Good Shepherd Nursing Home and Welty Home Earn National Safety Award
Good Shepherd Nursing Home and Welty Home in Wheeling have been honored with the top safety award given by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Both senior residential programs received the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) Award, which identifies employers who operate exemplary safety and health management systems.
The award is an achievement of status that recognizes Good Shepherd and Welty Home as models for worksite safety and health. The Wheeling programs were two of only 15 West Virginia workplaces to win the award this year and the only healthcare facilities to be honored.
Good Shepherd and Welty are part of a continuum of care offered by the non-profit Welty Corporation. Welty Corporation Manager Donald R. Kirsch says the facilities’excellent safety records are due to the efforts of staff. “Safety is first and foremost a team effort,” Kirsch said. “The staff at Good Shepherd and Welty have a culture of acceptance and understanding. The trust and respect that they have for each other was the driving force in making both workplaces safer.”
This outstanding safety record came after OSHA found a high rate of work-related injuries at Good Shepherd in 1997. “Our residents were very well cared for, but our staff experienced too many injuries on the job,” he said. A team of employees worked to rewrite the institution’s safety program and ensure that all staff were appropriately trained, which resulted in a 62 percent reduction in workplace injuries in the first year alone.
In addition to achieving OSHA compliance and reducing workplace injuries, Good Shepherd’s safety program has resulted in significant savings, which officials used to improve wages and benefits for staff. “This has reduced staff turnover, creating a more efficient and highly skilled and competent workforce,” Kirsch said. “We are pleased to have won the award consistently since 2000.”
For more information about Good Shepherd Nursing Home and Welty Home, visit www.weltyhome.org or call 304.242.1093.
Good Shepherd staff were recognized for their exemplary work safety record. Representing Good Shepherd and Welty’s 260 employees are, front row from left: Amy Becker, Donnie Otto, Karen Stern, Kirstie Kalany, and Randy Forzano. And, second row from left, Kathy Shultz, Susann Mathes, Pamela Heslop, Brian Beaver