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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
June 20, 2007

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Care home fined over “easily prevented” scalding incident

The feet and lower legs of an 80-year-old care-home resident were severely scalded after she was lowered by a hoist into extremely hot water.

Humberside Independent Care Association (HICA) was fined £15,000 by Hull magistrates on 30 May for breaching s3(1) of the HSWA 1974 by not ensuring the safety of residents.

The company was also fined £2000 for a breach of reg.5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) by failing to ensure work equipment was adequately maintained. It pleaded guilty to both charges and was told to pay £4468, the full costs of Kingston upon Hull City Council, which brought the prosecution.

The court heard that the thermostatic mixing valve to the bath had not been adequately maintained and did not function properly. Following the incident, on 16 November 2004, Mrs Betty Isherwood had to undergo skin-graft surgery. As a result of her injuries, her quality of life has deteriorated severely, while her care needs have significantly increased.

In mitigation, the company said there had been failings by some of its key employees. It had a previous good safety record.

Angela Dunn, head of community care services at the Council, commented: “This tragic accident could and should have been easily prevented. Care homes should be well aware of the risks of scalding from hot water.

“The risk is foreseeable and there is established guidance which is readily available. This case serves to remind all duty-holders of the need to ensure health and safety risks are managed effectively.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.

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