Health and Safety Postbag May 2019

When ambulances are being deep cleaned or maintained, the staff carrying out those tasks should not be exposed to “hidden hazards” which are not immediately visible. The spaces beneath the stretcher mounts and behind the fold-out steps are common areas where clinical matter or sharps migrate out of sight and present unexpected risks to the maintenance team. If dropped sharps cannot be safely retrieved by clinicians, or If there are spillages which land on or around the stretcher floor mounts, the maintenance team must be made aware to protect them from harm.

Staff are reminded that the recommended way to enter / exit high sided vehicles such as ambulances, is the same as going up & down a ladder; facing the steps so that you can see where your feet are being placed.

Staff are reminded that they are responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of the PPE provided to them by the Trust and it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that it is worn at all appropriate times.

Additionally, footwear will last longer and provide greater protection from adverse weather if regularly polished or waxed with dubbin. Footwear that has become sodden should not be force dried as this can affect the material; it should be allowed to dry out naturally away from heat sources. Attention should be paid to the sole of the footwear and replacement items requested before the tread is worn away.

Drivers are reminded that they are responsible for the safety of their passengers and the security of their load. When patients are conveyed on the stretcher, all the satraps must be utilised unless there are clinical reasons for not doing so. In this case the reason must be recorded before leaving scene. Equipment which is provided with security straps (gas cylinders, carry chair, rescue boards and scoop stretcher) must also be secured in place prior to the vehicle becoming mobile. Any security straps which become damaged and any clamps or buckles which become defective must be replaced to ensure security of the load.

Jeff Pittman

Unison Health & Safety Officer