Home healthcare workers safety checklist for employers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected home healthcare work to be the fastest growing occupation through 2024. Home healthcare workers, including home healthcare aides, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, therapy aides, social workers, and hospice care workers, face unique hazards delivering services in patients’ homes and in various diverse communities.
Some hazards that home healthcare workers may encounter are unique to the home setting.
The work environment generally is not under the control of either the employer or the employee. Therefore, the home healthcare worker may encounter unexpected and unpredictable hazards, such as animals, loaded firearms, or other weapons, and violence in the home, apartment building, or neighborhood. Persons other than the patient who are residing or visiting in the home may also be a risk to the worker.
The following checklist is intended to aid employers in recognizing the issues that may affect their workers in a home healthcare environment:
|Is there a written and active safety program with both management and worker involvement?|
|Does initial and annual training include safety hazards and accident prevention?|
|Does annual training review new safety issues identified throughout the previous year?|
|Are workers provided with the necessary ergonomic equipment for the home in which they work?|
|Does initial and annual training include information on latex allergies?|
|Are non-latex gloves available?|
|Is a bloodborne pathogens plan available?|
|Is the bloodborne pathogens plan updated annually?|
|Is the bloodborne pathogens plan part of initial training?|
|Is the bloodborne pathogens plan part of annual training?|
|Are workers part of the selection process for needle devices with safety features?|
|Are workers taught how to identify stressors?|
|Are workers taught techniques to reduce stress?|
|Do workers have access to an employee assistance plan or other means of counseling support?|
|Is there a no-weapons policy for patient homes?|
|If there is not a policy prohibiting weapons in the home, is there a policy requiring weapons to be disabled and locked up before the worker arrives?|
|Is the location of a new patient researched to determine local crime statistics?|
|Are workers taught how to recognize violent or aggressive behavior and how to diffuse an angry patient?|
|Are workers taught to recognize illegal drug activities?|
|Are workers taught what to do if they feel uncomfortable about a patient's community or if they believe that they are in danger?|
|Are workers taught how to identify verbal abuse and what to do about it?|
|Has an infection control and prevention plan been developed?|
|Has a pandemic influenza plan been developed?|
|Is there an animal-control policy requiring animals to be restrained?|
|Are workers taught how to deal with threatening weather?|
|Are workers taught what to do in the event of a chemical spill or an act of terrorism?|
|Are workers taught safe driving skills?|
|Do workers have to report all incidents and traffic offenses?|
|Has the agency verified safe driving records for all home healthcare providers?|
|Are workers' driver licenses verified annually?|
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Copyright ©2016, ISO Services, Inc.
The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("The Hanover") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC FEB 2019-458