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Do You Know the Rules? Emergency Evacuation and Manual Handling Training in the Care Sector

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No one would enter the health and social care professions if they did not genuinely care about people.

But do you understand your legal obligations as a business when it comes to keeping everyone safe and injury free?


Some KEY questions

If your business provides care for vulnerable people you have an obligation to make sure they are moved in a safe and dignified manner, and that they will be safe in the event of an emergency such as a fire.

Not only that, but you need to acknowledge that the nature of helping people will mean that there is a need for regular manual handling and therefore, your staff need to be trained to avoid workplace injury.


Avoiding workplace injury in the Care sector

Statistically, health and social care workers are at a high risk of work-related lifting and handling injury compared to other workers. Due to the nature of the work within a health care or social care setting, helping patients and residents out of bed for example, daily tasks can lead to repetitive strain and poor lifting techniques can lead to acute injury.

A HSE (Health and Safety Executive) report (2014/15) stated:

Obviously, the welfare of staff is key and employers have a duty of care to ensure that training is sufficient and regular to ensure that the risk is minimised. From a business perspective it is also essential to keep absences down – not only does it impact on patient/resident care but is costly to the business…especially if an employee may consider legal action if they consider it was an avoidable risk, or lack of training which lead to their injury in the first place.


Emergency Evacuation – the FACTS

No one wants to contemplate a large scale emergency such as a fire – but if the worst did happen, as an employer, you have a LEGAL responsibility to make sure that everyone in your business would be evacuated safely.

The Law – and who enforces it

Understanding the laws surrounding fire safety and evacuation is very important.

ALL organisations MUST train EVRYONE in emergency procedures (including those with disabilities or vulnerable workers) – you could be fined or go to prison if you don’t follow fire safety regulations.

The Importance of emergency evacuation planning – and training

Quick and effective action helps to ease emergency situations and reduce the consequences. During emergencies, people are more likely to respond reliably if they:

You should carry out at least one fire drill per year and record the results.

You are required to carry out emergency evacuation training and it is recommended that you keep a record. This will assist you if you are ever required to prove your actions in the future.


In relation to care homes…

It is a legal requirement to make special arrangements for people with mobility needs or disabilities.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires that employers or organisations providing services to the public take responsibility for ensuring all people, including disabled people, can leave the building they control safely in the event of a fire, or that adequate horizontal and vertical evacuation procedures are in place.

Failure to make this provision may be viewed as discrimination and a failure to comply with the requirements of the fire safety legislation.

Each resident should have a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) tailored to their individual needs, which should give detailed information on their movements and requirements during an escape. This might include using evacuation chairs and manual handling.

Staff involved in the escape should feel confident in their skills and the residents should feel that they can trust the process.

Practice for PEEPs will vary. Generally, escape plans should be practiced on a regular basis of at least every 6 months. All people involved in escape plans should take part in drills but it may be more appropriate to simulate carry-downs so as not to cause unnecessary risk. This is where training manikins are especially useful.

At Ruth Lee Ltd we have a range of manikins well suited for emergency evacuation training, and general manual handling training.


Benefits of using manikins for your training

Using a training manikin or training dummy for emergency evacuation or general manual handling comes with many benefits. This includes:

Our expert team can assist you in making the right choice when it comes to choosing the perfect manikin for your training.

Whether you want a manikin to train staff how to use a hoist or evacuation chair, or to simulate an unconscious casualty, or a patient with mobility issues or mental health problems in an emergency evacuation drill; our manikins are constructed to be anatomically correct in terms of weight distribution, and come in a range of sizes and weights.


Call us today for advice on 01490 413 282 or email sales@ruthlee.co.uk 



Case Studies:

Fatal Lifting and Handling Accident

Care Home fined £60,000 after a fatal accident where the resident fell from a hoist when being transferred from a bed to a chair by two care workers. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said “The company failed to put in place robust arrangements to ensure that residents could be hoisted safely.

“Care providers must ensure that each resident has an individual lifting plan that records the size and type of sling to be used for each type of transfer and how it should be attached to the hoist.


Fatal Fire in a Care Home

Care home fined £141,00 and ordered to pay costs of £73,000 following a fire which led to the death of a resident. The attending Fire Inspector said after the fire, “It was only a matter of chance that the death toll was not much higher as there was no evacuation attempted by staff, who had erroneously been told to leave immobile residents in their room and await rescue by the fire service.

“This case will send a strong message to operators of care homes underlining their responsibility to ensure all residents can be safely evacuated in the event of fire.”


Breach of fire safety regulations

Care Group fined £50,00 for breaching fire safety regulations in relation to fire detection, warning and evacuation.

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