Safety Management/Hazard Prevention
A direct care staff person provides care for clients in many ways. As you learned in the last module, knowing a client’s background helps you to assist the individual to be independent. A direct care staff person also needs to protect self and the client from accidents and hazards.
This session will help you to learn more about how to create a safe living environment. The two leading causes of unintentional injury and death for persons over the age of 65 years are fires and falls. However, there are other clients who, because of mental retardation, emotional or physical problems, are at risk for injury from accidents. Most of these accidents are caused by hazards in the environment and are preventable. An important aspect of prevention is to make sure that medications, chemical cleaners and any other poisons are kept locked.
The direct care staff person is responsible for knowing the regulations about fire safety and general safety. In this module you will learn to recognize common injuries, fire and fall hazards and steps you can take to keep the environment safe for yourself and clients.
SAFETY Here are some questions for you: How do you normally prevent accidents in your everyday life? How do you drink a cup of hot coffee without burning your mouth? How do you safely cross the street? The answer may seem so simple. The fact is you plan ahead. You try to think of what can go wrong and how you might keep things from going wrong. Before crossing a street, you stop, look both directions to see whether cars are coming, wait for any oncoming cars, and then you cross. Of course, even with good planning, things can go wrong. You will learn skills to help you prevent problems and know what to do in case an emergency does occur. It is impossible to cover everything, so only basic information will be presented about safety. You will need to learn what safety procedures are needed for your client. You might want to consider taking a first aid course from a local facility to further your knowledge and skills. Safety takes many forms: using equipment in such a way that you do not injure yourself or your care recipient; making the home safer from fire, from falls, or from poisoning; knowing when to call for help; or providing basic first aid care.
Preventive measures guiding principles:
- Gentleness, calmness;
- Slow and ‘steady as she goes;
- Eliminate/control of safety hazards;
- ACT (awareness, correction, take precautions);
- Inter-department communication