The HSE are investigating a care home after one of their residents died from drinking a dangerous chemical.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the care home operator, because they put vulnerable people at risk by failing to properly manage the use of cleaning fluids.
The toilet cleaner which had been noticed in the residents room earlier that day but not removed.
The HSE investigation found the company had an inadequate system to control such chemicals and to prevent access to areas of risk by vulnerable people. Inspectors discovered that trolleys carrying hazardous substances were often left unattended, sometimes for considerable periods, and there were no proper procedures in place for cleaners to check trolley contents were intact.
The investigation also showed it was too easy for vulnerable residents to get into areas such as the laundry and kitchen which should have had controlled access.
Following the incident, HSE served Palms Row Healthcare with three Improvement Notices as well as bringing the prosecution.
Simple Safety Advice has conducted audits in care homes and know from experience that residents can be unpredictable, highlighting the need to be aware of potential hazards to all people in these environments. We would recommend that audits are conducted at regular intervals with action plans being put in place to address any areas that require improvement.