Making Safety A Top Priority
June is National Safety Month and time to reevaluate the safety measures in place at home, work, or in our communities. At Hoyleton, we make safety a top priority for our residents, staff members, and volunteers. This week I had a chance to speak with Hoyleton’s Building and Grounds Manager, Steve Bradley, regarding how the maintenance department is protecting the Hoyleton family during the COVID-19 phase-in process and into the future.
One of the essential steps in protecting the Hoyleton family is building and reinforcing a culture of safety. This means stepping back and taking a look at the workplace and the employees through the lens of safety first. “A culture of safety is built upon having guidelines in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all. Then we [maintenance staff] models safety protocol for our residents and colleagues,” stated Steve. During orientation, new employees learn best practices in creating a caring, safe, and accepting environment where residents and employees can thrive, and workplace safety is an integral part of that training.
The maintenance department knows it is necessary to look for ways to mitigate risk while being mindful of the youth in our care. Hoyleton is comprised of two main campuses, Fairview Heights and Hoyleton, along with three other residential homes in Belleville and Salem, Illinois. Hoyleton serves a diverse group of youth, and our residential homes must be well-maintained and free from hazardous materials. Employees can alert the maintenance staff to any issues by utilizing our electronic Maintenance Requests, which are answered and serviced the same day. As Steve reiterated, “It is our job to keep our clients safe. When making repairs from light fixtures and wall sockets to fixing plumbing or door latches, we strive to keep our work area neat and safe for all involved. If extra supplies are needed to finish a job, we pick up our tools, acquire what we need to finish the job, and come back to repair the issue.”
As Hoyleton looks to the future and beyond COVID-19, improving our safety standards is in the forefront of Steve’s plans for the maintenance department. During COVID-19 and in the phase-in process, Steve’s team maintains a high level of safety protocols to reduce the chances of transmission as workers move from one residential facility to another to complete maintenance tasks. “We take our temperature, wear PPE before entering and dispose of used PPE before leaving each location. We are letting the residents know their well-being is important to us. Good habits are the basis for keeping everyone safe.”
While safety may seem like a natural tendency, the reality is accidents can happen from simple mistakes. Hoyleton’s maintenance staff continues to ensure the safety of our residents and staff by alleviating potential hazards and working to fix and correct issues that arise. If you would like to support the maintenance department’s efforts, you can send them a note of thanks, encouragement, and gift cards to assist their daily work and ensure that everyone entering a Hoyleton location is safe.