Caremark Forges Links With International Institute of Risk and Safety Management
Every business knows the importance of having a robust health and safety policy in place ensuring a safe working environment for their staff. However, when it comes to applying this to the world of home care, the situation becomes a little more complex. Unlike staff working within the residential care setting, care and support workers delivering care services to individuals at home are at the mercy of many different environments. Thus each situation and client must be risk assessed according to their unique circumstances.
National Training Manager for Caremark, Lynda Goldsmith, is an ongoing specialist membership of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management and is now accredited as a Registered Safety Practitioner. The International Institute was established to advance public education in accident prevention and occupational health. This organisation is a nationally recognised body who work closely with the Health & Safety Executive and now operate in 70 countries, serving many different industries worldwide.
Goldsmith reflected: “Health and safety is a massive part of our job when we deliver care to adults and children. As well as being regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), we are also governed by Health & Safety law to ensure people that we support are safe. Not many people realise this. This is something which people tend to think only applies to more industrialised working environments. However, as well as safeguarding our care workers, we have a duty of care to our franchisees as well, to ensure there is health and safety guidance in place within their offices. Franchisees must risk assess their offices for their employees as well as the work place of their care workers, which are of course, clients’ homes. The latter is more challenging because one cannot regulate someone in their own home.
“For me, the merging of the two worlds of Health & Safety and Social Care is really important. We need to bring the awareness of Health & Safety into the Social Care world, as Care will affect everyone at some point in their life.”
The accreditation with the Institute came through Caremark’s E Learning courses and blended learning system, authored by Goldsmith and written specifically to suit the home care environment and reflect the Caremark system, policies and procedures. Working in partnership with Karen Hoskins, Manager of the Health & Safety team with Essex Chambers of Commerce, the course was underwritten by the Health & Safety team.
Caremark’s E Learning course is the first branded on line training course for home care workers, which now has the approval and accreditation of an internationally recognised organisation. In addition, the company is now recognised with the IIRSM as being an approved Centre of Training, which can only give reassurance to those considering using the service or those seeking employment with Caremark.
Concluding, Goldsmith commented: “Even people within the Institute and the industrialised world of Health & Safety will have been affected by Care touching their lives in some way, whether for themselves or their family. It is important for them to realise that the Social Care industry has Health & Safety taped down.”