Health and Safety Software for Care Homes
Health and safety issues within a care home are a complex and varied array of risks. Not only is there the issues needed to protect the patients but also the staff and visitors to the business. So what are the main concerns and issues to be aware of when setting up health and safety software for care homes and conducting risk assessments?
Types of risks to manage
The Health and Safety Executive have highlighted a number of areas of potential risk in care homes in their HSG220 guide. Some of the main types of risks that it highlights for management to control include:
- Moving and handling
- Safe use of equipment
- Safe use of bed rails
- Slips and trips
- Falls from height
- Hazardous substances, infections and diseases
- Legionnaires’ Disease
- Work-related violence, aggression and stress
Using software to manage the risks
The key to using health and safety software for care homes is to outline the possible risks within the business and to then set up systems to reduce them and schedules to keep up the assessment of them. Staff training can also be managed through the software to ensure that all regulatory requirements are covered but also that staff have the best, up to date information to help them do their jobs safely.
The HSE recommends the use of the ‘Plan, Do, Check and Act’ methodology for care homes to balance the different risks and issues within the business. A holistic approach is needed to protect both the residents and the staff and needs to be done in a practical but also sensitive way. It should not be used as a reason not to offer activities but rather as a way to manage them to reduce risk.
Another key use for the software is in the reporting of incidents. There are a duty to record and report specific incidents under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). Near misses, incidents and dangerous occurrences need to be reported and a full investigation carried out to understand the causes of it as well as to reduce the chance of reoccurrence.
The software can be used to manage such investigations including keeping digital copies of statements taken from injured people and witnesses, photographs of where the incident happened and documents showing schedules of inspection. It can also document what steps are taken to reduce the risk and if there were any external factors such as weather that played a part.
All equipment needs to be logged and maintained both in line with regulations and with manufacturer’s recommendations. An asset register is where details of all equipment are kept along with maintenance schedules and details of repair work done. Training for staff with the various types of equipment can also be documented and software used to follow up when repeat or refresher training is required. Electric equipment testing can also be logged to ensure this is done and when it is required to be retested.