Legislation Update: Health & Safety in care homes

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have published guidance which is intended to help those providing and managing care homes – to give them a better understanding of the real risks and how to manage them effectively. It has been extensively rewritten, with a number of new topics, and brings together key messages on risks to both workers and residents. It will also be of interest to others working in social care.

This new edition is being published in a period of change. At the time of publication (June 2014), HSE and local authorities investigate serious worker and resident incidents. Under the Enforcing Authority Regulations, HSE regulates homes with nursing and local authority owned or run care homes. Other homes are regulated by local authorities.

It is anticipated, however, that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England will soon become the lead investigator of incidents where residents have been harmed because of unsafe or poor quality care. This may be of interest to those visiting care homes on a regular basis.

In a recent case two companies have been prosecuted by the HSE and fined a total of £43,000 for safety failings following the death of an elderly resident at a care home in Manchester. One resident was living at a home in Moston when a heavy fire door fell on her during renovation work. She died just under four weeks later as a result of her injuries. The resident was able to wander into a building site at the home.

The HSE investigation found the healthcare firm and building company had both failed to make sure the room was locked at the end of each day and also when it was left unoccupied. (Other aspects apply)

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Dcvapor 03/02/2015

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