Diversicare Windsor House, Inc. dba Windsor House

State: Alabama
Company: Diversicare Windsor House, Inc. dba Windsor House
Industry: Healthcare - NAICS Code: 623110
Employees: 140
Success Brief:

Diversicare Windsor House, Inc. dba Windsor House has successfully reduced employee musculoskeletal injury rates by developing and implementing an effective “no manual lift” ergonomics program at the facility.

The Problem:

Diversicare Windsor House, Inc. dba Windsor House worked diligently to reduce the risk of ergonomic-related injuries and improve employee safety.

The Solution:

The facility effectively implemented a “no manual’ lift policy to minimize ergonomic related injuries associated with resident handling. The employer has provided an adequate supply of mechanical lifts (sit to stand and total lifts) and repositioning sheets (Z-sliders) for resident handling staff to use for the lifting, transferring, repositioning of residents. Compliance with the "no lift" policy is mandatory and a disciplinary policy is instituted that includes termination for failure to follow the policy. The employer provides training on the policy, use of the lifting devices and disciplinary policy. New employees are provided orientation on the use of the machines and devices and retraining is conducted for existing employees to ensure compliance with the policy and lift procedures. Employee interviews revealed knowledge and understanding of the lift policy, disciplinary policy and use of lift devices. In addition, the facility has implemented the following steps to reduce the ergonomic stressors:

  • Conduct periodic observation of staff engaged in patient handling to ensure safe work practices are utilized.
  • Established and implemented an accident investigation program to determine preventative measures to prevent future occurrences.
  • Established a safety and health/ergonomics committee to address safety issues including resident handling ergonomic stressors and ensure employee involvement.

Residents are assessed upon admission to determine mobility and the type of lift care is recorded on a care card that is kept at the resident’s bedside. At the entrance to the resident’s room, a color coded sticker is placed next to the resident’s nameplate that indicates the lift care required. Resident assessment is conducted periodically to ensure the assessment is up to date and input is solicited from the employees.

Maintenance employees are responsible for ensuring that monthly lift inspections are conducted and documented, as well as batteries for the lifts being charged and readily available. Maintenance and employees are responsible for ensuring that the slings are inspected for damage and removed from service. The Risk Manager is responsible for conducting a periodic inspection and count of available slings and reporting the information to the corporate office on a regular basis.

The Impact:

Due to the measures implemented by the employer, injury rates reduced from 9.55 - 2010 to 2.15 - 2014 and there has been no reported ergonomic related injury since 2012. The Certified Nurses’ Assistants (CNAs) are less vulnerable to injuries, have an increased awareness of personal safety and report that the policy makes it safer for both employee and resident. The reduction in injury rates and risk factors for ergonomic stressors are commendable.

  • Beverly Cox Administrator. (August 2015).