The control of legionella
Under general health and safety law, dutyholders including employers or those in control of premises, must ensure the health and safety of their employees or others who may be affected by their undertaking. They must take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella. They also need to either understand, or appoint somebody competent who knows how to identify and assess sources of risk, manage those risks, prevent or control any risks, keep records and carry out any other legal duties they may have.
There must be evidence of a properly implemented risk assessment and written scheme of control with all records up to date.
Thorough examination of lifting equipment and accessories
All lifting equipment and accessories (slings) must undergo thorough examination at least every six months as required under regulation 9 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
All lifting equipment must also undergo separate servicing and inspection as stipulated by manufacturer’s guidance and in keeping with regulations 5 and 6 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999.
It is recommended that an asset register is kept detailing slings that are currently in use. It is important to ensure all hoists and slings are identifiable so that they can be easily related back to the thorough examination and service/maintenance records.
During routine inspections, Inspectors will ask to see thorough examination reports (rather than examination ‘certificates’).
Where assessment identifies that individuals are at risk from falls from windows, then adequate arrangements should be in place. This should include assessing the risk that furniture, or other items, may enable them to climb over barriers, or access windows which might otherwise be inaccessible. Control measures must be suitable and sufficient.
The storage of clinical waste
Those dealing with potentially infectious substances (including waste) are required to assess the risk to the public and staff that may come into contact with it in line with health and safety at work legislation such as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (NI) 2003, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2000.
Waste should be stored in accordance with the guidance set out by the Department of Health in HTM07-01; Environment and Sustainability Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe management of healthcare waste, or by any other equally effective means.
The following resources and research papers are available to download from the HSE website:
- Falls from windows or balconies in health and social care - HSIS5
- Getting to grips with hoisting people - HSIS3
- Health and safety in care homes - HSG220
- Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013: Guidance for employers and employees - HS1S7
- How the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations apply to health and social care - HSIS4
- Managing the risks from hot water and surfaces in health and social care - HSIS6
- Manual handling at work: A brief guide - INDG143
- Safe working and the prevention of infection in clinical laboratories and similar facilities
- Managing infection risks when handling the deceased - HSG283
- Safe use of pneumatic air tube transport systems for pathology specimens - MISC186
- An evaluation of chemical disinfecting agents used in endoscopy suites in the NHS - RR445
- An evaluation of the efficacy of safer sharps devices: Systematic review - RR914
- Electric profiling beds in residential and nursing homes - RR764
- Evidence for exposure and harmful effects of diathermy plumes (surgical smoke) - Evidence based literature review - RR922
- Investigation of slip resistance and the hygienic cleaning of floors in hospital settings - RR889
- Interventions to control stress at work in hospital staff - CRR435/2002
- Risk assessment and process planning for bariatric patient handling pathways - RR573
- Risk management of musculoskeletal disorders in sonography work - Project work
- Survey of exposure to enzymes in cleaning solutions used to clean endoscopes - RR972
- Violence and aggression management training for trainers and managers - RR440
- Violence management training: The development of effective trainers in the delivery of violence management training in healthcare settings - RR495