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New association tackles injury reduction in long-term care sector in B.C.

By COS staff

The BC Care Providers Association and WorkSafeBC have announced the launch of SafeCare BC, a workplace health and safety association that will focus on reducing the severity and frequency of injuries in the continuing health-care sector.

SafeCare BC is based on a successful model in Alberta, which has seen overall injury claims in the continuing care sector drop by an average of 20 per cent, long-term disability claims by more than 25 per cent, and back injury claims by 36 per cent since its formation in 2005.

“We have seen how industry-focused associations in B.C. help to improve worker health and safety in other sectors. We expect that SafeCare BC will help reduce WorkSafeBC claims in the long-term care sector and support injured long-term care workers in safely returning to work more quickly," said Ian Munroe, vice-president employer, industry and worker services, WorkSafeBC.

SafeCare BC is funded by employers registered with WorkSafeBC under the Long Term Care classification. This category includes facilities that provide 24-hour assistance to elderly, disabled and terminally ill patients. Patients reside in these facilities as their permanent residence. The category does not include retirement or seniors homes, or substance abuse treatment centres.

Jennifer Lyle has been named executive director of SafeCare BC. Lyle is a practising kinesiologist and published author, and brings with her a rich background in health care.

The new association will provide cost-effective health and safety training, educational services, and industry safety performance information. Among the first steps for the new association will be to assess what training and resources need to be developed for B.C.’s continuing care sector.

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