HIBBING — Fairview Range recently was recognized for its superior performance in workplace safety during the Governor’s Safety Awards ceremony coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council.
“Employee safety is one of our top priorities, and this award recognizes that,” said Deb Boardman, president/CEO of Fairview Range in a release. “Safety concerns are always considered in everything we do, and we are committed to ensuring that Fairview Range remains a safe place to work and practice.”
The annual Governor’s Safety Awards program has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance since 1934. Applicants are judged on several years of injury data as it compares with their industry’s national statistics, and on their progress in implementing a comprehensive safety program.
For Jane Brownlee, risk manager for Fairview Range, safety is a business in a setting known for its hazards.
“Healthcare has safety challenges for staff as it relates to safe patient handling, including lifting, transferring and repositioning patients, body substance exposures, sprains and strains,” she said. “Our material handlers are at risk for strains, and our office staff have potential for ergonomic injuries. Workplace violence has also been on the rise in healthcare settings.”
In order to prepare for and avoid these hazards, Fairview Range uses a comprehensive safety program that includes support from multiple levels of staff.
“Our safety committee includes support from administration, management, security, risk management and front line staff,” Brownlee explained. “The committee meets on a scheduled basis to discuss and address any safety/security concerns. If accidents occur, follow up is done to address the potential cause and implement corrective actions.”
Annual training is another tool used to increase injury prevention and safety in the work environment, Brownlee said.
“Safety is everyone’s job,” she added. “Our staff are proactive in identifying hazards and working safely to prevent injuries to themselves or our patients,” she said.
And when accidents happen?
“If we do have a work related injury, we work with our employees to return them to work as soon as possible,” Brownlee said. “Modifying their position if necessary on a temporary basis for a successful return to work.”
Fairview Range received a Meritorious Achievement Award in Occupational Safety at the Governor’s Safety Awards luncheon on May 18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The organization is one of 266 employers that were honored through the awards program.
The Meritorious Achievement Award was given to 115 winners, This means that honorees had incidence rates that are better than the industry average for at least three years, and a score between 50 and 74 on a 100-point safety program evaluation scale.
“We thank Fairview Range for its commitment to safety,” said Paul Aasen, president of the Minnesota Safety Council in a release. “These efforts protect workers, strengthen the organization and benefit the community as a whole.”