Risk assessments and Safer Handling
In 2008 Julie Noble completed her training at DFH Ergonomics Ltd to become a Risk Assessor and Key Trainer in the Handling and Safe Movement of Patients and Loads. The trainer is Danielle Homes who is recognised as a leading expert witness. Julie follows an update programme to further develop her expertise.
Risk assessments are a legal document and can be submitted as admissible evidence in court. In cases where there is issue of liability Julie can act as a legal witness. It is important that risk assessments are read by the intended members of staff and that all guidance and advice is followed.
Julie provides an outreach service for all students attending mainstream settings in Islington who experience physical disabilities and mobility challenges. Her service includes advice and support that covers all aspects of safe moving, handling and transfers.
The outreach service offered by Julie complies with the 1992 Moving and Handling Regulations. Contravention of these guidelines place children and young people and the staff who support their needs at risk of injury.
The primary intention of the 1992 Regulations is to ensure that children and young people and the staff who support them remain safe at school. This is a legal duty of care.
Head teachers and school governors must ensure that the implementation of advice regarding safe moving and handling. A training programme for staff must be in place with risk assessments for those children and young people identified as having physical disabilities / mobility challenges. In compliance with the Regs Julie teaches a range of safe transfer strategies. Julie does not teach lifting techniques as these place both the child and member of staff at risk of injury or accident.
Equipment to meet the moving and handling needs of children and young people should be in place. Schools are required to purchase and install specialist equipment in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Schools are expected to make Reasonable Adjustments to the school building to enhance access for all groups of pupils.
Equality Act – reference below.
The Equality Act and Schools 2010 (May 2014) states that schools are expected to make reasonable adjustments to the school building to enhance access for all groups of pupils.
Reasonable adjustments can be classified as a minor adjustment - for example re-hanging an existing door to allow easier access for a student using a walking frame.
Adjustments may involve re-configuring the layout of a room - for example altering the position of a sink and loo to accommodate a mobile hoist in a bathroom which would not be classed as major building works.
The installation of a through-floor lift and additional external fire-safe lift would be classified as a major building project. This would enable a student using a power chair to have fully inclusive access to the physical setting and a safe means of fire evacuation from all areas of the school building.
School buildings vary in terms of historical architecture, design and layout. This impacts directly the extent to which adjustments can be made. Schools will not be expected to make adjustments that are not reasonable.
Outreach provision can be offered in the following areas:
Training and advice for staff working with students who have physical disabilities and mobility challenges. The service offer incorporates the completion of a safe moving and handling plan.
The half day school based training session equips staff with a framework of knowledge and practical competence in the school setting. The theoretical framework is taken from the legal regulations and guidelines. Practical training includes the safe use of a hoist and familiarity with a range of slings. Participants learn about a range of accessibility/mobility equipment for pupils with physical disabilities. Training is bespoke to the individual needs of pupils attending your nursery, school or college.
Back care and postural management workshop
A small group workshop to address back care and postural management. In your nursery, school or college setting practical problem solving aims to enhance participants’ awareness of their posture and good body management. Helpful tips are provided that can be incorporated into daily work routines and responsibilities. Activities include how to bend to the floor and the safe way to manoeuvre and wheel a wheelchair. Training is tailored to the needs of staff and the nature of work duties.
Risk assessments for staff who have recently attended an occupational health assessment
This is carried out in liaison with the headteacher for any staff member who has recently had an occupational health assessment or review where physical adjustments may be required.
Risk assessment for pregnant staff members who work with pupils who have special needs
This is carried out on-site with the staff member who is pregnant. The assessment relates to all work related responsibilities.
Pupil risk assessments and care plans
Risk assessments for pupils weighing 16kg and above who have a physical disability or special needs that require a risk assessment and care plan.
In liaison with the SENCO this assessment incorporates an access assessment of the school building. Generic access assessments can be carried out as appropriate. Advice on equipment for safe handling and transfer is provided. This can include functional planning for the installation of hoists, changing beds and hygiene-room equipment. Pupils can be assessed for a suitable transfer slings. A detailed report and care plan is compiled. This covers all aspects of safe moving and handling with clear staff guidelines.
On request inclusion advice can be provided
Elements of the report can be used to inform the Individual Education Plan and Annual Review and EHCP. Risk assessments are updated annually. Specific pre and post-surgery assessments are available.
Please note that there is no charge for this service for Islington schools and early years’ settings as schools have already paid through the DSG.
If you require Safer Handling Risk Assessments or training please contact Julie Noble either by email, telephone or at the address shown below. Alternatively fill in the Referral Form (see below) and return it with as much detail as possible please.
Tel: 020 7786 4808
Richard Cloudesley Outreach Service, Golden Lane Campus, 101 Whitecross Street, London EC1Y 8JA