The present Coronavirus crisis has put the spotlight on a vital but often overlooked employment sector, namely those involved in care. It is perhaps only beginning to be appreciated the significant efforts those involved in the care industry go to when caring for those individuals who can’t be looked after in traditional home settings. Those involved in care may work in a wide variety of settings from nursing homes for the elderly, to care homes for those with significant psychiatric needs, to special needs schools and care homes to residential school environments.
At Jackson Boyd we have been working with clients from the care industry for many years. We understand the pressures and difficulties faced by those carrying out such demanding jobs. We also understanding how quickly things can go wrong and injury can be suffered.
Those working in the care industry are often dealing with demanding, and sometimes unpredictable patients and residents who present as a risk to themselves and others. They may be involved in restraining patients and residents and subject to the dangers that necessarily involves. On a day to day basis they may require to perform complicated manual handling tasks. The present Coronavirus crisis also clearly shows the risks posed to carers from transmitted infection and illness. Moreover, such a job is not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging on an ongoing basis.
Our experience of those working in the care industry is they often put their own health and wellbeing behind that of the patients they are caring for.
This is why it is of paramount importance that carers are suitably protected from the risk of injury by their employers. Whether the employer is a local authority, a health board or a private care provider every employer has a non-delegable duty to ensure carers have a safe environment in which to work. They must take all steps which are reasonably practicable to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their employees is protected.
In a care or residential home environment this necessarily means carrying out suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the patients/residents and of the work environment. The risk of injury from manual handling tasks must be reduced to the lowest level reasonably practicable through provision of appropriate equipment and training. Employees must be provided with the necessary PPE which allows them to carry out their job safely. In addition carers must be fully trained for the role they are being asked to complete.
Unfortunately, our experience is that some employers do not meet the necessary standards when looking after the health and wellbeing of their employees. We have significant experience having successfully acted for carers who have been injured in a wide variety of settings. If you are employed in the care industry and have been injured at work call us today for a no obligation initial consultation.