April 2020: Changes in relation to Coronavirus

During the COVID-19 outbreak, additional measures to reduce risk need to be taken to further prevent the spread of the virus. This is especially important where face to face contact with adults, their families or other staff is required. Your line manager will give you information about how to keep yourself safe at this time. Click on the link for information from the UK Government: How to protect yourself and others – Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do and Responding to COVID-19: the ethical framework for adult social care (Department of Health and  Social Care).

1. Introduction

The service has a duty to provide for the health and safety of all the adults who use the service, their family and friends and its staff.

The service should, therefore, have particular regard to:

  • the provision of adequate control of the health and safety risks arising from work activities;
  • consultation with staff on matters affecting their health and safety;
  • the provision and maintenance of safe premises and equipment;
  • Ensuring the safe handling and use of medication and associated equipment, such as used syringes;
  • the provision of information, instruction and supervision for staff;
  • ensuring all staff are competent to do their tasks and are given adequate training;
  • the prevention of accidents and cases of work-related ill health;
  • the maintenance of safe and healthy working conditions;
  • ensuring that this policy is reviewed and revised as necessary at regular intervals.

2. Responsibilities

2.1 Senior management

Senior managers / Board of Directors have overall responsibility for ensuring that this policy and associated arrangements are developed, maintained and implemented throughout the service.

2.2 Manager

The service manager is responsible for ensuring this policy is adhered to by staff. They are also responsible for ensuring that adequate and appropriate insurance is in place.

The manager is responsible for the development, maintenance and implementation of health and safety arrangements within the areas of work and for ensuring staff and volunteers are notified of all relevant health and safety arrangements.

In particular they, or their delegate, are responsible for:

  • informing staff and volunteers, as part of their induction, of the health and safety policy and relevant risk assessments appropriate to their work place, including lone working arrangements;
  • ensuring staff receive appropriate training and that training needs are reviewed at least annually as part of the staff appraisal;
  • issuing to staff and ensuring that staff use all necessary personal protective equipment;
  • resolving health and safety problems on a day to day basis;
  • addressing any individual health and safety needs of individual members of staff, such as specified chairs due to back issues.

2.3 Staff and volunteers

All staff and volunteers should:

  • cooperate with the manager on health and safety matters;
  • take reasonable care of the health and safety of themselves and of all people they come into contact with at work;

observe health and safety instructions at all times;

  • wear or use appropriate personal protective equipment issued for safety purposes;
  • cooperate with the service to enable it to carry out its statutory duties with the object of raising and maintaining a high standard of health and safety and welfare at work;
  • report all incidents that have led, or may lead to injury;
  • cooperate in the investigation of accidents with the object of introducing measures to prevent recurrence;
  • abide by other related policies.

2.4 Adults who use the service

The service has a responsibility for the safety of adults who use its service. It is essential therefore that all activities are conducted with due regard to their health and safety.  All staff should ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, that whilst on the service premises or involved in activities organised and managed by the service, adults are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. It should give adults, or their representative, any information about the service which may be necessary to ensure this.

2.5 External contractors and visitors

All staff should ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, that whilst on service premises or involved in activities organised and managed by the service, outside contractors and visitors are not exposed to risk to their health and safety and should give outside contractors and visitors any information about the service which may be necessary to ensure this.

3. Risk Assessments

3.1 Health and safety hazards

The service is required to:

  • carry out risk assessments of potential work hazards;
  • identify who is likely to be affected;
  • identify whether existing measures are effective in controlling or removing those risks
  • record findings;
  • take measures to reduce or remove the hazards identified;
  • review the effectiveness of measures taken.

The manager / delegated member of staff should carry out appropriate risk assessments in their work areas. The findings of all risk assessments should be reported to senior managers / Board of Directors; they should approve any action required to remove / control risks.

The manager should be responsible for ensuring that action required is implemented and should check that the implemented actions have removed / reduced the risks.

Risk assessments should be reviewed every year or when work activity changes, whichever is soonest.

3.1.1 Adults who use the service

The service has a responsibility for the health and safety for every adult who uses the service.  A risk assessment of their physical, social and emotional needs should be undertaken on referral to the service.  This should cover both perceived risks from the adult towards staff and volunteers and the risks to the adult themselves. The initial risk assessment should be updated on a regular basis and kept in their care and support records.

Risk assessment guidelines and forms should be issued to all relevant staff to assist them to carry out and evaluate risk assessments.

3.2 Consultation with staff

Consultation with staff should be carried out on a regular basis.

The manager should meet with senior managers / Board of Directors to discuss health and safety issues that arise from discussions with staff. If matters arise between these meetings they should be reported to the manager who should raise this with senior managers as soon as possible.

4. Information, Instruction and Supervision

The Health and Safety Law poster must be displayed at each site belonging to the service.

The supervision of any new staff or volunteers should be arranged, undertaken and monitored by the manager or their delegate.

The manager is responsible for ensuring that staff working at locations under the control of other staff are given relevant health and safety information.

5. Competency for Tasks and Training

5.1 Induction and job specific training

The manager or their delegate should ensure that induction and job specific training should be provided for all staff, as appropriate.

Job specific training required should depend on the post.  All staff should receive the training necessary to ensure that they are able to work safely.

Training records, including induction, on the job and external training records should be kept in their personal file.

The manager should identify and arrange relevant health and safety training for staff and volunteers.  Overall monitoring of health and safety training should be the responsibility of the Service Manager.

6. Monitoring

To check that working conditions are safe and to ensure that safe working practices are

being followed the service should:

  • carry out regular health and safety inspection Inc risk assessments;
  • ensure that health and safety issues identified are recorded in a health and safety record book;
  • ensure that action is taken to address issues identified;
  • log all accidents, however minor, and ensure that a follow-up investigation is carried out where necessary;
  • keep sickness records and monitor patterns of staff absence to identify and deal with work related issues and trends;
  • amend existing health and safety procedures where failures have been identified;
  • ensure that, where appropriate, all staff, volunteers, service users, visitors and contractors, are aware of basic procedures and changes to these procedures.

The manager is responsible for investigating accidents and work related causes of sickness absences and is responsible for acting on investigation findings to prevent a recurrence.

7. Specific Hazards

7.1 Equipment

The manager should be responsible for identifying all equipment needing maintenance and should be responsible for ensuring effective maintenance procedures are drawn up and that all identified maintenance is implemented.

7.2 Accidents, first aid and work related ill health

7.2.1 First aid

All staff should know how to access first aid equipment.

A list of trained and appointed ‘first aiders’ should be available in the service.  The service should ensure that sufficient staff is trained in first aid to cover all its activities.

All accidents and cases of work related ill health are to be recorded in the service records, which should be reviewed regularly by the manager.

The manager should be responsible for reporting accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences to senior management / Board of Directors and the enforcing authority under the RIDDOR regulations.

All staff should be aware of which diseases are notifiable.

7.2.2 Emergency procedures, fire and evacuation

The manager should ensure that a fire risk assessment is completed and implemented at each site.

The designated worker should check escape routes and fire extinguishers on a daily basis at each site from which services are delivered.

Emergency evacuation procedures should be tested monthly at each site, by staff. They should also be checked regularly by outside contractors.

All staff and adults should receive information and training on fire safety and emergency evacuation procedures.

7.2.3 Housekeeping

A high standard of housekeeping is required to ensure adequate fire prevention and in the prevention of hazards associated with tripping, slipping and falling. The following should be overseen by the manager / delegate:

  • rubbish – must be disposed of as specified by the service;
  • any food waste must be double bagged;
  • particular care should be taken in the disposal of broken glass and other sharp objects;
  • sharps bins should be available for disposal of razor blades, needles and other sharp objects as required;
  • the condition of floors and stairs should be regularly assessed, for example for lifting and worn carpets and stair coverings which are tripping hazards. Insecure handrails, obstructions or inadequate lighting on stairs can cause people to fall;
  • electrical cables from telephones, computers and other appliances must be placed in such a way that no tripping hazards are present;
  • all spillages must be cleared up immediately, particularly on non-carpeted floors where they would be slipping hazard;
  • heavy or bulky items should not be stored above shoulder height and all shelves and cupboards should be securely fixed and used for the purposes for which they are designed.

7.2.4 Lifting and carrying

See Moving and Handling.

7.2.5 Electrical Equipment

The manager should ensure that an approved contractor should check all portable electrical equipment and appliances every twelve months. Records should be kept in the office manual. Any problems found with equipment should be reported to the manager.

The manager should check that new equipment should meet health and safety standards before it is purchased.

It is the responsibility of staff to ensure that they are familiar with operating instructions before they operate equipment.

Unauthorised persons must not carry out maintenance and repair of electrical equipment and appliances.

The manager is responsible for ensuring the checking of electrical equipment by an approved contractor is undertaken.

7.2.6 Food hygiene

The manager should ensure that any staff involved in handling or preparing food are adequately trained in food hygiene matters.  Advice and information should also be given to adults on personal and food hygiene to minimise the risk of illness.

The service should ensure that sanitary facilities and wash basins are available in any area where food may be produced and that these are maintained in a hygienic way.  It should also ensure that there are suitable arrangements for food waste disposal.

7.2.7 Violence at Work

See Violence to Staff.

7.2.8 Stress

The work at the service may be of a stressful nature.  All staff should receive regular supervision.

Staff should discuss any stressful areas of work or other problems with their manager, or other colleague as appropriate.

The service should take all practicable measures to reduce the possibility of staff suffering work related stress.  As well as individual supervision, this should include training and regular monitoring of workloads and organisational policies and procedures by management.

The manager should discuss specific issues related to staff stress with senior management, as relevant.

7.2.9 Working alone

See Lone Working.

7.2.10 Transport

The service requires that any member of staff using their own vehicles for work purposes has adequate business insurance to cover their activities.

The manager or delegate should be responsible for ensuring that all staff are aware of this requirement and provide their insurance documents as evidence at the beginning of their employment and at each annual insurance renewal. A copy of the insurance certificate should be taken and kept on their file.