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Frequently Asked Questions

Safe Health Care: Taking Care of Health Care Workers – Like most of us in health care today, you likely work in one of three types of workplace environments: acute care, long term care or community care. Though each of these workplace types is different from one another, they all share a common need for safety. Not just the safety of patients and clients, but our own safety as caregivers.

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Do you have a question related to occupational health and safety in healthcare? Our knowledgeable team may be able to answer your question or direct you to an appropriate resource.

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What hazards are found in the healthcare workplace?

The health care workplace includes hazards that don’t exist in other workplace environments; hazards that can impact your health and quality of life at work and at home.  Watch for:

Ergonomic and Mechanical Hazards

  • patient handling and movement
  • handling of materials
  • workstation (design)
  • condition of equipment

Physical Hazards

  • excessive noise
  • air quality
  • sharp instruments
  • slip and fall hazards
  • electricity / radiation
  • extreme temperature changes

Chemical Hazards

  • corrosive materials
  • toxic materials
  • compressed gas
  • medications

Biological Hazards

  • blood and bodily fluids
  • infectious materials

Psychosocial Hazards

  • stress
  • workplace violence

What do I do if I have an accident at work?

First and foremost, seek out medical attention if it is required. If you are providing care for a client when the accident occurs, ensure your client is cared for before leaving the home. Notify your supervisor of the accident right away. With your supervisor, complete the Injury Near Miss (INM) form.

Note: Corporate and Community staff must follow the OESH Intake process by calling 940-8482.  Corporate and Community does not use the INM Form.

How do I file a claim for Worker’s Compensation if I am injured at work?

When you see your supervisor to complete the Injury Near Miss form, ask your supervisor for a WCB Worker’s Report of Accident. Complete this form, and send it in to WCB. or, you may call WCB directly at 954-4100 and report your claim over the telephone.

What do I do if an injury or medical condition leaves me unable to do all or part of my job duties?

See your supervisor to obtain a Modified Duities Form (MDF). Take this form to your doctor to have completed and returned as soon as possible. This form allows us to determine whether or not we can find suitable work duties for you while you heal. As you recover, you may be asked to provide updated forms. This allows us to adapt your work duties as the restrictions on your abilities change, and further determine our ability to accommodate you.

Am I obligated to disclose my personal health information to my employer?

The Modified Duties form does not ask for information that is considered personal health information under PHIA. The information in this form allows your manager and OESH to safely determine your work capabilities, and for how long restrictions on your job duties are required.

There may be times where the WRHA requires personal health information in addition to what is provided in the MDF in order to reasonably accommodate a medical condition. If this is the case, you will be asked to sign a consent form that allows us to contact your doctor for the information required.

Where is my personal health information stored, and who has access to it?

If the WRHA needs to obtain your PHI in order to accommodate your health condition, this information is obtained by staff in OESH. Your personal health information is stored in a file, in a locked filing cabinet, in a locked office accessible only by OESH staff. Should a reason become identified to share your personal health information outside of OESH, you will be asked to sign a consent form outlining what information can be shared, and with whom, before this is done.