Controlling the risk of danger to social care workers

Working in the care industry can be challenging, and it is essential that those who are employed in the industry receive the necessary care training that could protect them from the risk of violence or injury.

A social care organisation providing services to people with learning disabilities was recently prosecuted and fined for failing to protect its own workers. The HSE conducted an investigation following an incident in 2009 when a client kicked a care worker in the eye, and they found that the organisation could have prevented the accident.

The lack of proper management systems for conflict and challenging behaviour meant that a particular client continued to pose a threat to the safety of care workers, despite a number of incidents where workers were injured.

The risk of violence or aggression is unfortunately a real risk that social care workers face, and their employers should ensure that this risk is managed correctly in order to maintain it at a minimum level.

Employees should be aware of how to react to threatening behaviour and how to identify the signs of increased risk. If they have not been provided with the skills to do this they will at risk of both physical and psychological damage that can have wide reaching effects.

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