2. A Healthy, High-Performing Workforce

Return to Home page

Working to support physical and psychological safety

Group Picture

Workers in the health and community services sectors are more likely to be injured on the job than any other type of worker. We want to change that and have many initiatives underway across the organization to enhance safety and wellness:

  • • We continue to partner with AWARE-NS, government, Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and others to develop the Workplace Safety Action Plan for health and community services.
  • • More than 1,000 employees have completed education on non-violent crisis intervention, which focuses on preventing and reducing harm in the workplace.
  • • Our work continues to implement safety protocols in community emergency departments; 11 of the 12 recommendations in the Workplace Safety in Community Emergency Department Report are now partially or fully met. Read the story of how Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital has worked to implement safety protocols following a threat of violence in October 2016. LINK
  • • Manually lifting, transferring or repositioning patients is a common source of musculoskeletal injury. Safe patient handling helps protect both staff and patients. The Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Program includes assessing risk; providing education, training and assessment tools to staff; introducing regular safety huddles and ensuring the safe use of proper equipment. In 2017-18, the program expanded to four new units, with more than 200 staff receiving training.
  • • Supporting the mental and psychological health of our staff is just as important as protecting their physical health. We continue to work to meet the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, “a set of voluntary guidelines, tools and resources intended to guide organizations in promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work.” (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2018)
  • In keeping with this commitment, we continue to offer education and training for leaders and staff through the Working Mind Program, also in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The program is designed to provide leaders and employees with:
    • o a deeper understanding of mental health, mental illness and mental health problems
    • o information about self-care
    • o guidance on how to provide appropriate supports
    • o ways to reduce stigma and barriers to care