Pharmacy U

3 top safety tips for small pharmacies

Safety
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For many small pharmacies there’s no such thing as the “lazy, hazy days of summer.” This time of year is as busy or busier than any other, which makes staying on top of safety a business imperative.

Save yourself time and effort with WSPS’ Small Business Centre.  “It helps you understand the key pieces of a health and safety program,” says WSPS Consultant Kirsi Henry. “Then it provides you with the tools and resources to develop your program.”

These three suggestions from Kirsi can help small pharmacies at any stage of developing their health and safety program:

  1. Download the Safety Checklist. It covers core elements of a health and safety program, so completing it gives you a sense of possible gaps in your program and what’s needed to stay on track. Choose from one of three checklists, depending on the size of your pharmacy (1-5 employees, 6-19, or 20-49) and use the results to put together an action plan.
  2. Train your worker health and safety representative. A knowledgeable health and safety representative (HSR) will provide tremendous value to your business. While HSR training is not mandatory, it makes sense for HSRs to understand their role in supporting a health and safety program through hazard identification and recommendations to the employer. An effective HSR will strengthen your internal responsibility system. Find information and online HSR training in the Small Business Centre’s http://www.wsps.ca/SmallBusinessCentre/Overview.aspx “H&S Rep & Inspections” section (Safety Road Map for 6-19 employees).
  3. Identify hazards and higher risk jobs or tasks. This allows you to put together a plan and allocate resources where they’re needed most, so you can minimize the risk of injury and disruption. Depending on the variety of services provided, your pharmacy may have any of these six common hazards in addition to other hazards which may be specific to your operations:
  • biological (bacteria and viruses)
  • chemical (cytotoxins, teratogens and allergens)
  • musculoskeletal disorders (moving and lifting inventory)
  • physical (psychosocial abusive customers, excessive work load)
  • safety (wet floors, working from ladders, robbery)

Hazards can be controlled at the source (through elimination, substitution or isolation), along the path, or at the worker (e.g., training and personal protective equipment). Not sure how to assess hazards? Find a hazard assessment tool in the Small Business Centre. Click on “Hazards” under the Safety Roadmap for your company size.

Here’s a sampling of other resources you’ll find at WSPS’ Small Business Centre:

  • duties and responsibilities video
  • first aid kit requirements checklist
  • orientation training checklist
  • training tips for workers
  • WHMIS information
  • workplace inspection checklist
  • workplace violence and harassment policy templates

Start saving time. Check out the Small Business Centre http://www.wsps.ca/SmallBusinessCentre/Overview.aspx for simple safety solutions and for questions, call the WSPS Duty Consultant at 877-494-WSPS (9777).