Is care work safe and healthy?

Not necessarily. Care workers face a number of significant workplace hazards, including:

  • back injuries from handling patients. (see more on back posture);
  • stress, because employers in the care work sector may not be training and managing their staff properly;
  • violence and abuse, because they work with clients who may be in pain, distressed, suffering from mental illness or Alzheimer's disease, or because they work alone or in clients' homes;
  • respiratory problems, because care workers are often exposed to clients' tobacco smoke;
  • dermatitis (a skin condition) from washing up, cleaning products etc.; and
  • needlestick injuries.

Because care workers are often agency staff, they can be put at risk if the agency does not communicate properly with the care-managing organisation. The employing agency is responsible for the health and safety of its staff.

If you work in a care home, the care home owner must also take care of your health and safety, whether you are an employee or an agency worker.

See the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website for the latest guidance aimed at the care sector.

Not necessarily. Careworkers face a number of significant workplace hazards, including:

  • back injuries from handling patients. (see more on back posture);
  • stress, because employers in the carework sector may not be training and managing their staff properly;
  • violence and abuse, because they work with clients who may be in pain, distressed, suffering from mental illness or Alzheimer's disease, or because they work alone or in clients' homes;
  • respiratory problems, because careworkers are often exposed to clients' tobacco smoke;
  • dermatitis (a skin condition) from washing up, cleaning products etc.; and
  • needlestick injuries.

Because careworkers are often agency staff, they can be put at risk if the agency does not communicate properly with the care-managing organisation. The employing agency is responsible for the health and safety of its staff.

If you work in a care home, the care home owner must also take care of your health and safety, whether you are an employee or an agency worker.

See the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website for the latest guidance aimed at the care sector.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.