Planned preventative maintenance in care homes is crucial to the effective running and safety of residents and care staff. Planned preventative maintenance or PPM are maintenance tasks that are scheduled ahead of time or recur on a regular basis.
The CQC has published helpful guidelines outlining health and safety points which can be found on their website. The team at FaultFixers have studied the guide in-depth and have identified just some of the key takeaways that every care home must take into consideration to provide adequate health and safety for their residents and staff. Do you have the below tasks included in your PPM plans?
"The most common causes of serious injury at work are slips and trips and falls from height."
Businesses, including care homes and healthcare premises, must have a health and safety policy which must be written down if there are five or more employees. A health and safety policy includes performing a Risk Assessment that identifies potential 'hazards' and evaluates risks. 'Hazards' could include things such as asbestos, machinery or working at height. By evaluating the risks, teams can help to prevent serious injury which can be done by preventing access to hazardous areas or issuing protective equipment.
Care providers may need to consider different types of 'hazards' such as legionella, precautions and preventing harm to the vulnerable, hazardous substances, maintenance activities and other elements of risk such as falling out of bed, bathing and moving around safely.
Typically, the equipment can include hoists, lifts, transfer boards, walking aids, support rails, wheelchairs, standing aids and many more. It is important to ensure that the equipment being used is well maintained and that staff are trained with up-to-date techniques for handling and maintaining equipment.
Lifting operation and lifting equipment regulations 1998 (LOLER) ensures that you as an employer has duties to ensure the upkeep of equipment used for lifting and that it is fit for purpose. It also outlines a statutory periodic thorough examination in which records must be kept and any defects found must be reported. Lifting equipment and accessories will also need to be inspected and can be performed with functional checks and visual checks on everyday wear and tear (eg. slings).
Routine maintenance involves checking and replacing parts and making any routine adjustments to ensure that the equipment used is fit for purpose and safe. PPM (planned preventative maintenance) can be used to ensure all equipment is regularly inspected by the appropriate person. You can find out more about how FaultFixers is making care home maintenance easier in our blog here.
Fixed electrical installations should be inspected every five years. The main hazards from electricity are electric shock, fire from faulty electrical equipment and explosion caused by unsuitable electrical apparatus. Portable electrical equipment may need inspection and this can typically be visual checks by ensuring loose cables are secure and checking for any signs of wear and tear.
Bed rails are commonly used in care homes to help prevents falls from bed however poorly fitted and maintained bed rails can cause serious injuries. It is essential that bed rails are fitted properly and that a risk assessment is performed alongside the care plans of the resident. It is up to the care provider to ensure that bed rails are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure their safety.
Slips and trips on slippery or uneven surfaces are common and there are several precautions care providers must take to prevent serious injury to residents and staff. Are there adequate floor cleaning methods to help prevent slips and falls? Are there arrangements in place to inspect surfaces on a regular basis? Providers may want to consider scheduling regular inspections and checks alongside a checklist dedicated to slips, trips and falls.
Falls from height are some of the biggest causes of injuries and there is a requirement to ensure that a proper risk assessment has been performed before working at height. It is essential to ensure that equipment is stable and maintained regularly as well as to provide protection from falling objects. Consider the safety of windows, balconies and stairs; are they well maintained and well-lit?
Outbreaks of legionella can occur within water that is growing sludge, scale or organic matter (ie. temperatures of 20-45 °C). Controlling the risk of legionella is effective water control. Planned preventative maintenance in care homes can be an effective method to ensure water temperatures are safe and that weekly or monthly water inspections are fulfilled.
Alongside care and healthcare-specific assessments, it is also crucial to include a policy within the general working environment. These types of hazards can include lighting, doors and gates, fire safety and gas safety.
With the spread of COVID-19, it is also essential to consider personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilation and cleaning.
You can download our daily care home maintenance checklist below to find out if you are on the right track with your inspections and checks.
Planned preventative maintenance in care homes can help to ensure that your sites are maintained to a high standard at all times. Ensuring the safety of residents and staff is of utmost importance as outlined in detail by the CQC. There are many other factors to potential risks to consider such as lighting, gas and fire safety, ventilation and PPE.
If you're interested in finding out more about how maintenance software can help you with your planned preventative maintenance tasks, book a call with our friendly team as we'd love to discuss how we can help!