When it comes to accidents and injuries at work, it stands to reason that some industries are far riskier than others. Accidents in construction, for example, are far more common and potentially more serious than in many other industries that seem comparatively safe.
The quiet and sedate atmosphere of an elderly nursing home may create an impression that it is a safe and risk-free environment in which to work. However, this is far from the case. Accidents can, and do, still happen.
What are the main causes of accidents at work in a nursing home?
The threats posed to the safety of workers in a nursing home are both many and varied. They include:
- Slips and falls: Trip hazards are a common occurrence. Whether it is a mislaid object causing an obstruction or a spillage, staff must be wary of suffering injuries at work from slipping.
- Manual handling: Many staff in nursing homes have to deal with substantial deliveries and bulky objects. From ingredients for the kitchen to movement aids such as wheelchairs, they need to take care to avoid manual handling injuries.
- Biological hazards: These can take a number of forms. It stands to reason that significant amounts of medicine are present in nursing homes. This can include syringes and needles which need to be used and disposed of correctly to avoid needlestick injuries and illnesses from contamination. Numerous amounts of cleaning chemicals are also present.
- Violence: It is a sad fact that one of the common side-effects of dementia is a confusion that manifests itself in outbursts of physical anger.
How can work accidents in a nursing home be avoided?
Employers have a duty of care towards both the employees and residents to ensure that they are safe in the nursing home. This includes:
- Giving the correct training and inductions to staff, particularly those tasked with heavy lifting and administering medicine.
- Providing things like sharps bins for needles to ensure staff are able to do their jobs safely.
- Providing protective equipment such as rubber gloves to prevent infection and work-related illness.
Staff should also ensure that spillages are dealt with as soon as possible and the corridors etc are kept clear of trip hazards.
If you suffer an injury at work that wasn’t your fault, our legal team at Accident Advice Helpline can ensure you get the work accident compensation you deserve.
Date Published: February 19, 2014
Author: David Brown