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Background

The University of Saskatchewan and Postgraduate Medical Education Office is committed to the promotion of health, safety and wellbeing of all medical residents. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada have collaboratively developed national standards for evaluation of the University Postgraduate Medical Education function and the sites used for residency education.

Standard A.2.5 states: “All participating sites must take reasonable measures to ensure resident safety at all times, particularly considering hazards such as environmental toxins, exposure to infectious agents transmitted through blood and fluid, radiation, and potential exposure to violence from patients or others.”

Purpose

  • To display the commitment of the Postgraduate Medical Education Office to the health, protection and personal safety of its postgraduate medical trainees.
  • To promote a safe and healthy environment and minimize the risk of injury on the university campus and teaching sites
  • To deliver a mechanism to report unsafe/hazardous training environments along with a procedure to take corrective action.

Roles and Responsibilities

Residency Program and the Postgraduate Medical Education Office

RCPSC-CFPC Accreditation standard B 1.3.9 requires all training programs to establish program specific safety policies to address their particular risk situations.

“The residency program committee must have a written policy governing resident safety related to travel, patient encounters, including house calls, after-hours consultations in isolated departments and patient transfers (i.e. medevac). The policy should allow resident discretion and judgment regarding their personal safety and ensure residents are appropriately supervised during all clinical encounters.”

It is the responsibility of each Residency Training Program to ensure:

  • Residents receive appropriate educational safety sessions including generic University safety orientation and WHMIS training
  • Hospitals and associated teaching sites have appropriate health and safety measures in place for residents
  • Residents are aware that they are subject to all University policies, procedures and regulations AND are subject to all relevant policies, procedures and regulations of the hospitals and associated teaching sites
  • That trainees are adequately oriented to policies prior to initiating clinical services

The Postgraduate Medical Education Office will work conjointly with the various Provincial Health Regions to ensure that each site is in compliance with health and safety requirements.

Hospitals and Affiliated Teaching Sites

Hospitals and affiliated teaching sites are responsible to:

  • Ensure residents are appropriately supervised during their work and learning.
  • Provide orientation information regarding all relevant policies, procedures and regulations, Occupational Health and Safety regulations.
  • Identify and communicate potential health and safety hazards to residents.
  • Implement appropriate health and safety measures, procedures and processes to protect residents.
  • Ensure residents receive appropriate health and safety training including for emergency situations – site specific WHMIS training, instructions for dealing with serious or critical incidents and reporting procedures.
  • Ensure procedures are established for residents who may work alone. A supervisor/co-worker must be present in the following situations:
    • When the resident is seeing a patient after hours in a clinic setting. This does not apply if in an emergency room/hospital based/ facility based urgent care setting.
    • Unscheduled home visits by the resident.
    • After office hours if the resident is still seeing patients.
  • Ensuring residents are not subject to discrimination and harassment.
  • Establish processes for residents to communicate health and safety concerns/issues, and to report incidents.
  • Maintain relevant health and safety records including for resident training and reported incidents.

Residents

Residents are responsible to:

  • Participate in appropriate health and safety training required by the University, and host hospitals and affiliated teaching sites.
  • Adhere to University health and safety requirements, and applicable health and safety regulations.
  • Adhere to the health and safety policies and procedures of their rotation’s training site.
  • Not partake in discrimination and harassment with patients, coworkers or staff.
  • Report health and safety concerns to their local supervisor(s) and Program Director.
  • Become familiar with emergency response procedures of the host training site.
  • Immediately report incidents to their host institution local supervisor, and Program Director.

University Health and Safety Policies

The following University of Saskatchewan Health, Safety and Environment policies can be found at this link http://policies.usask.ca/:

  • Animal Control
  • BioSafety
  • Compliance Enforcement Pertaining to Hazardous Agents
  • Contractor Hot Work
  • Discrimination and Harassment Prevention
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Fieldwork and Associated Travel Safety
  • Furniture
  • Long Term Storage of Nuclear Substances
  • Radiation Safety
  • Smoking
  • Violence
  • Working Alone
  • Workplace Safety and Environmental Protection (WSEP)

For further information or assistance with health and safety policies, please contact Safety Resources at 306-966-6475.

University Safety Programs & Services

Information available from the following link including safe walk, etc.:

http://ussu.ca/main-page/services/safewalk/

Personal Safety & Travel

Residents must report all situations where personal safety is threatened using the following guidelines:

  • If a resident identifies a personal safety or security breach, they must report it to their immediate supervisor and Program Director to ensure resolution of the situation.
  • If a resident feels that they are in a situation where their safety is threatened, the resident should seek immediate assistance and remove themselves from the situation in a professional manner. The resident should notify their immediate supervisor and Program Director.
  • Should the Program Director be unavailable or additional consultation is required, the Postgraduate Medical Education office ( 966-8555) is available for consultation from 8:30 – 4:30 Monday through Friday.
  • Residents should ensure that they are aware of the security contact information of their rotation sites should there be a safety issue after regular working hours.

Travel

It is the resident’s responsibility to:

  • Exercise judgment during travel to and from the workplace:
    • be aware of alternate options to prevent driving a personal vehicle when fatigued
    • ensure they drive while fully alert
    • determine, if in their estimation, that it would not be safe to travel because of weather in which case they must:
      • notify the appropriate person as soon as possible in a professional manner of absences due to inclement weather

Policies and Procedures for Reporting Work-Related Injuries & Incidents

The Saskatchewan Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) requires all Saskatchewan employers to report injuries to the WCB within five days of being aware of an injury as per The Worker’s Compensation Act, 1979 section 52, 53. Failure to report such an incident after receiving notice or knowledge of the injury may result in fines up to $1,000 plus the cost associated with the claim. As such, when a resident is involved in an incident that results in injury while at work or is involved in any event that could have injured someone, but did not (dangerous occurrence, near miss, near accident) it needs to be reported. Residents are University of Saskatchewan employees working within provincial health regions therefore they must report to both the University of Saskatchewan and the Health Region.

Following is the process to be followed, in the event of a resident is involved in an incident.

  1. Seek medical attention immediately as required.
    Residents must identify themselves as University of Saskatchewan employees to the caregiver or Emergency Department so that appropriate paperwork can be completed initially.

  2. The resident must report the incident immediately to the supervisor they are working with at the time.
    The resident, with the assistance of their supervisor or on-call attending, must report the incident to their Program Director and Chief Resident. Follow the incident reporting requirements of the host health care institution.

  3. The resident will complete a University of Saskatchewan Incident Report.
    Incidents can be reported online through the University of Saskatchewan Safety Resources website, http://safetyresources.usask.ca. For assistance completing an incident report, please contact Safety Resources at 306-966-4675. The employee must also send a copy of the Incident Report to the Program director.

  4. The Program Director will complete an Employer’s Initial Report of Injury (E1).
    The Program Director must file an Employer's Initial Report of Injury (E1) and fax the form to the WCB at 888-844-7773 and to University of Saskatchewan Wellness and Safety Resources at 306-966-2882. Employer’s Initial Report forms can be obtained from Wellness and Safety Resources. A copy of this form must also be forwarded to the Post Graduate Medical Education Office. For assistance, call Wellness and Safety Resources at 306-966-4580.

  5. The resident will file a Worker's Initial Report of Injury (W1).
    The W1 form, available through Wellness and Safety Resources at 306-966-4675. The W1 form is to BE completed and faxed to the WCB at 888-844-7773 and to Wellness and Safety Resources at 306-966-2882. The employee must also send a copy of the completed form to the Program Director.

Blood Borne Infections

Physicians and residents are required to self-disclose blood borne pathogens or infections directly to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (Registrar or Assistant Registrar at 306-244-7355 in Saskatoon). Should the resident not disclose their condition, the Program Director has an ethical responsibility to report the condition to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan. The Registrar/Assistant Registrar is also available for consultation/advice on dealing with situations like this.

Refer to the blood borne pathogens occupational exposure management procedures of the host health care institution for medical testing and follow-up processes.

Medivac/Ambulance Transports

Role of Residents based on educational principles:

  • Participation in patient transport in many programs is a valuable learning experience for residents.
  • There must be clear educational objectives underlying the resident’s participation in patient transport.
  • Residents must have appropriate training with demonstrated competency in the circumstances relevant to the transport experience.
  • Communication and supervision between the resident and his/her designated supervising physician must be available at all times.
  • Resident well-being should be considered in all transports.
  • If travel extends outside of the home-based training site a University Authority to Travel form must be completed by the resident and approved by the Program Director and kept in the Program’s files for future reference if/as required.

University Resources

Post Graduate Medical Education Office: 306-966-8555
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan: 306-244-7355
Safety Resources: 306-966-4675
Wellness Resources: 306-966-4580
Protective Services: 306-966-5555

Reference Information

Revisions Approved – PGME Committee October 8, 2014
Approved – PGME Committee April 6, 2011