Health care CEOs form worker safety coalition
San Jose, CA — Ten CEOs from health care systems around the country have formed a coalition they say is committed to improving safety, well-being and equity for all who work in the industry, and on May 4 unveiled a Declaration of Principles to serve as a standard of safety.
On its website, the CEO Coalition says it has witnessed numerous acts of courage, care and compassion from health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the public health crisis has “exacerbated the factors contributing to workplace violence, created an environment of unprecedented stress, and exposed the impact of systemic inequities and racial injustice on the well-being of health care team members.”
The coalition contends that redefining safety in the workplace is necessary to restore trust, recruit and retain individuals to health care professions, and establish worker well-being for all.
Among the principles are three specifically aimed at ensuring worker safety and health:
Ensuring physical safety by:
- Implementing a zero-harm program for workers to eliminate physical and verbal violence in the workplace.
- Ensuring health care organizations can acquire and distribute evidence-based personal protective equipment, tools, technologies and processes so workers can perform their jobs safely and care for patients.
Safeguarding psychological and emotion safety by:
- Reducing emotional and cognitive burdens on workers and restoring human connection to the health care experience via investments in technology and processes.
- Creating policies and practices that drive open communication between workers and leadership to ensure people feel safe speaking up.
- Providing resources to assess and support workers’ emotional, social and spiritual health, alleviating the stigma and deterrents to seeking support.
Promoting health justice by:
- Requiring organizational and health-equity focused policies and practices to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, along with making equity and anti-racism core components of safety.