By Lisa Malowany, SARC Program Manager and Trainer
If you asked Maggie Zacharias, “Do you want the people who support you to go home safe from work?” or “Do you like helping Train staff to be safe?” her answer is an enthusiastic, “Yep, I do!”
Let us tell you about Maggie and how she has become a valuable part of the training team at Sunshine Housing. In January 2019 during her person centred planning process, Maggie identified that she wanted to bake brownies for the training events held at Sunshine Housing. “What a great idea!” everyone thought. No one realized at the time that this goal would lead to so many other amazing opportunities for Maggie.
Maggie baked her famous brownies for the next training event and brought them in at coffee break. The trainer invited her to stay and enjoy them with the group. After the coffee break, they invited her to stay and watch some of the training. After a while and some careful observation, Maggie started to provide correction to the staff attending the training, pointing out when they were not doing things correctly. The trainer recognized this as an opportunity to have Maggie help her even more with the training. She worked with Maggie to develop some role plays to demonstrate the concepts involved in PART training, and Maggie helps with the physical demonstration of maneuvers. Her acting in the role plays is very accurate and animated and has added so much to the training. Staff have commented on how much value there is in Maggie helping out with the training. In TLR training, staff are required to be put into a mechanical lift and Maggie usually offers to show them what it is like by going first. Maggie has become an integral part of both the PART and TLR training sessions held at Sunshine Housing.
Maggie is 100% committed to safety and wants all staff to have the skills they need to be safe and go home injury free at the end of the day. She will tell her support staff when they are not doing things safely and has been known to state, “Tuck your elbows,” when someone is lifting something, which is a key phrase used in TLR Training!
When SARC learned of Maggie’s dedication to safety, we felt it was important to celebrate it. SARC partnered with the Saskatchewan Association of Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH), who oversees the PART and TLR programs in the province, and on September 5th, 2019, we held a celebration with Maggie, the staff at Sunshine Housing, and many of her family. Maggie was presented with a t-shirt that states “#1 Safety Promoter”, which she wore proudly. Maggie was very excited about this and when asked if she thought she would wear the t-shirt at trainings, her response was, “Yep, I do”.
What a great example of how a community supported Maggie in implementing her person centred plan and helped her become the #1 Safety Promoter. Way to go Maggie, you rock, “Yep, you do!”