includes two worker representatives who belong to CUPE and two management representatives.