Safe Principles – Explanation

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If lifting cannot be avoided or mechanized then safe principles must be used. These reduce the chance of injury by using skilled, safe lifting techniques.

The principles of levers explain why it is important to maintain an upright posture and the need to keep the load close to the body. When forward bending the weight of the trunk must be counterbalanced by the back muscles to stop the body falling forwards.

The muscles of the back are close to the spine and therefore have short levers compared to legs/arms and require a greater force to maintain balance.

If a load is held at a distance from the body, the back muscles will have to generate a greater force to balance the body. The muscles of the back are designed for support and flexibility and will tire when leaning forward and supporting a load for any period of time.

The individual who is to be moved must be consulted about how they would like to be moved. Discussion is very important to ensure they are moved comfortably and that any pain and discomfort are reduced to a minimum. Safe principles allow you to use strong muscles of the legs and reduce the risk of damage and injury. Below are shown a number of safe principles for correctly lifting objects for a care worker:

* Should assess the situation before moving the service user as these decreases the risks to both the care worker and the service user.

* They should use equipment to move and handle because this reduces the number of injuries and complies with the law.

* The care worker should make sure they are wearing appropriate clothing, for example, flat shoes as they can prevent twisted ankles and reduces the likelihood of accidents.

* Also another care worker should be present to help with the movement which reduces the risk of accidents occurring and makes the task easier to manage.

* The service user should always be consulted so that the agreement of the service user is obtained and that the service user knows exactly what is going to happen.

* They should check the environment, e.g. floors, is the floor even, and is the floor wet/sleepy, this prevents unnecessary accidents.

* They need to ensure that the area where the individual is placed is ready, as this minimises the inconvenience to the service user.

* They need to check that the equipment is fit for purpose, which prevents danger of using faulty equipment.

* They should always face the person who is being moved, so that the care worker can see the service user’s reaction to every situation.

* The care worker needs to bend their legs and not their backs as this prevents injury and correctly balances the weight/load.

* They need to make sure the breaks are on the beds, trolleys and chairs so that the equipment does not move uncontrollably during the moving process.

Stop and think rules for care workers

1. Never manually handle unless care workers have no other option. care workers should Always ask their selves “Do I need to handle manually – can I ask or guide the patient to move, can I use a handling aid to move the patient or the inanimate load?”

2. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear

3. Always assess the person or load to be handled before commencing a manoeuvre

4. Always select the appropriate manoeuvre and handling equipment for the task

5. Identify a team leader prior to the manoeuvre. All instructions and explanations to both the patient and any assisting handlers should come from the team leader

6. Explain the manoeuvre to the person to be transferred and the handlers

7. Prepare the environment

8. Where appropriate apply the brakes on the equipment, for example brakes are always applied when leaving the meal trolleys and hoist whilst charging in a static position.

9. Avoid static stooping. Try to work as close to your natural, erect spinal posture as possible. Your back is strongest when it is upright so that it forms three gentle curves.

10. Know your own handling capacity and do not exceed it. Always ask for help if you feel you need it.

11. The team leader must give clear, precise instructions (e.g. ready, steady, move/go etc)

In Greyfriers there are a couple of service users that need this treatment; the care workers can not lift them up as it can affect their health. Listed below are the most common manual handling injuries:

* Muscle and ligament strains

* Joint sprains

* Inter vertebral disc prolepses

* Tennis elbow

* Frozen shoulder

* Carpel tunnel syndrome

* Tendonitis

The important part of the care workers body can be affected, which is their back, In order to understand how care workers should care for their back they need to understand how it works, what it is made up from, what it is likely to do for them and what is likely to hurt. Spine is made up of 33 vertebrae of various sizes. The function of the spine is for support, flexibility, and muscle and ligament attachment and also for protection of your spinal cord. Spines has three natural curves giving strength to the spine and the whole structures is then supported by muscles and ligament, so it is very important that care workers be careful, and follow all the principles set for the safe handling and moving practice. Read questiona about force protection

In Greyfriers, john suffers from Parkinson disease and can not move sometime, care workers have to well aware of this, and when he needs to move from one place to another, care workers should lift him with a hoist or a slide board, although john weights very little, care workers should not lift him up, they should always use the right equipment set for it, if they lift him up it can affect their bodies as mentioned above.

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