HealthcarePapers 10(3) July 2010 : 43-47.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2010.21868

Using Common Work Environment Metrics to Improve Occupational Health and Safety in Healthcare and Community Services Organizations

Mary-Lou MacDonald and Jason M. Slaunwhite

This commentary reviews the recommendations presented in the lead paper from the perspective of a safety association for healthcare and community services. We highlight the challenges of collecting employee safety-related data for comparative purposes. Preliminary research findings from AWARE-NS baseline assessments are presented to emphasize the situation in the province of Nova Scotia. An established provincial data management system that tracks occupational health and safety events and outcomes is reviewed to note its value to the healthcare system. Although the need to have a consistent framework for the healthcare sector is paramount, we argue that worker safety–related indicators are often overlooked or embedded within patient safety indicators. A call for more consistent employee safety–specific indictors is made.



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