A new milestone - Recommendations to improve safety in the care sectors

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Over the past two years, AWARE-NS has led work with three government departments, organized labour, employers, and WCB Nova Scotia to develop a workplace safety report to improve health and safety outcomes in home care, long term care, and disability support program sectors. 

With best practice research, an extensive stakeholder engagement process, and the dedication and strategic advice of working group participants, a report has been finalized that sets out 21 recommendations to improve safety outcomes in these sectors,Charting the Course: Workplace Safety for Nova Scotia’s Home Care, Long term Care & Disability Support Sectors. 

On June 26, partners and stakeholders from across the sectors came together at an event to acknowledge and recognize the contributions of those essential in the development of the report and recommendations.

This is a huge milestone. 

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The recommendations in the report will help move the sectors towards safer workplaces, better practices, lower premiums, and improved quality of care for all Nova Scotians. Their implementation will depend on the continued long-term commitment, leadership, and accountability from all stakeholders.

At the stakeholder event,we also showcased an awareness video which tells the compelling human story of why workplace safety in these sectors is important. Because behind every time-loss statistic and number is a person who was hurt at work, and a life that was thrown out of balance.

This multi-stakeholder project has emphasized the importance of collaboration and open conversation between partners. 

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This is the second time sector-specific stakeholders have come together to impact and change safety outcomes for workers in Nova Scotia. By applying that same focus, tailored to the needs and reality of the care sectors, we hope to see tangible safety benefits for workers across the province.

The next steps will be setting out immediate action areas and developing the five-year action plan, which will detail a work plan and scorecard for each of the recommendations in the report and assign accountability for implementation.  

By identifying clear goals and the means by which to reach them, we will be able to build real safety culture change in Nova Scotia's health and disability support program sectors.