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Florida's Blood Centers, Orlando


(Left to right)--FBC Vice President of Blood Systems Alicia Prichard; FBC CFO Steve Jensen; FBC Director of Facilities Susan Walker; FBC Health & Safety Projects Coordinator Kelli Smith; FBC CEO Mike Pratt; FBC Health & Safety Manager Teresa Nealer; USF SafetyFlorida Safety & Health Supervisor Mylene Kellerman; FBC Health & Safety Specialist Joy Hendrix

Florida's Blood Centers Earns First SHARP Recognition

Workplace safety is critical when providing blood and blood products to 70 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Florida. And at Florida's Blood Centers (FBC), one of the state's largest independent blood centers, the organization’s Orlando headquarters' workplace safety program is an award-winning one.

It wasn't always that way, however. At one time, FBC experienced rising injury rates and insurance premiums that were adversely affecting its productivity and efficiency. Management then established a goal to improve FBC’s overall safety program and, as part of their efforts to prevent future slips, trips and falls, contacted the USF SafetyFlorida consultation program for on-site consultation.

Teresa Nealer, the company's safety and health manager, said USF SafetyFlorida consultant Mylene Kellerman brought a fresh perspective to FBC’s workplace safety management system. "We knew we had worked hard developing policies and procedures for our safety program,” Nealer said. “(The consultation) was nothing but good for us. It was a very positive experience and brought our safety program up to a new level.” This new safety level includes a coveted SHARP certification.

The company's enhanced safety protocols, including education and awareness through safety meetings and inspections as well as tracking and trending accident and incident data, have reduced their workers' compensation modification rate by a significant 24 percent.

Nealer says for safety to work, it takes not only an effort by employees but also a management team dedicated to building a strong safety management system. “Our goal is to provide the safest work environment possible for our employees. By doing this, employees automatically know that management cares and is serious about safety. Florida's Blood Centers' highest standard is safety." Indeed it is; the company's DART rate of 1.4 is well below their 2.2 industry average.