In an effort to improve employee safety, Kindred has developed and implemented a number of safety measures over the last few years. “We started a campaign called ‘Safety Never Hurts,’ in 2011, and are continuing it in 2012,” says Greg Laird, Director of Loss Prevention, Kindred Healthcare. “Some of our earliest efforts were visual promotions like posters and banners. We also provided facilities with digital counters to record injury-free days. There are contests between facilities to see who can make it through the most days without an injury. We have one facility right now in Texas that’s close to 400 days.”

Kindred is Preventing Loss Through Improved Employee Safety As part of the campaign, each Kindred facility was asked to assign a Worker’s Compensation Champion. “The champions are employees who were already working in the facilities,” says Laird. “Their job is to keep track of injuries and make sure the CEO or director is aware of those injuries so they can work to resolve any ongoing issues.”

Employee training is a big part of the Safety Never Hurts campaign. “We recently made available a DVD on lifting and repositioning of patients,” Laird says. “We also make training visits, where we teach loss prevention strategies and injury management. On our staff intranet, there’s a Loss Prevention Worker’s Comp Web page that includes educational tools and resources on how to stay injury-free.”

Leadership also plays a big role in loss prevention efforts at Kindred. “We’ve been doing a series of loss prevention audits,” says Laird. “When an audit is complete, the results are provided to the facility leadership with tools to make necessary improvements. We’ve also been emphasizing accident investigation and root cause analysis.”

Laird believes that loss prevention is a continuous process. “Safety Never Hurts is a continuous awareness program,” he says. “When our employees get in their cars to drive to work, they’re conditioned to be on the lookout for safety issues,” he says. “We want to drive that same sense of awareness in the work environment.”