New training program to reduce workplace injuries at personal care homes in Manitoba: Ministers

Manitoba has launched a new training program for personal care home staff on lifting and transferring residents that is meant to help reduce workplace injuries.

“The Safe Resident Handling Program supports the implementation of safe lift and transfer training and policies to help protect residents and workers from injuries that can happen when lifting and transferring residents,” said Health Minister Sharon Blady.

“This funding will be used to develop province-wide training to prevent injuries, as well as monitoring and reporting processes to better track information from personal care homes across Manitoba."

The program was developed under the leadership of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in partnership with representatives from all regional health authorities to reduce the number of lift and transfer-related workplace injuries to personal care home staff.

“The health and safety of the region’s staff is a priority,” said Shaun Haas, regional director, occupational and environmental safety and health, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “We are in full support of any improvements that will provide greater safety, health and wellness for our greatest resource: our people.”

The province is investing $300,000 to:

• review safe resident handling practices including a statistical analysis of injuries by region, current practices and challenges

• develop a provincial safe resident handling manual

• create a standardized provincial training program for staff and supervisors

• create standardized monitoring and injury reporting criteria and processes.

Previous investments to support safe lifting include the purchase and installation of new ceiling lifts and other equipment for personal care homes.

“This initiative provides a safer work environment for nurses, health-care aides and other health-care workers,” said Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun. “By offering standard training programs across the province, we can better reduce workplace injuries and help front-line staff stay on the job.”

The ministers noted the investments build on work to implement violence prevention programs in health-care facilities to better protect staff and reduce workplace injuries.

An advisory committee led the development of a health-care violence prevention program for province-wide implementation, which includes:

• provincial orientation and training curriculum for violence prevention, as well as provincial policy and operational procedures

• environmental and patient screening to help staff identify patient risk and measures to reduce the potential risk of violence

• information on ways to effectively and respectfully communicate the potential and actual violent behavior of a patient to all care providers interacting with the patient

• measures and procedures for summoning immediate assistance when an incident of violence occurs, or is likely to occur

• a referral process for health-care providers for treatment or post-incident counseling where appropriate

• incident reporting, investigation and follow-up processes

• processes for union notification of incidents where required by collective agreements.

The ministers noted implementation of the program is in process in all of the province’s regional health authorities.