Moving and handling safety tips for carers
Looking after someone with a disability often means helping them to move around and stay mobile. However, this comes with its own set of risks for the carer, so it’s essential that you know about the safe ways to move and handle service users.
Where you need to know moving and handling techniques
The most common places where you will need to know and use good moving and handling technique is in the bedroom and bathroom. Getting service users in and out of bed, sitting up, in and out the bath or using the toilet all involve lifting that can be dangerous if not carried out in the correct way or using the correct equipment.
Getting people in and out of cars, lifting them after falls and moving to and from seating to standing are also danger hot spots where carers need to be careful.
The double pain of injuries
If, as a carer, you get injured on the job then you won’t be able to carry out your work. Injuries in the workplace or as a home carer therefore have double the consequences, as someone else needs to be brought in to cover.
Common carer’s like back pain and muscular issues can also take a long time to heal, meaning that you could be out of action for a long time. Other common injuries include bruising and cuts.
It’s all about common sense
Whilst it may be difficult, the best practice is always to avoid moving and handling unless you absolutely have to do it or have the correct equipment and support from colleagues. Having the right equipment, such as hoists and evac chairs, will make moving and handling significantly safer.
Before you attempt any moving and handling, you need to ensure a proper risk assessment is in place and that the manoeuvre has been correctly assigned as safe to carry out. Risk assessments are there to guarantee workplace safety and should be undertaken where possible.
Training is everything
It’s also essential that you request and are given the correct training for any moving and handling that comes as part of the job. Speak to your employer or health and safety representative if you are unsure about any aspect of moving or handling. Your own safety and security is always the number one priority.