Health and safety in care service businesses

Checklist: avoiding potential hazards in care service businesses

There's a wide range of factors to consider when trying to ensure the health, safety and welfare of clients, employees and the environment in care-service businesses such as crèches, playgroups and care homes. Make sure you:

  • check the suitability of all potential staff before employing them
  • train staff in all health and safety procedures
  • identify, assess, prioritise and manage the key risks at your premises
  • keep the design and layout of your premises simple and obstacle-free
  • maximise accessibility - by providing lifts, for example
  • keep electrical, mechanical and other equipment in good order
  • keep up repairs to your premises
  • install user-friendly fixtures and fittings in your premises
  • keep your premises secure
  • communicate your health and safety policy to everybody in your business
  • arrange health and safety training for those who need it
  • ensure staff are aware of, and help to manage, key risks eg hot water, surfaces, moving and handling, window and balcony safety, bedrail safety, slips and trips and infection control
  • provide suitable equipment - from protective gloves to lifting equipment
  • keep wash facilities clean and well stocked
  • provide sufficient rest rooms and ensure rest breaks are taken
  • train staff in managing waste on site
  • store wastes properly before disposal
  • segregate incompatible wastes - especially hazardous wastes
  • store liquid wastes away from watercourses and drains
  • fit stair and bath rails
  • use non-slip flooring where appropriate
  • keep hazardous substances such as chemicals and medicines locked away with restricted access
  • provide adequate lighting