Help reduce injuries at our hospitals and health centers

April 9, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements, Updates & Resources,

To measure our safety, we keep a close, monthly count of the workplace injuries that occur in our hospitals and health centers. The D.A.R.T. rate, or Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred, counts serious injuries per 100 staff members.

Our most recent 12-month DART rate (ending February 2015) was 2.18, which is better than the statewide average of 2.7 (most recently published in 2012) as well as the average of 2.3 (most recently published in 2013) for healthcare workers. Our institutional goal for 2015 is 1.3. While UMHHC’s DART rate continues to decline, there are still many steps you can take to improve your safety and the safety of those around you.

How you can help reduce workplace injuries:

The most common cause of injuries in our health system is lifting and carrying objects and people. These injuries can be reduced by taking the time to assess the situation, using mechanical aids and getting help whenever possible.

Slips and falls are the second source of injuries. To help reduce falls:

  • Remove obstacles such as open file drawers or objects on the floor.
  • Keep cords organized and out of walking paths.
  • Attend to spills promptly.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes or boots with good grip while walking in wet, snowy or icy conditions.
  • Report wet, slippery floors to the Environmental Services clean line at 2-5326.

Other top causes of serious injuries are pushing and pulling, accounting for 1,365 total days away, restricted or transferred, and striking or being struck by objects, accounting for 879 total days. Pushing and pulling injuries can be reduced in the same way as lifting and carrying injuries: by assessing the situation and using mechanical or human help. Injuries caused by being struck by an object can be reduced by making sure you can see around and over carts, pushing carts with two hands, and checking mirrors at intersections and corners to make sure no one is coming.

Above all, slow down. The most common injury scenario involves someone pushing a cart too fast while using only one hand. This often makes it difficult to stop and avoid someone else.

With these tips in mind, let’s work together to continue improving the health, safety and overall experience of our employees.

Managers are responsible for investigating incidents, identifying causes, and implementing solutions for workplace injuries. If you or a co-worker is injured on the job, report it to your manager immediately. Seek medical attention if needed – from Occupational Health Services (764-8021, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) or the Emergency Department at all other times.

Fill out an Illness/Injury Report Form so that Safety Management Services can look into the causes and help prevent future incidents. Slip and fall injuries should be reported to Hospital Security as well.