As a practitioner you have a duty to maintain the health and safety of your clinic premises. Health and safety covers a broad range of topics from electrical safety to risk assessment. A lot of health and safety is common sense good practice but you need to know what your obligations are. As a busy practitioner you simply do not have the time to read-up on all the health and safety laws and apply them to the practice. Last year I was awarded distinction for the nationally recognised General Certificate in Health and Safety (4 hours of exams and a practical exam so quite intense) – it covered all kinds of health and safety so I am now quite knowledgeable about excavations and scaffolding! Gaining this qualification has enabled me to provide you with advice about applying health and safety law to your clinic. There is a detailed chapter in the Mint Folder guiding you through health and safety in clinic and providing template policies and forms.
5 essentials you need to consider for health and safety in your practice
- Risk Assessment
If you have 5 or more employees you must have a written health and safety policy and written risk assessments. Some insurance policies will also require you to have written assessments regardless of the number of staff.
All practitioners must carry out a risk assessment of their premises. This is where you identify hazards in and around your premises and consider how to reduce or eliminate the risks from these hazards. These may be trip hazards or items which have come into poor repair or safe ways of reaching items at height.
2. Workstation Assessment
If you have staff that use the computer for an hour or more each day then you need to carry out a workstation assessment.
3. Electrical Safety
You should carry out a survey of your electrical sockets and equipment to make sure they are not overloaded and are free from damage or loose cables. There is no legal requirement to have electrical safety inspections and tests but you are obliged to make sure equipment is safely maintained.
4. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
Assess, record and utilise safe use procedures for hazardous substances used in your practice. This may include printer inks and cleaning products as well as therapeutic products. Usually all of the details you need will be on the product label.
5. Fire Safety
Each practice needs to make a risk assessment for fire safety. Make sure you know how fire would be detected and how you would raise an alarm. Have procedures in place for evacuating your premises and make sure all staff know the fire procedures.
5 items you need to have in your practice for health and safety
- Health and Safety Poster – must be displayed by all UK businesses or a leaflet provided to workers
- Accident Report Book
- First Aid Kit
- No smoking sign
- General Safety Signs – marking potential hazards such as wet floor, fire exit signs, keep clear signs etc.
These two lists help you to make a good start with health and safety in your practice. Take action today to make sure your clinic is a safe environment. There is a lot more detail about requirements, good procedures and template forms in the Mint Folder. Buy the folder now