BETA Employee Safety is focused on minimizing injuries, controlling cost and protecting employees in the healthcare environment. BETA created the Employee Safety & Wellness Initiative (ESWI) to provide a structured and supportive approach to reduce injury. This program is designed to instill best practices in members' healthcare organizations and enhance worker safety and health. Eight domains (see below) address safety issues and tackle common loss cause trends in workers' compensation.
The ESWI Guideline document (see Resources area) for this incentive-based program outlines all domain criteria and participation requirements. BETA Workers' Compensation members are eligible to participate on an annual basis in improvement work designed to keep employees safe.
Incentives for successful implementation of domains will apply to policy renewal when domain requirements are met and confirmed by a validation audit at policy year close.
In accordance with the California Ergonomics Standard, emphasis is on guiding system-level programming for ergonomic processes including education, hazard analysis and assessments for employees who use computer workstations.
California’s Ergonomics Standard (CCR Title 8, Section 5110 – Repetitive Motion Injuries) requires employers to perform worksite evaluations of each job, process, or operation if there are one or more injuries from the same repetitive motion job task. Computer work is more commonplace in healthcare due to the emergence of electronic medical records.
Repetitive keyboarding can be a risk factor for upper extremity injuries. Having a good plan in place for handling worksite assessments, policies, procedures, and staff education can help mitigate the harm to employees and cost to employers.
An organizational program intended to reduce vehicle accidents and associated injuries, by encouraging the adoption of safe driving practices and sound mobile ergonomics for employees who work outside the office.
Motor vehicle collisions continue to generate the most major occupational injuries and remains the world’s leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 29. These incidents can have lasting financial and psychological effects on employees, coworkers, families and employers.
Evaluates and provides the safe design of job tasks and environments which consist of pushing, pulling, lifting, holding and carrying of material objects, to sustain a safe and healthy workplace.
Manual Material Handling (MMH) takes place in every type of health organization. Material handlers, laborers, freight and stock handlers as well as janitors and cleaners who are required to push, pull, lift, lower, carry and hold equipment, materials and objects (outside of patient handling) are among the occupations with the most injuries. In 2017, MMH injuries accounted for 34% of all injuries in the U.S. with back injuries the most frequent and costly. (2019 National Safety Council)
Addresses the risks associated with the concurrent use of multiple medications, including opioids, and the potential risk for addiction following an occupational injury.
Drug overdose deaths are on the increase in the U.S. where two out of three overdose deaths involve opioids, Fentanyl and prescription painkillers. Improving the ways that opioids and prescription painkillers are prescribed through instituting sound clinical practice guidelines can ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment and reduce the misuse of overuse of these prescription medications.
Provides program elements intended to create and maintain employee and organizational engagement following a work-related injury or illness.
Work-related and non-work related injuries and illness can have significant negative impacts on the organization, the employee, and their coworkers. Organizations must navigate through complex disability rights and workers’ compensation laws as the employee negotiates through medical care. Implementing strategies that support an employee’s early Return-to-Work (RTW) through a well-established program can have far-reaching positive impact on the organization and its employees.
In compliance with the California Health Care Worker Back and Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Act, promotes the use of safe patient handling principles and evaluation of procedures and processes, thereby reducing injury while improving patient care.
Regulations from OSHA and Cal/OSHA 5120 Health Care Worker Back and Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention and Hospital Patient and Health Care Worker Injury Protection Act under California’s Labor Code 6403 affect all general acute care hospitals and requires compliance in addressing the risk for musculoskeletal injuries during employees’ handling, lifting and mobilization of patients.
Addresses common hazards as well as recognizing hidden hazards in different environments, including auditing for prevention and educating employees on their joint responsibility (in concert with leadership) to avoid injury in the workplace.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the incidence rate of lost-workday injuries from slips, trips and falls (STFs) in the healthcare industry was 38.2 per 10,000 employees, which is 90% greater than the average rate for all other private industries combined. OSHA has made STFs one of its five focus hazards in all its programmed and unprogrammed inspections in both hospitals, and nursing and residential care facilities.
Both environmental hazards and human factors can contribute to an STF injury for employees, patients, and visitors and the outcome can be severe, both physically for the individual impacted and financially for the organization.
In accordance with California Workplace Violence Prevention in Health Care Standard, a program that assists with the creation and adoption of a Plan that includes risk assessments, reporting and recording obligations, training and hazard identification and correction, in an effort to reduce exposure to violence and associated injuries.
With more than 5 million U.S. hospital workers across all occupations, those with direct care have a high risk for workplace violence due to the populations they serve including those who may have altered mental status related to the influence of drugs and alcohol, psychiatric disorders, pain, multiple psychosocial stressors, or grief.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, healthcare workers sustain workplace violence injuries at a rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers, a rate over four times higher than in other professions. Psychiatric hospitals had injury rates 64 times higher and nursing and residential facilities 11 times higher than in other industries. Seventy-nine percent of the violent injuries were caused by interactions with patients.
Additional information on the Employee Safety & Wellness Initiative (ESWI) and access to supporting resources.