Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of Albertaâs health-care workers – and patients – requires ongoing due diligence.
Recently, it was announced that the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code may be revised. The current legislation regarding safe patient handling in Part 14 Lifting and Handling Loads is in dire need of improvement as part of this process.
Patient handling puts many health-care workers at high risk of musculoskeletal injuries, such as over-exertion. Current legislation does not make it a requirement for employers to provide equipment to prevent or reduce the likelihood of these injuries. It is still viewed as optional by employers who prefer creating manual-handling procedures over the up-front costs of purchasing equipment and providing training, even though evidence shows that this can save money in the long run. According to Alberta Workers Compensation Board (WCB) statistics for the largest health-care employer from 2013 to March 2018, over-exertion injuries have accounted for 35.78 per cent of LTC. In comparison, WCB statistics for the industrial construction industry has over-exertion injuries accounting for 21.84 per cent of LTCs.
Our hope is that you will join us as we call for an Alberta OHS Code that makes this equipment mandatory.