RiverMead Celebrates Safety Success

PETERBOROUGH, New Hampshire, October 20, 2015 – RiverMead continuing care retirement community is celebrating the success of its new ergonomics training initiative. MEMIC, Northern New England’s leading workers’ comp insurer, helped connect RiverMead with ergonomics training from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell (UMass Lowell). Sixteen RiverMead employees representing every department attended the original train-the-trainer workshop and went on to train more than two hundred other RiverMead employees in preventing musculoskeletal injuries.

“RiverMead is one of the most enthusiastic organizations we’ve worked with,” says Marian Flum, UMass Lowell Project Director. “It’s outstanding what they’ve accomplished and MEMIC has been invaluable in connecting us with their nursing home policyholders.”

“We never stop looking for opportunities to enhance the safety services we provide to our policyholders,” says MEMIC Director of Loss Control Service Lauren Caulfield. “We always say the best way to lower costs is to prevent injuries from happening in the first place.”

Caulfield says the UMass Lowell Ergonomics Training for Nursing Home Workers was so effective at RiverMead because it recognizes the importance of cultivating ergonomic champions within the organization who will carry the initiative forward beyond just a single training and into the day-to-day operations. Thanks to RiverMead’s focus on safety, employee injuries and the costs associated with them have been in decline the last two years.



[From left to right of photo, RiverMead’s ergonomics training celebration luncheon was attended by Bill James, CEO; Derek Buffum, Maintenance Aide; Arnelle Lassila, Assisted Living Unit Coordinator; Michelle Brumaghim, Admissions Coordinator; Mandy Sliver, HR/Accounting Specialist; Deb Hardy, Team Leader Housekeeping; Tyler Stimans, Server; Lisa Labonte, Team Leader Housekeeper; Dianne Tisdale, Director Human Resources; Lauren Caulfield, MEMIC Director of Loss Control Service. Not shown are Erin Jablonski, Director of Nursing; Jody Dunn, LNA; Heather Marrotte, LNA; Tom Peterson, Maintenance Aide; Samantha Richard, Lead Rounds Cook.]

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), nursing homes have one of the highest employee excessive injury and illness rates and nurses have one of the highest rates of musculoskeletal injury of any profession. Direct and indirect costs associated with back injuries in the healthcare industry are an estimated $20 billion annually.

The fact that nurses have higher injury rates than conventional manual labor occupations like construction workers is one reason UMass Lowell received a series of OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grants over a 4 year period to develop the capacity of more than 80 nursing homes in New England to build sustainable, ongoing programs to mitigate and prevent employee musculoskeletal injury and strain caused by resident handling and other ergonomic hazards.




The MEMIC Group includes MEMIC Indemnity Company, MEMIC Casualty Company, and parent company Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company; all rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best. As a super-regional workers’ compensation specialty insurer, The MEMIC Group holds licenses to write workers’ compensation in 46 states plus the District of Columbia. The group insures more than 20,000 employers and their estimated 300,000 employees, and holds more than $1 billion in assets. The group maintains offices in Manchester, NH; Glastonbury, CT; Albany, NY; Weehawken, NJ; West Conshohocken, PA; Tysons Corner, VA; and Tampa, FL; in addition to its headquarters in Portland, ME.