KGH passes first-ever Workwell safety audit with glowing marks

News / General
By Matthew Manor

We can count ourselves among only three per cent of organizations across the province that passed the Workwell Health and Safety Audit the first time around. In fact, KGH's results are unparalleled for a health-care organization in Ontario.

KGH was awarded a score of 93.3 per cent following a two-day site visit from an auditor with the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board. It's important to note that no partial scoring is allowed. Points are only awarded for full documentation and completion. Overall, KGH earned 905 points out of a possible 970.

“We are absolutely thrilled with our results, especially given this was our first Workwell experience,” says Shannon Graham, Vice President of People Services and Organizational Effectiveness. “This success is due to the hard work and commitment of many, many people to support workplace safety and the elimination of all preventable harm at KGH.”

Although KGH was selected for a Workwell audit based on a Norovirus outbreak and the ensuing lost time claims in late 2009, the auditor applauded KGH for viewing the inspection as an overall improvement strategy. “Many hours of work have been put into the health and safety program at Kingston General Hospital and it was nice to see that a continuous improvement plan is in place to continue the evolution,” she wrote. “There is certainly a tangible effect that is happening with health and safety that is most impressive.”

KGH was awarded full marks for its health and safety policies and posting of health and safety materials, standards and procedures.

A few areas identified for improvement include procurement, equipment inspections and orientation to hazards when employees transfer to new departments or roles.

“While we still have some work to do, the auditor clearly saw the passion for safety that is developing in different departments and areas,” says Joanna Noonan, Manager of Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness. “A lot of people went above and beyond to help prepare for this audit and they should be very proud of what we've accomplished in such a short time. The key will be to build on what we have already established to ensure that safety is always at the forefront.”