Being safe at work is important to Janice Dodds, a Medical Imaging Technologist at Royal University Hospital. As a member of RUH’s Medical Imaging safety committee, she is keenly aware of the issues that can cause injury while going about her job on a daily basis.

“We try to engage each staff member and make them aware of potential issues before they do something that gets them hurt,” says Dodds. “We want everyone to be able to identify problems and potential issues so no one hurts themselves.”

Medical Imaging at RUH is a leader when it comes to staff safety in Saskatoon Health Region. The department sees very few WCB claims and very few injuries to staff. Manager Darin Humphreys credits this to a culture of safety instilled in Medical Imaging, one needed when working with clients from quite literally all over RUH.

“The credit goes to the staff and our safety committee,” says Humphreys. They have taken a very proactive role in ensuring the safety of each other. The tools, such as the Incident Report Line, are excellent. And we encourage staff to use them. In fact, we use the line quite frequently.”

Humphreys points out that in Medical Imaging, they see patients from every ward at RUH. In their day-to-day operations, patients are brought to them in beds, stretchers and wheel chairs, which gives staff in Medical Imaging an opportunity to see what equipment needs repairs and what needs to be taken out of service. He says that he encourages the staff to call the line if they see something not working right.

Amy Woloshyn is a medical imaging technologist at RUH.

“We are also working with OH&S and other departments to institute a policy of transporting patients to Medical Imaging on stretchers instead of beds. They are easier to manoeuvre for one person than the beds. And imaging of patients on stretchers is less strenuous for the Technologists,” adds Humphreys. “WOW and TLR training are also excellent tools to minimize the chance of someone getting hurt.”

But for staff like Dodds, it is as simple as being careful and asking for help if it is needed. “We show each other what techniques work best for the different types of equipment we use, and how to ensure neither the patient nor each other gets hurt. In the end, we are the care givers, we don’t want to be the patients!”

Time loss by the numbers
– The Ministry Health set a 2011-2012 target of 14.1 per cent reduction in WCB time-loss days for the Region.
– By the end of July, the number of lost days per 100 FTEs was 49.37 compared to 57.31 last year – a reduction of 13.98 per cent.
– Sick time decreased by 6.3 per cent over 2010-2011, a further reduction of the 6.7 per cent the Region saw over 2009-2010.