The Health & Safety Executive recently reported a prosecution of a care home operator following the death of an elderly service user who suffered scalds after being lowered into a hot bath. The full details of the case can be seen by following the link below.
A few simple measures could have avoided this tragic case.
- Thermometers should be present at each bath and shower.
- Water temperatures should be checked and recorded prior to the service user entering the water.
- Care workers should be trained in the safety procedures regarding baths and showers.
- Thermostatic mixing valves should be set to keep maximum temperatures below the guidance limits and the actual water temperatures should be checked monthly.
- Audit the procedures for bathing service users, the water temperature records kept and staff training records.
Further detailed guidance can be found in the documents below:-
Managing the risks from hot water and surfaces in health and social care – HSE
Controlling Scalding Risks from Bathing and Showering – UKHCA
Ashes Associates October 2014