Carer job description – General Care workers and Care Assistants

If you’ve ever considered a career in care work, you’ll probably have read through a number of blogs, guides and fact sheets looking at background and career progression paths.  Whilst we’ve covered a number of these with information such as care worker skills, the role of health & social care workers and even qualifications for care home management you are probably keen to understand the general specifics relating to the job.  From pay to working hours, this post covers the a typical carer job description. Continue reading “Carer job description – General Care workers and Care Assistants”

How to get the skills you need to carry out a fire risk assessment

It is mandatory in this country for every business which has employees to carry out a fire risk assessment. This is a huge step in preventing fire and protecting your employees, and no other fire safety measures can be taken until this is done.

The fire risk assessment is usually undertaken by a person who has been named the ‘responsible person’ for fire safety within the business. In other cases, an external fire safety consultant is called in to carry out the assessment. Whoever is in charge of this very important task needs to have the right fire safety training under their belt, as there are many requirements to be met and many actions to be taken.

There are five main parts to a fire risk assessment. These are:

1. Identifying hazards (i.e. flammable materials and ignition sources etc.)
2. Identifying who is most at risk (i.e. disabled or elderly people, visitors and children)
3. Evaluating and removing risk wherever possible
4. Recording findings and implementing fire safety training for other members of staff
5. Reviewing the fire risk assessment regularly

It is crucial that you go on a fire safety training course, particularly one which focuses on the fire risk assessment in particular, before you attempt to conduct the assessment yourself.

Health and social care workers urged to get flu jab

Anyone who works within the health and social care sector is being advised to take up the offer of a flu jab if it is made, in order to protect themselves and the often vulnerable people under their care.

The recommendation was made by Professor Qutub Syed, the Director of the Health Protection Agency in the North West of England, who said:

“The smooth running of NHS hospital and community services and residential care homes can be seriously disrupted by staff sickness and it is not uncommon to see outbreaks of flu in these settings.

“Health care workers have a duty of care to themselves, their colleagues and the patients and residents they look after. It is important that they should take up the offer of vaccination.”

As anyone who has undergone care training will know, infection control is a hugely important part of providing health and social care services.

Medical professionals, including the acting regional director of Public Health for NHS North West, Dr. Ann Hoskins, aren’t sure how badly flu will hit the country this winter. However, they recommend that all those who are entitled to a flu vaccination should take up the offer just in case.

Engineering firm fined over fatal employee accident

An engineering company from Newton Aycliffe in County Durham has been fined a total of £100,000 after health and safety breaches led to the death of an employee.

The firm, Thyssenkrup Tallent, was prosecuted after 52-year-old lead maintenance engineer Paul Clark died after being crushed by a machine. Although no one saw what happened, it is understood that Mr Clark was trying to clear a jam on a production line when the carriage moved suddenly and trapped him, causing him to lose his life.

After investigating the incident, officers from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that there was no safe system in place for carrying out the work Mr Clark was engaged in when he died. There company did recognise the electrical hazards of the task, but failed to assess the risks of working with pneumatically-operated equipment.

Mr Clark has also not been given the right health and safety training and information to help him operate the pneumatic supply properly and to make the right adjustments.

Commenting on the case, recorder Jamie Hill said:

“It was not a deliberate flouting of health and safety regulations, or a cutting of corners to maximise profit.

“Tallent has a well-developed health and safety department but, unfortunately, in this incident there was an oversight dating back all the way to the installation of that machinery.”

Food safety advice for new food businesses pt.1

There are a huge number of things to do when starting a new business, but you should make certain items on your list more of a priority than others. One of the most important things to do when setting up a food business is to ensure that you and all those who work for you undergo food hygiene training.

As a company which processes, manufactures or serves food to the general public, you have more responsibilities when it comes to safety than other businesses. Standards of hygiene and cleanliness need to be extremely high, and a strict food safety management system needs to be implemented, in order to ensure that the food you provide or serve is safe to consume.

Not only could public health be at risk if standards at your business are not up to scratch; you could also face prosecution and potentially huge fines if you breach food safety regulations.

It can be difficult to know what your responsibilities are as the head of a new food business, which is why you should be the first of all your staff to go on a food safety training course.

See part 2 of this guide for more advice and help on food safety training for new food businesses.

Food safety advice for new food businesses pt.2

In the first part of this guide for new food business owners, we looked at why food hygiene training is so important. It is not only crucial for the health of your customers; it can also help you to avoid prosecution and fines which could prove devastating for the future of your business.

If you are planning to go on a food safety training course to learn about your responsibilities as a business owner, you need to know what courses to take and how much training you will need to undergo.

You should start with a Level 1 Food Safety qualification, a basic course, but you should then continue your training until you have reached Level 4 standard. This course of training, which may seem like a lot, will teach you everything you need to know to run your business safely and in accordance with food safety regulations.

Once you are fully trained in food safety, you should also ensure your staff members go on a food hygiene training course. A basic qualification may suffice, but you should remember – the better trained your staff are, the higher standards will be at your business. You never know, you may end up winning a food hygiene award. This could get your business some much-needed exposure, and for the right reasons.

Animal sanctuary owner faces jail over fire safety breaches

The owner of an animal sanctuary in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, could be facing a jail sentence after he admitted breaching a number of fire safety regulations.

John Warwick-Huckvale, 53, is being prosecuted over fire safety offences at the Swindon and District Animal Haven, which is based at Warwick Farm in Ballards Ash. Inspectors visited the animal haven back in March 2010 and uncovered a series of problems, which could have put the lives of visitors and staff in danger.

Amongst other issues, inspectors found that the fire alarms didn’t work, one of the fire extinguishers was not usable and other fire safety equipment was not easily accessible. There were also problems with fire safety signage, as well as other systems for fire safety. It is not known whether Warwick-Huckvale or his wife, who run the sanctuary together, had undergone basic fire safety training or not.

At Swindon Crown Court recently, Warwick-Huckvale pleaded guilty to five breaches of fire safety regulations. The maximum sentence for these offences is a two year prison sentence, plus a hefty fine. The 53-year-old must now submit a financial report before sentencing can take place.

Care home in Ellesmere Port ordered to make improvements

The charity responsible for the running of a care home in Ellesmere Port has been ordered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to make urgent improvements to its standards, or it could face closure.

Inspectors from the CQC visited the Rivacre House care home, located in Seymour Drive, back in July 2011. Unfortunately, they found that the home failed to meet seven of the essential standards the Government has laid out to ensure the quality and safety of care services.

The CQC’s report outlined the following concerns:

• The manager of the home was not CQC-registered
• There were not enough staff to meet all residents’ needs
• Care planning and assessments were outdated
• Residents were not being supported with a healthy and nutritious diet

The charity which runs the home, Making Space, has now been ordered to improve standards and to report back to the CQC as soon as possible. The director of operations at Rivacre House, Gaynor Chisnall, said that amongst other improvements, a focus on better care training for staff was a priority. She said:

“We now have the right people in place, including a new manager, to ensure that new care plans for each individual are agreed and implemented.

“Employees are being assessed for further training, quality processes and systems are being followed stringently and a new cook and more support staff are being recruited.”

Welsh teen uses first aid skills to help injured friend

A teenager from the Welsh village of Maesycwmmer has been hailed a hero after he used his first aid training to help his injured friend following an accident.

Jordan Ellis had attended a first aid training course prior to the 2009 incident, and he was able to use the skills he learned on this course to assist his friend Joseph Shutt when he partially severed a knee tendon playing tag.

The 15-year-old uses his top to bandage the cut, putting pressure on the injury until the ambulance arrived.

Even though this incident happened around two years ago, Jordan is once more in the spotlight as he is currently supporting a national campaign for first aid training. The teen, along with the friend he was able to help, are urging others to learn everyday first aid skills in order to be able to help colleagues, friends, family members and even complete strangers in emergency situations.

Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more people undergo first aid training, as so many people die because no one is around who is able to provide basic life support.

How the right training can help you to avoid manual handling hazards

Health and safety training is important for people in all kinds of work environments, but it becomes crucial in types of work which hold more risks than others. This is why manual handling training is now being recommended for anyone who has to undertake any kind of manual handling activity as part of their jobs.

Manual handling involves everything from lifting and carrying to pushing, pulling and moving objects of all sizes around. Even if you only carry out these activities in your work to a minor degree, or only occasionally, you should still take the precaution of taking a manual handling training course. On this course, you will learn how to assess and avoid manual handling risks, as well as learning practical skills to help you work more safely.

Without the skills and techniques to carry out manual handling training safely, you could potentially injure yourself or endanger others. This could cause you a great loss of earnings, not to mention pain and discomfort, and it could affect your life permanently. The company you work for may also suffer, which is why it is in your employers’ interest too to ensure you undergo manual handling training.