Bathroom

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Biological Agents

Risk of:

  • Infection.
  • Allergic effects.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to contaminated water aerosols e.g. Legionnaire's disease due to failure to maintain water systems and associated equipment such as thermostatic valves.
  • Exposure to pathogenic microorganisms during patient care activities.
  • Failure to use standard precautions.
  • Mould growth on continually wet surfaces.

Chemical Agents

Risk of:

  • Adverse health effects such as dermatitis or allergy
  • Resident/visitor being able to access chemicals.

Possible causes:

  • Exposure to cleaning chemicals through inhalation or skin absorption.
  • Use of soaps, detergents and disinfectants.
  • Lack of personal protective equipment.
  • Mixing of incompatible chemicals.
  • Chemicals left unattended or not securely stored.

Ergonomic Hazards

Risk of:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders.

Possible causes:

  • Adopting awkward or static postures whilst assisting with bathing of resident.
  • High contact stress e.g. on knees from kneeling or upper chest when leaning against the bath.

Manual/Patient Handling

Risk of:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders.

Possible causes:

  • Lifting too heavy items.
  • Over reaching or stretching whilst assisting residents who are unable to move by themselves.
  • Lack of or unsuitable manual handling devices for transferring resident.
  • Failure to maintain manual handling devices.
  • Inadequate space to shower / bathe the resident or use manual handling devices.
  • Unexpected movement of the resident.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Risk of:

  • Minor injuries such as cuts to major injuries such as broken bones, concussion and even death.

Possible causes:

  • Worn or torn flooring.
  • Wet and slippery floors.
  • Unsuitable footwear.
  • Assisting incapacitated residents.

Water

Risk of:

  • Burns or scalds.
  • Infection e.g. exposure to aerosols contaminated with Legionella bacteria.

Possible causes:

  • Failure to treat water appropriately.
  • Failure to maintain thermostatic mixing valves.
  • Inappropriate method of checking water temperature e.g. using the hand rather than a thermometer.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list of hazards and risks.