Moving and Assisting Support
Many Personal Assistant (PA) employers will need support at various times during their day, to move from one place to another. This will be particularly important for employers who cannot bear their own weight and will need to use an aid to help them move safely. Part of a PA’s role might be to support their employer to move safely. To do this, PAs need relevant and appropriate training and support.
There are certain legal requirements when it comes to supporting someone to physically move from one place to another. This is often referred to as ‘manual handling’. However, PA employers might prefer people to use the term moving and assisting, which is more respectful of the person.
The types of activity that PA Employers might need support with include:
- Moving from a wheelchair onto a bed or shower chair using a ceiling or freestanding hoist
- Moving from a chair to a wheelchair using a Turning Stand
Any activity that requires an individual to lift, move or support a person is classified as a manual handling task. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 are the main piece of legislation dealing with manual handling. It sets out the main duties for employers and employees.
The regulations explain that first of all you need to avoid manual handling where possible. When this is not possible you need to assess and reduce the risk. There isn’t a weight limit for manual handling within the regulations. Instead an assessment of the tasks required should be carried out to ensure the safety and health of both employees and the employer.
Employers are required to
- Avoid manual handling, wherever possible
- Assess the risks of any handling tasks that can’t be avoided
- Reduce the risk of injury as far as possible
Employees also have responsibilities
- To follow safe working guidance provided
- To use equipment correctly
- To inform the employer of any handling risks they identify
- To take care not to put others at risk through their activities
- To cooperate with their employer on health and safety
It is important that PA Employers identify appropriate training for their PAs to undertake and to give them time to complete this training. It might also be necessary to undertake refresher training at a later date.
Talk to your employer about training or updates to your training that you may need. Also take a look at the resources below.