CET Standard of the Month

Standards 11 and 23: Safety

These standards are about keeping individuals safe in their physical environments, which include their homes, work places and communities.
While individual safety is an important consideration for service providers and the individuals’ support networks, it also has to be balanced with sensitivity to the individuals’ right to make decisions. To achieve this balance, services and supports need to be in place to give individuals opportunities to practice safety skills without exposing them to undue danger and harm.

Safety assessments are similar to risk assessments for individuals in that they:

  • evaluate the individuals’ ability to keep themselves from harm
  • flag any areas where they may be struggling to do so (e.g., unable to safely reach stove knobs that are located behind the burners)

Both types of assessments will also help service providers identify specific safety hazards and/or risks for individuals who live on their own or in a supported situation instead of with 24/7 staffing.
The assessments may look for or at:

  • unsafe housekeeping practices
  • potential fire and other hazards
  • isolation

If individuals cannot provide for their own safety, services and supports must be in place for the individuals’ protection and to meet these standards. Whenever there is a question about whether individuals can provide for their own safety, a risk assessment can be done to identify appropriate supports and services.
Regarding environmental hazards, service providers need to develop safety exercises to tackle any hazard that can be identified in its area (e.g., floods, tornados) and not just fires.
Staff play an important part in promoting safe environments by regularly checking for and then reporting any hazards that may have developed in the maintenance, design and/or function of the physical space (e.g., leaky taps, worn carpets, warped stairs).
When it comes to the safe transportation of individuals, service providers will follow their policy and procedures around

  • having vehicles inspected, serviced, insured and licensed
  • equipping company, staff or private vehicles with
    • First Aid kits
    • properly adjusted restraints for people and stored items
  • following up on any risks that have been raised following a safety or risk assessment (e.g., individuals physically distracting the driver)