HSinCARE © 2017
Chartered Health and Safety Consultants covering the following areas: Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Wem, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, Kidderminster, Worcester, Pershore Malvern, Royal Leamington Spa, Worcester, Worcestershire,Wolverhampton, Walsall, West Midlands, Stafford, Stoke, Burton upon Trent, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, Chester, Wrexham, Crewe, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Northampton, Daventry and surrounding areas.
Health and Safety Consultancy and Safety Training for schools, nurseries, academies, hospitals, care homes, domiciliary care, retailers, shops, offices, pubs, hotels, manufacturing companies and small contractors.
Risk Assessments, Workplace Audits, Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Warden, Manual Handling, Food Hygiene, CoSHH Assessments and more.
Community carers generally have many challenges to deal with on a daily basis, having to travel to each client and make quick decisions to problems that arise. Working alone for a majority of the time, and carrying drugs or sharps makes this group of workers very vulnerable. Dealing with family members may not always be that straight forward.
The trend for people requiring care, basic maintenance, support or assistance in their own homes instead of in residential settings continues to increase at a rapid rate. As the number of people ageing or with a disability increases, there is a greater demand for services that allow them to stay in their own homes within the community. The range of providers, including carers, nurses, cleaners, housekeepers, property maintenance personnel and pharmacy services, highlights an increased need for guidance in managing work health and safety challenges that arise when providing a service within homes or community settings.
Challenges include not only the many and varied workplace hazards faced by workers, but also the corresponding responsibilities of employers, workers, contractors and clients. Sometimes these responsibilities may seem difficult to clearly define. For example, how do managers weigh up their duty of care to clients versus staff? Who is responsible for ensuring a safe working environment?
The ultimate aim of Health and Safety guidance is to prevent injury or illness to people working in the community. The costs of injury are high, not only the personal suffering and loss, but also the disruption to the client and the organisation.
The crucial element of ensure the safety of domiciliary care workers is the risk assessment; the aims of which are to find out whether the work can be done safely by a lone worker. The employer must ensure that their staff are not put at any greater risk than those who would do the job together and to identify any jobs that are too difficult or dangerous for a lone worker to carry out.
Some of the elements of a domiciliary care worker’s daily routines that will need to be assessed are:
What is the solution?
There are a number of safety systems the organisation could adopt to help reduce the risk of harm to the lone worker. Adopting control measures depending on the risk factor and providing information to staff is essential.
A number of policies and procedures will assist the organisation explain to staff the measures they have taken to ensure the safety of those who work alone.
It is important that employers know where lone workers are for their own safety. There are several systems that employers can adopt to ensure staff can be traced, but these are dependent on care workers understanding the reasons behind them and ensuring they take steps to implement them.
Care workers should receive information and training about any system the organisation sets up to try to look after the safety of the care worker in an emergency. Care workers must be responsible for ensuring that any measures are followed in an emergency situation, as the system could ensure the care worker’s safety.
Health and Safety in Care can help your organisation by delivering training and information to staff and to support the management team with the risk assessment process. Bespoke training handbooks can be written to reflect your in-
If care workers follow the procedures they have been given by the organisation, the likelihood is that they will remain as safe as staff who work together.
General Health and Safety Awareness
Hazards associated with domiciliary care workers, working alone:
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