Care homes have a number of vulnerable people within them, and therefore extra care has to be taken to ensure the safety of all residents. At CSC we have a number of care home based clients so we understand the importance of a good health and safety policy being implemented to ensure the best care and safety for staff and residents.
Each of the residents within a care unit have their own individual needs, but it is very important that all areas around the home are made as safe as possible.
Recently we heard of a family run care home based in Glasgow being fined £60,000 for the death of one of the residents due to unsafe practices at the site.
Ms Young aged 83 has Alzheimers and was a resident of Kinning Park Care Home in Glasgow. Ms Young was found seriously injured hours after going missing in a boiler room and 2 weeks later died in hospital due to her injuries.
On the 28th September 2015 at approximately 16;00 Ms Young was seen walking the corridors of the care home, around 30 minutes later a care assistant went to give Ms Young her meal, however, she wasn’t in her room or the communal areas. After one hour of searching, the home rang her family and police.
The officers arrived at the site and carried out their own search of the property, they found the boiler room door was locked, staff explain that it had been locked all day.
At 20:30 the officers checked the boiler room where they heard mumbling noises. Ms Young was found at the bottom of the stairs with head injuries. She was then taken to hospital and died two weeks later.
After this accident the HSE carried out an investigation and found that the door had been defective. The boiler room door had a lock but there was an intermittent faulty with the closure mechanism meaning sometimes is didn’t always lock when closed.
The care home then pleaded guilty to breaching Re 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which requires employers to ensure that work equipment is constructed or adapted to be suitable for the purpose for which it is provided and fined £60,000.
The HSE investigator stated: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”
It is very important that care homes ensure the following:
- All defects are reported
- Regular hazard spotting walk arounds
- Maintenance issues reported and recorded. These should then be signed off once completed
- All areas which are for staff only are kept locked shut and only accessible with a key or pin.
- All staff trained in H&S and hazard spotting at site
If you require any further support regarding policies and risk assessment, then please contact CSC where a member of the team will be more than happy to assist.