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2020 Safety First Grant Winners

1st Place:

Nebraska Medicine
Creating an Electronic Rounding Ticket System to Track Potential Hazards

The problem:

Together with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine operates an academic medical center in Nebraska. Its two hospitals, The Nebraska Medical Center and Bellevue Medical Center, and nearly 40 specialty and primary care health centers span the entire Omaha metropolitan area and the surrounding region, employing more than 8,000 employees and 1,000 doctors. The health system desired to build an electronic system to help enhance its current efforts to identify and alleviate potential workplace hazards.

The solution:

The use of an electronic ticketing system in conjunction with Nebraska Medicine’s existing environmental, health and safety rounding program allows the hospitals to identify and report all potential workplace hazards in a consistent, trackable manner. Completed weekly, unit or department managers or their designees are responsible for identifying any potential workplace hazards in all areas of the health system. Prioritized based on risk level and the order received, support tickets are then created and monitored for completion. This increased awareness and accountability contribute to Nebraska Medicine’s organizational goal to create a highly reliable and safe environment in which to provide care.

2nd Place:

Virginia Auto Dealers Group Self-Insurance Association
Utilizing a Wheel Arm Device to Reduce Injuries to Auto Technicians

The problem:

Virginia Auto Dealers Group Self-Insurance Association provides workers’ compensation coverage to most of Virginia’s franchised automobile dealers and other owned businesses. Due to dramatic increases in the number of trucks and SUVs, the increased size of manufacturer-installed wheels and tires, and an aging workforce, the group has incurred an increase in tire handling injury claims for automotive service employees. While most of these injuries are back, knee and shoulder-related, they can be costly and may result in lifetime medical needs. On average, the group sees 50 claims annually, resulting in an incurred cost of approximately $600,000.

The solution:

While there are tire handling assistance devices available, many are quite expensive. One of the most readily adopted solutions is the wheel arm. This device attaches to the vehicle lift arm, can be easily moved and removed, and swings closed when not in use. It also reduces the need for bending and squatting to remove a wheel since it is the same height as the wheel. Additionally, it does not slow down the process of tire removal, which is favorable for flat-rate paid technicians. With an estimated cost of $100, this device is inexpensive and could easily be implemented at each dealership. The use of these wheel arms is estimated to potentially cut claims by at least half annually.

3rd Place:

Kentucky Association of Counties Workers’ Compensation Fund
Implementing a Curriculum to Prevent Law Enforcement Motor Vehicle Accidents

The problem:

Dedicated to serving all 120 Kentucky counties, the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) provides the highest quality of programs and services, including insurance and loss control services to sheriff and county police departments. In the last five years, KACo has received over 143 workers’ compensation claims related to law enforcement collisions, with a total incurred cost of $1,494,609.

The solution:

Collaborating with The Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice, KACo is developing an eight-hour Emergency and Pursuit Driving Curriculum with half of the project already complete. Once fully developed, KACo will contract expert instructors to deliver the class regionally across the commonwealth to approximately 500 officers annually. One-third of these officers are covered by KACo’s workers’ compensation fund. While this program’s cost could reach up to $20,000 annually, they anticipate a 25% reduction in claims over the next five years, saving over $373,652.

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