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Brooksville Healthcare Center Earns Its First SHARP Award!

Brooksville Healthcare Center is a Skilled Nursing Facility serving geriatric patients in need of rehabilitative services and long term care. The not-for-profit skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility located in Hernando county, offers physical, occupational and speech therapy to promote independence and improve the quality of life for its residents.

brooksville SHARP aug 2014

Brooksvile Health Care Center Proud Recipient of the SHARP Award

In 2008, the nursing facility initially requested and utilized the services of Florida’s official On-site Consultation Program as a means to identify workplace hazards and prevent worker injury and illness.

“We are constantly discussing and implementing workplace safety protocols to ensure that our employees can perform their job duties without injury. Contacting USF SafetyFlorida was necessary to move forward with our safety initiatives” says, Ms. Wanda Moak, administrator for the healthcare center.

USF SafetyFlorida’s James Ulseth and Mylene Kellerman had the privilege to work with the staff at the Healthcare Center in the spring of 2014. During the consultation visits a few safety hazards were identified which included electrical issues varying from a missing plug in an electrical box to a missing protective screen in an electrical timing box, and a detailed procedure outlining the facility’s lockout/tagout protocol for the gas dryer.

The nursing facility promptly corrected the hazards and also took action to prevent future recurrence. Relevant safety and health policies and procedures were amended including the protocol of the routine safety walk-through to include electrical safety issues and post contractor work orders. The facility also initiated training for all of the maintenance personnel to ensure that they knew and understood the facility’s lockout/tagout policy and how to locate the specific procedure for proper decommissioning a piece of equipment. The healthcare center also invited staff members from each department to attend the monthly safety meeting as a means to promote safety awareness within the facility.

“Successes resulting from participating in the On-site Consultation Program are a renewed sense of safety responsibility from not only the department heads but also the employees. The increased involvement from the employees is evident in their participating in safety initiatives and ideas to ensure a safe working environment”, continues Ms. Moak.

While putting forth the effort to earn the SHARP award, the healthcare center encountered challenges to improving and implementing a revised safety and health management system. “Developing a streamlined process to ensure that the safety goals and initiatives we implemented were being met and documented was not easy”, says Mr. Brian Wise, maintenance director, for the center, “but we did it with the assistance and guidance of USF SafetyFlorida and our very proactive safety committee”.

“SHARP has had a very positive impact on our staff. It has increased safety awareness that our healthcare center staff demonstrates through increased safety programs and initiatives. It has also enabled the center to standout as an industry leader for both current and potential staff members,” says Ms. Moak. “Working with the USF Safetyflorida On-site Consultation Program has provided our facility with the increased knowledge and skills necessary to reduce our workplace injury and illnesses while providing our staff members with the means to become involved with the healthcare center’s safety programs”.

OSHA gives its SHARP award to small and medium-sized employers who operate an exemplary safety and health management system. To qualify, a company must do the following:

• request an on-site consultation from USF SafetyFlorida;

• involve employees in the consultation process;

• correct hazards identified by the consultant;

• implement and maintain a safety and health management system that adheres to OSHA’s 1989 Safety and Health Management System guidelines;

• maintain DART and TRC rates below the national average for the company’s industry;

• agree to notify USF SafetyFlorida prior to making any changes to working conditions or introducing new hazards into the workplace.

To learn more about USF SafetyFlorida and the importance of workplace safety and health, visit http://www.usfsafetyflorida.com/