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June is National Safety MonthIn 1996, the National Safety Council established June as National Safety Month in the United States. The goal is to focus on ways to keep the environment safe and free from danger. To that end, our organization has prepared emergency plans as well as trained staff in a number of scenarios. Frequent updates are essential as rules and regulations change continuously.

Marc Richard, Director of Facilities Engineering at Chelsea Jewish Lifecare and JGS Lifecare, explained the importance of safety in our residences. “It is imperative that all our centers maintain their safety standards,” commented Richard. “We have multiple regulatory inspections surveys during the year such as OSHA, CMS, DPH, LSC, Joint Commission and VA, as well as inspections from the local police department, fire department and Board of Health, among others that check for our compliance with all regulatory codes.

Our organization has partnered with the TELS P.M. program, which is a computerized task and preventative maintenance inspection program that tracks the centers compliance with safety measures. The TELS program generates weekly reports showing tasks that are upcoming, completed and/or need attention. It also features a work order system that generates work orders tickets immediately directly to the department and prioritizes them by need.

Additionally, each of our centers also have an Emergency Preparedness Plan, which is reviewed annually. The plans are center based, with policies and training procedures that cover all possible needs during a disaster or emergency. Every year each center performs two disaster drills, one that is community based and involves local emergency services, and one that is considered a tabletop drill, which is based on a situation of  vulnerability in which the center may experience like a blizzard or a hurricane.

Precautions are also taken in terms of personal safety. “It’s a known fact that seniors are most at risk for falls,” stated Richard. “In fact, falls are the most common incident as people age. As a result, we make sure that areas are marked for wet floors, handrails are used properly and the corridors are always clean and clear. These  precautions can prevent many falls.”

Marc noted that the safety procedures at CJL Lifecare and JGS Lifecare are constantly being monitored and reviewed. “Through frequent surveys, inspections, equipment checks and safety committee meetings to monitor quality improvements, we feel confident our environment and residences meet the most stringent safety requirements,” stated Richard. He added, “Our number one priority is to keep the environment of our residents and staff safe.”