It’s Friday morning and Maureen Beisel, Deidre McDonald and the management team at Parkridge Centre (PRC) conduct a tour of Eastridge 2, one of the six neighbourhoods at the home. Beisel is the manager of Resident Care and the site leader for Parkridge. This safety tour is a monthly occurrence for the team to ensure all work areas are safe for staff and residents. “What we find month to month shows the dedication and commitment of the staff to safety and safe work practices, which ultimately leads to safe resident care,” says Beisel.

Parkridge has seen tremendous change in the residents who call it home. Over the past six years, the resident population changed to include adults up to age 100 and children as young as pre-school age, which has required a shift in safety protocols for staff. Some of these include processes for dealing with everything from aggressive behaviour from a resident to global education of staff regardless of their work area and relevancy to work. “That global education has helped us when staff come across a situation that’s not normally in their work area,” says Beisel. “They now know where to get information to address safety concerns even if it’s not in their scope of practice.”

The team at Parkridge Centre huddles at their visibility wall to discuss, among other things, safety concerns.

The team at Parkridge Centre huddles at their visibility wall to discuss, among other things, safety concerns.

Parkridge’s manager of Community Support, Deidre McDonald, worked with the occupational health committee on site to determine the committee’s responsibilities, roles and accountabilities. McDonald also worked to determine what training needs existed at Parkridge to help staff to move forward. She worked closely with the occupational health officer from the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety to ensure the steps they were taking aligned with requirements of the Ministry.

The end result is a three-year trend in reduced Workers’ Compensation Board costs, which are now the lowest in almost 11 years for Parkridge. It’s also meant a safer environment for residents who are also encouraged to bring forward concerns in their home. Safety concerns are addressed with a team approach, which has led to better communication, more collaboration and quicker resolution of the issues, while at the same time keeping the needs of the residents at the forefront.

The success at Parkridge has been noticed by others as well. Beisel and her team have been asked to showcase their work in a presentation at the CI-2014 Conference sponsored by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) and the Saskatchewan Association For Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) in Regina in March 2014.