Part 1: Risk Assessment
The Risk Assessment was completed in Fall 2021 utilizing a “by the industry, for the industry” approach, where sector stakeholders came together to identify a comprehensive list of hazards and their associated risks that they perceived paramedics faced in the workplace.
All stakeholders were asked to complete a list of workplace hazards affecting frontline paramedics. These were then consolidated and categorized into 26 main hazard categories (e.g., musculoskeletal disorders, personal protective equipment, ambulance design, workplace violence, psychosocial hazards). In the end, the group identified a total of 105 hazards.
Following an open discussion of the hazard and any supporting evidence on the impact of the hazard in subsequent working group sessions, the stakeholders individually and anonymously rated each of the hazards’ associated risk level using an online voting system. The stakeholders ranked both the likelihood and consequence of the hazard to determine overall risk rating for all hazards, resulting in a prioritized list of sector hazards.
- Of the 105 identified hazards, stakeholders evaluated 48 to be high-risk, 54 to be medium-risk and 3 to be low-risk.
- There was an important level of congruence between the employer and worker groups in that there was 70% agreement in the top 10 hazards rated by employer and worker representatives.
Top ten high-risk hazards identified by the Risk Assessment:
1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) injuries (Psychosocial Hazards)
2. Inability to use seat belts during patient care while the vehicle is in motion (Ambulance Design)
3. Usage of portable radios, communications, CACC and cell phone use (Equipment Concerns)
4. Support in exigent circumstances when responding to calls for service (Workplace Violence)
5. Violence and abuse in the workplace (Workplace Violence)
6. Reliability of CCAC radio system (Equipment Concerns)
7. Vehicle collisions (Traffic Protection)
8. General design of the ambulance (Ambulance Design)
9. Lack of sleep (Fatigue)
10. Use of traffic protection plans while paramedics are working on the roadway (Traffic Protection)