One of the policies and procedures a new home care business must have is the Health and Safety Policy and Procedure.
Below is the Health and Safety Policy and Procedure used by Quality Home Care which you are welcome to adapt to suit your own business needs. You can use it as a starting point to develop your own Health and Safety Policy and Procedure.
QUALITY HOME CARE:
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Policy – The Quality Home Care Office
Health and Safety in the Office
Quality Home Care is committed to the principles contained in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company recognises the responsibilities for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of employees whilst at work, and our duty of care towards others who may be affected by our undertakings.
It is the company’s policy to do all that is necessary to prevent personal injury, ill health, damage to property and equipment and to protect everyone from foreseeable work hazards.
In particular we will, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain:
- Plant, equipment and systems of work that are safe and without risk to health, safety and welfare.
- Safe arrangements for the use, handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances.
- Sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision to enable employees to avoid hazards at work, and to contribute positively to the health, safety and welfare of themselves and others.
- A safe place of work and safe means of access and egress.
- A safe and healthy working environment.
- Adequate welfare facilities.
We will make available all necessary safety devices (and where required for office based staff) any protective equipment to employees.
The purpose of this Health and Safety policy is to ensure that staff understand issues arising in relation to health and safety and Quality Home Care systems and processes that ensure staff are competent in all aspects of health and safety. This policy also spells out both Quality Home Care and employees levels of responsibility in order to ensure the organisation as a whole abides by the Health and Safety legislation. This policy should be read in conjunction with other related policies and procedures.
The director has overall responsibility for the health and safety performance of the company and will:
- Oversee the effective application of the Health and Safety Policy.
- Ensure that adequate funds and facilities are available to meet the requirements of the Health and Safety Policy.
- Ensuring that all employees have a safe place to work.
- Maintain a safe working environment and adequate welfare facilities.
- Acting immediately upon any observed or reported breach of the safety rules.
- Ensure that any significant accident or incident is formally reported, recorded and investigated.
- Review health, safety and welfare standards and practices within the company on a regular basis.
- Ensure that the company disciplinary procedure is adequate to deal with those who breach the company Health and Safety Policy.
Care Manager’s responsibilities:
The care manager is accountable to the Director for implementing and monitoring the company’s Health and Safety Policy and will:
- Read, understand and implement the Health and Safety Policy.
- Be responsible for ensuring that, where appropriate, rules and safe working practices are developed, formalised and implemented.
- Bring the Health and Safety Policy to the notice of all members of staff, provide information and any necessary supervision and training.
- Ensure that all safe working rules and practices are brought to the notice of staff and are complied with at all times and encourage staff to identify and report any hazards or risks that may require attention.
- Provide sufficient safe plant and safe systems of work covering all activities carried out by members of staff.
- Provide adequate arrangements for the safe use, handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances by employees.
- Report to the director and investigate accidents, near-misses and dangerous occurrences and evaluate practical means of preventing a reoccurrence.
- Ensure that statutory form F2508 is available, and that all reportable accidents and incidents (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) are reported to the enforcing authorities.
- Report to the Director on the effectiveness of the Health and Safety Policy.
- Maintain liaison with official organisations and professional bodies.
- Maintain a health and safety information library.
Health and Safety Procedure – The Quality Home Care Office
Risk Assessments – Risk assessments must be completed for the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health ‘COSHH’ and carried out by a competent member of staff. The risk assessments will help to identify hazards and ensure that Quality Home Care provides and maintains a safe, professional working environment.
Safe Use of substances – Substances that are marked as hazardous (e.g. household chemicals like bleach and cleaning material, photocopy toner, keyboard and monitor
cleaners) must be kept safe in cupboards and away from work and public areas. Where it is necessary for staff to use these substances they must ensure they wear protective gloves.
Manual Handling – The need for significant manual handling operations must be avoided or reduced wherever possible and manual handling must be covered in the staff induction and training programme. All staff must ensure that the moving of large or difficult items of equipment is handled by two people.
Training, monitoring and information – Training is an important element with regard to health and safety and is mandatory for ALL staff. All staff must receive training on health and safety and their development needs monitored and reviewed. Health and safety posters must be displayed in the office(s).
Work Equipment – All faults on work equipment in the office must be reported to the director or care manager who will ensure that maintenance is carried out by the relevant persons. The director must ensure that all electrical equipment is tested by a recognised and licensed company before they are used in the office. All equipment will be tested annually. The health and safety of staff regarding the correct use of display screen equipment and workstations will also be assessed to ensure safe working practices.
Accidents and First Aid – All accidents and incidents narrowly avoided must be recorded in the Accident Book and reported to the line manager.
Emergency Procedures – There will be a fire alarm test once every week and a mock fire evacuation twice a year staff are required to assemble at a specified and pre-determined point where individual line managers will be responsible for ensuring that their staff have evacuated and are safe. Line managers will report to the senior staff present.
Hours of Work – The normal full time hours of work for employees is 37.5 hours a week. However the organisation appreciates that there are times when employees may exceed this. Employees should not work for more than 48 hours a week unless they have signed an ‘opt out’ agreement.
Health and Safety Policy – Care workers visiting customers at home
Quality Home Care recognises it has the same responsibility to provide and maintain safe working conditions for all staff including those working away from its premises and providing care in customers’ homes.
Quality Home Care staff must abide by all aspects of Health and Safety regulations and Quality Home Care standards. Employees should take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by the way in which they work. Staff must take positive steps to understand the hazards of their role and comply with the organisation’s health and safety policies and procedures.
All care packages will be risk assessed by Quality Home Care in advance and this risk assessment will include comments on Health and Safety. All staff will undertake Health and Safety training before starting work.
Quality Home Care acknowledges that in certain circumstances where there is a level of unacceptable risk, care packages may need to be amended, suspended or cancelled until such time as the risk is remedied.
Procedure – Care workers visiting customers at home
- Employees must inform the organisation of any health issues that might be aggravated by the work they do. Quality Home Care would endeavour to make special arrangements or reasonable adjustments to accommodate staff who may have medically recognised health issues or disabilities.
- Risk assessments must be completed prior to the commencement of a package of care.
- Care workers must complete an induction course and all mandatory training prior to starting work or completing certain activities.
- Care workers should avoid contact with all hazardous substances whilst visiting customers’ homes and where contact is unavoidable it should be minimised as much as possible.
- A risk assessment must always be completed before moving and handling any customer or using any equipment
- Staff who may be in doubt about the movement of customers, items or equipment should not pursue this and must report concerns to their line manager immediately.
- Faulty equipment noted by care workers must be reported to the line manager immediately who will advise on the appropriate course of action.
- All staff members should be aware that they must not change any customer care plans and that any concerns must be reported immediately to their line manager.
- Care workers must report all accidents and incidents to their line manager and all such events recorded and reported as required to any external agencies in line with our Incident and Accident reporting policy.
- The normal full time hours of work for employees is 37.5 hours a week and employees should not work for more than 48 hours a week unless they have signed an ‘opt out’ agreement.
In carrying out this procedure it should be noted that everyone within the organisation has a role to play not only in their own Health & Safety but also in that of others as well. Employees should therefore be aware of the following:
- Everyone has a role to play in Health & Safety, not just senior managers and the company itself.
- Every employee should read the company policies and procedures and be aware of the contents.
- All staff members should be aware that they must not interfere with, tamper with or change the equipment or working practices of the company without the prior permission in writing, to do so.