Risk Assessment Example - Doctor's Office - Unit 3 Health and Social Care task 4
In the doctor’s office there is his main desk, a bed with a long floor-length curtain around it, a shelf, a coat rack with lots of things hanging on it, a low table, a cupboard, and a lamp plugged in from across the room.
Potential hazards in this room include the curtain around the bed draping along the floor, the shelf having sample pots of patients’ bodily fluids stored on it, the coat rack being heavily loaded on one side, the low table having a pack of expired pills on it, the cupboard not having child safety locks on it, and the wire from the lamp trailing across the middle of the room.
Curtain: Around the bed there is a privacy curtain that can be pulled across to separate the bed from the rest of the room. The length of this curtain is too long and the bottom 4 inches drape along the floor, causing a tripping hazard. This hazard is especially a risk to children, the elderly, and those with vision impairments.
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For example an elderly person might get their foot caught in the bottom of the curtain and trip, possibly breaking bones or hitting their head.
To reduce this risk, the curtain needs to be replaced with one of suitable length; until then, it should be tucked away when not in use.
Shelf: On the shelf on the wall of the Doctor’s office there are sample pots of patients’ bodily fluids (blood, saliva, urine etc.) that are waiting to be sent off for lab testing. This is not only unappealing for patients in the room to look at, it is also a breach of confidentiality between the doctor and the patient whose samples they are, since each sample has a label on with the patient’s medical details on it. The samples, if knocked over and opened, can cause a health risk too, especially to children.
For example, a child could knock the shelf, a blood sample could fall and spill on the child and this could pass on potentially fatal infections for the child.
To reduce this risk, the samples need to be stored out of sight, in a locked cupboard, to ensure no confidentiality is broken and that no one, especially children, can access them.
Coat rack: There is a coat rack near the door of the Doctor’s office, which is heavily loaded on one side, making it unbalanced and likely to fall on a patient or the doctor. This could knock an elderly person, who isn’t completely balanced over, or fall on a small child and hit them in the head and seriously injure them
To reduce this risk, the coat rack should be secured to a wall, in case it gets overloaded on one side, which will keep it from falling over. The doctor should also make sure that if it is being used, that the load is balanced, and not one-sided.
Table: There is a low table in the room, that is not only a tripping hazard, but the doctor uses it to store unused or expired packets of pills on, before he puts them in the bin. Anyone could pick these pills up and take them; possibly causing serious damage to their body, especially if a child took them.
For example, a child could see them whilst their parent’s attention is distracted because they are talking to the doctor, and within seconds eat multiple pills thinking they are sweets.
To reduce this risk, the pills need to be disposed of in the proper way as soon as they expire, and not kept in view or in reach of any patients or their children.
Cupboard: The cupboard in the room that contains lots of medical items such as needles, medicines, samples etc. inside is floor-level and does not have any child safety features, such as child locks. This means that a child could easily open the cupboard and harm themselves with anything inside.
This risk can be reduced by either putting child locks on the cupboard, or getting an actual lock that can only be opened with the doctor’s key.
Lamp: There is a lamp in the middle of the room which is plugged in at the wall, leaving the wire loose across the floor causing a tripping hazard for anyone who might not notice the lead, as it is a similar colour to the carpet, and people wouldn’t expect it to be there.
This is especially a risk to the elderly and people with vision impairments, as they could trip over easily after not seeing it, and seriously hurt themselves.
To reduce this risk, the lamp needs to be moved closer to the plug socket so that there isn’t a wire across the floor.