Category Archives: People Handling

Advice People Handling

Need to Know – 10 useful things to know if you have low back pain

  1. Ice therapy Putting ice on the painful area can be really useful in the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury because it can help reduce the inflammation. Even though the gut reaction maybe to keep a painful area warm and this certainly feels good because it helps cover up the pain and it does help relax the muscles, the heat actually inflames the inflammatory processes. After 48 hours, you can switch to heat if you prefer. Whether you use heat or ice — take it off after about 20 minutes to give your skin a rest.
  2. Keep moving. Our spines are like the rest of our body — they’re meant to move. You should not refrain from doing your usual daily activities. Continue to do the housework, walk the dog, and drive the kids to school. Once you’re feeling better, regular aerobic exercises like swimming, yoga, cycling, and walking can keep you — and your back — more mobile. Just don’t overdo it. There’s no need to run a marathon when your back is painful.
  3. Stay strong. Once your back pain has receded, you can help avert future episodes of pain by working the muscles that support your lower back, including the back extensor muscles. Having strong hip, pelvic, and abdominal muscles also gives you more back support. Seek advice about the best exercises to do as some exercises can actually put more strain on your back.
  4. Stretch A lot of us undertake jobs that require us to occasionally adopt poor posture. You should get into the habit of stretching in the opposite direction every 20 minutes through your day to relieve the possible discomfort. Many people get relief from their back pain by doing a regular stretching routine, this also helps build up your muscle strength as well.
  5. Think ergonomically. Design your workspace/home space so you don’t have to hunch forward to see your computer monitor or sit twisted to watch your TV. Use a desk chair or home sofa that supports your lower back and allows you to sit as comfortably as possible.
  6. Watch your posture. Be especially careful of your posture when lifting heavy or awkward objects. Never bend over from the waist. Instead, bend and straighten from the knees keeping your spine it its natural alignment.
  7. Wear low heels. Exchange your four-inch shoes for flats or low heels (less than 1 inch). High heels create a more unstable posture, and increase pressure on your lower spine. According to research, nearly 60% of women who consistently wear high-heeled shoes complain of low back pain.
  8. Kick the habit. Smoking can increase your risk for osteoporosis of the spine and other bone problems. Osteoporosis can lead to compression fractures of the spine. One study found that smokers are about a third more likely to have low back pain compared with non-smokers.
  9. Watch your weight. Use diet and exercise to keep your weight within a healthy range for your height. Being overweight puts excess stress on your spine.

10. Try an over-the-counter pain reliever. Anti-inflammatory drugs and some pain killers can help reduce back pain. Be sure to check with your G.P. or pharmacist about any interactions over-the-counter pain relievers may have with other medications you are taking. People with a history of certain medical conditions (such as ulcers, kidney disease, and liver disease) should avoid some medicines.


Finally if your low back pain persists contact your G.P. for advice.

Moving and Handling News People Handling

Large Care Home Group Fined after Death of Elderly Resident Following a Fall

A large UK-based care home group has been fined £57,000 after an elderly resident in their care died when she fractured her neck in a fall during a manual handling transfer. The company pleaded guilty late last year in a Scottish court of breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974 which led to the fatal injury of an 88 year old female resident.

On the morning of 22nd October 2008 a carer in the home was in the process of assisting the resident with her undressing as well as transferring her from her bed to her shower chair when the resident fell to the floor. The carer, who had very recently taken up employment within the home, was unaware that a care plan and manual handling assessment stated that two people were required to transfer the resident.

The care home group admitted that they had failed to review and update the risk assessment for the resident and had also failed to provide adequate training and instruction as well as staff supervision for those workers within the home who were expected to undertake people handling activities.

The resident had been at the care home for over ten years when she was taken to the local hospital for emergency treatment following the fall. She died the next day from her injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation indicated that the residents care plan and safe system of work assessment had not been updated when there had been changes to her mobility. These documents stated incorrectly that one member of staff was required where other documents pertaining to her care indicated there was a requirement for two staff to assist with manual transfers.

The court heard that staff relied on consulting their colleagues about resident’s manual handling needs rather than reading the care plans and risk assessments. The carer present when the resident fell had not been given sufficient instruction and had not been adequately supervised in relation to manual handling activities.

The HSE Principal Inspector Barry Baker said “Care homes have a responsibility to look after their residents who are often vulnerable and not able to look after themselves. In this case the standard of care provided …fell below acceptable levels with tragic consequences.”

“This is not an isolated incident and every year there are numerous residents who suffer serious injuries as a result of a fall in a care home. To help avoid similar incidents it is crucial that care providers ensure they have thorough care plans for their residents in place and that their staff are properly trained and supported to make these plans work in practice.”

Edge Services

News People Handling Training

Are You Ready for ‘Ofsted’?


In order to address what he describes as a ‘crisis in care’, Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is to propose a new ratings system for hospitals and care homes similar to the Ofsted system that rates schools. Since the previous system, which awarded up to three stars to reflect the quality of service, was abandoned in 2010, providers have had only to meet Care Quality Commission-set minimum standards. Critics have suggested that such a system does little to promote improvements.

A study by think-tank the Nuffield Trust will consider the newly proposed ratings system and publish its recommendations in March 2013. Trust Director, Jennifer Dixon, agreed that: ‘It’s a sensible question to ask about how the quality of care is assessed in health and social care providers, given all the systems currently in place to boost and monitor quality for the public… We look forward to doing an independent analysis of this issue working with a range of groups across the health and social care world in the UK, learning from past experience, from other sectors and from other countries.’

People Handling

Nursing Home Owners Fined After Manual Handling Fatality

Annie Bradley a 78 year old lady who was a resident of Harley House Nursing Home in Leicester fell from a hoist in July 2008 and died the following day. Mrs Bradley who had Huntingdon’s disease and was immobile was being transported in a hoist and sling from her bed to a specialist chair when the accident happened. Two sisters who co-owned the care home were successfully prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in August 2012, they were found to be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act section 3 (1) and were fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000. It was found in court that both the hoist and the sling were in poor condition. The slings stitching was worn and damaged and was unable to support Mrs Bradley.

After the hearing HSE inspector Richenda Dixon said “with properly maintained equipment, better training and supervision this incident was easily preventable. The risks from hoisting residents in nursing homes are well known and falls during hoisting have resulted in severe injuries, from broken bones through to fatalities. There should have been regular checks on the sling and the hoist, proper planned preventative maintenance carried out and both thoroughly examined by a competent person at least once every six months. Sadly this did not happen and an elderly lady lost her life.”