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Managing Health & Safety

 

Testimonials

“I find Arinite professional, responsive and committed to ensuring excellent health and safety practices within the workplace and within our resident’s homes.

I would recommend Arinite, they are responsive and reply very quickly to correspondence.

In addition to this our consultant is highly knowledgeable and is able to give us up to date information and guidance on a wide range of health and safety matters.

Having an independent person to run scenarios and situations past has resulted in reduced costs for example when we have received reports from insurers.”

Louise Graham,
Housing Operations Manager, Sapphire Independent Housing, June 2017

Managing Health & Safety

The HSE revised guidance includes the methodology of ‘Plan, Do, Check and Act’ which is critical for Care Homes.

It is important to remember that to its residents the care home is their personal home.

Safe systems of work have to be created and implemented, staff should be trained and equipment must be purchased and maintained.

Employers can ill afford the losses resulting from accidents and work-related ill health. As well as the pain and suffering of the employee(s) involved there are less obvious losses such as the need to hire replacement staff, lost management time in resolving issues, higher insurance premiums, and staff training costs.

  • Think about what you want to achieve, and who will be responsible for what.
  • Make sure everyone understands their H&S roles and responsibilities.
  • For more than five employees, the appropriate health & safety arrangements must be written down.

Appoint competent H&S persons to help you comply with health & safety legislation in care homes and ensure they have enough time and resources to fulfil their responsibilities.

A competent person is someone who has sufficient training and experience or knowledge (an understanding of relevant statutory policies and procedures, and an appreciation of the hazards involved) to do the required job. They must assist employers to:

  • Establish procedures to deal with imminent danger.
  • Co-operate and co-ordinate with other employers and self-employed people who share the workplace.
  • Understand the risks in the workplace.
  • Have a documented fire risk assessment and fire emergency plan for the premises.

Do

  • Assess the risks – to residents, staff and visitors.
  • Put suitable control measures in place.
  • Make arrangements for consulting with employees and their representatives.
  • Provide information instruction and training.

Check

  • Check how well risks are being controlled in practice.
  • Monitor health & safety performance actively through spot checks and reactively through accident and near-miss investigations.
  • Check that staff work in accordance with training and instructions.
  • Encourage staff to report situations which they believe to be unsafe.

Act

  • Review your health and safety performance.
  • Always follow up on lessons learned from incidents, inspections and other monitoring.
  • Revisit your policies to see if they need updating.

Health & Safety Policy Planning for health & safety in a systematic way will help achieve compliance with regulatory bodies, reducing accidents and help to save operational costs. The Care Home’s health & safety policy should set out who does what, when and where, and the arrangements for implementing the procedures. Statement of General Policy Set out your general aims to provide and maintain healthy and safe conditions for all employees and other people who might be affected (residents, visitors, contractors, etc.):

  • Provide enough resources for effective implementation of the policy.
  • Plan systematically.
  • Revise and develop the policy annually or bi-annually.
  • Secure the compliance of all employees and agency workers by instruction, information and training.

For good practice, the statement should be signed and dated by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operations Officer. Risk Assessment The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to assess the health & safety risks to both employees and others affected by the business.

A care home risk assessment should consider what could cause harm to people and whether enough has been done to prevent harm, or whether more action needs to be taken. The aim is to make sure that no one is injured or becomes ill from your work activities. Record your findings If the Care Home has five or more employees, then you need to record the significant findings of your risk assessments and tell your staff about them.

An example of a significant finding might be ‘upper-floor windows have restricted openings and should be checked every month’ or a lack of handrails to a stairway. Training Employees must have suitable information, instruction and training in order to do the job safely and achieve compliance. Regular training helps to convert information into safe working practices.

Pay particular attention to:

  • New workers, young workers must be over 18 if they are involved in the delivery of care, part-time and nightshift workers, and agency or bank staff.
  • Those given specific health & safety responsibilities.
  • Employees who transfer, take on new responsibilities or deputise, or staff who return to work after extended absence.
  • Changes in equipment and systems of work or procedures.

The risk assessment should identify where specific training is required, such as dealing with aggressive behaviour. Refresher training is needed to ensure staff maintain their skills, and their competence should be monitored.

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