Care Homes Health & Safety Bulletin – October 2014

Scalding Fatality

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. ebul=hsegen&cr=15/29-sep-14

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