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Safety matters for home health care workers: Tips to follow

Home health care workers face risks that aren’t present in other professions. These start from the second the worker leaves home to drive to the first client’s home. Unfortunately, the unique work environment makes it difficult for workers and employers to ensure the safety of these professionals.

One of the only ways that employers can help to keep these employees safe is to set protocol for what they are supposed to do in troublesome situations. Once these guidelines are set, workers have something to fall back on if they are in a tough spot. Here are some points that home health care workers should remember:

Driving safety matters

Most of the time, the drive from one home to the next is part of the person’s working hours. Employers must set standards for driving safely. These should include taking safe routes, driving the speed limit, and obeying speed limits. All of the people who are providing care should have a driver’s license so they can get from one location to another. They should also be required to carry adequate vehicle insurance.

Team calls

Some locations aren’t as safe as others. If a client’s home is in a dangerous location, using the buddy system or having a team call method might help to keep the workers safe. This system works well for patients who are known to have bad tempers or conditions that cause them act in a violent manner. Even though it does take some planning, it could ultimately keep everyone safe.

Body mechanics

The work of a home health care worker can range from administering medication to giving clients a bath. Some light housework might also be necessary. Using proper lifting and transfer techniques can prevent injuries. Having safety guidelines for hazardous tasks, such as taking a patient’s blood sugar, can also keep workers safe.

There are times when a worker might suffer an injury at a patient’s home or on the way to the home. In these cases, workers’ compensation will likely come into the picture since the worker is on the job. Evaluating the conditions of the incident that led to the accident can clue you into whether it is meets eligibility for a workers’ compensation claim.

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