Care home staff sing praises of safety training

Community News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Community News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
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Good for residents’ safety, good for staff morale and good for promoting a successful business.

That’s what people at Askham Care Homes in Doddington had to say about a training course run by Fenland District Council’s environmental health staff on how to look after the health and safety both of those in their care and their work colleagues.

Their praise came after 15 members of staff had successfully completed a COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) course.

The course covered the safe handling of chemicals they use in their everyday work, how to write effective risk assessments and the steps they can take to prevent slips, trips and falls, which is particularly important for older residents because a fall can lead to an early decline in health.

Joe Briley, one of the maintenance men at the home, said: “It was a really good health and safety refresher. It jogged our memories on all sorts of important things and it was done with a lot of interaction with the staff. Also, it wasn’t too heavy-going – it was really enjoyable.”

Michelle Gale, a member of the domestic staff, agreed: “It covered lots of topics, including really practical things that you don’t think about,” she said. “It was very much about what we do on a day-to-day basis.”

Currently Askham Care Homes in Doddington looks after 89 elderly residents. It also has a specialist rehabilitation unit for people aged 18-65 with brain and spinal injuries.

Training manager Karen Presland said: “Because of the number of staff we have here and the amount of chemicals around, we make this course essential. Everyone is happier if they’re clear on what they have to do to ensure people are safe. Doing the course together is also very good for staff morale.”

Councillor Peter Murphy, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for environmental health, said: “As the enthusiastic reaction from the Askham staff shows, businesses of all sorts can benefit in lots of ways from training like this. It’s an important part of what we do to support them.

“All our health and safety courses are run by fully trained environmental health staff. They provide employers and their staff with essential knowledge and understanding of what good practice involves.

“Training that addresses individual businesses’ particular health and safety needs can be arranged and courses held at their premises.”

The next Level 2 Health and Safety course is scheduled for November 12 (9.15am-4pm) at FDC’s offices at The Base, Melbourne Avenue, March PE15 0EN. It costs £64 per person, including lunch. To book places or get more details on all FDC’s health and safety training courses, call Dawn Sadler, senior environmental health officer, on 01354 654321, or email or environmentalservicererequests@fenland.gov.uk