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7th July 2014

HSE Publishes Updated Guidance for ‘Health and Safety in Care Homes’

The HSE has recently released its second revision to HSG220 ‘Health and Safety in Care Homes.’

This guidance 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.

Examples of focus areas include manual handling, equipment safety and falls from windows and balconies.  The latter is an area that has previously attracted criminal prosecution by HSE, including a recent case in Northern Ireland.

Another section which has been significantly updated is Chapter 1 “Managing health and safety”. The Guidance incorporates key elements of HSE’s recently updated HSG 65 “Managing for Health and Safety” which adopts the “Plan/Do/Check/Act” management model through which managers should lead to encourage a positive safety culture.

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. These, and any other changes in regulation across Great Britain, will be reflected in future editions (Scotland remains unchanged at present.)

Click here to download a copy of HSG220

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