Health and Safety

These information sheets have been provided as a guide only and should not be used as substitutes for specialist advice. We try to keep them updated, however, this cannot always be guaranteed.

Key points

It is your responsibility to provide a healthy and safe workplace and not do anything or ask employees to do anything that may cause them injury. You are required to assess the risk to your employees health and safety and ensure that it is "as low as practically possible". A written assessment is not required unless you have 5 or more employees.

It is your personal assistant's duty not to do anything that might endanger their own or your safety. For example your personal assistant should follow hygiene practices such as washing their hands and should avoid cross contamination between different types of food such as meat and dairy products.

You should ensure that your assistant uses electrical or mechanical aids where possible and that they follow correct handling techniques especially when handling medicines or caustic substances like acid from an electric chair's batteries. Make sure any cleaners and chemicals are stored safely and your personal assistant knows how to use them safely.

Whenever necessary, you should provide your assistant with appropriate clothing to protect them for example gloves to minimize the risk of infection.

It is often a good idea to draw up a checklist of potential hazards in your home. Take a careful look at the rooms and the equipment to be used by your assistant. Check there are no obstacles or surfaces that might cause injury such as tripping, slipping, cutting or burning oneself. Look at the equipment and check it is in good working order, has no rough or sharp surfaces and if it is electric, that it is safe. If a risk assessment has been carried out by the Council in connection with your care assessment you can ask social services for a copy to be provided to your personal assistant.

If you feel you need technical aids or equipment, talk to your social worker or occupational therapist to ensure you get the right ones. They may also show your personal assistant how to use them.


As an employer it is your duty to ensure that your assistant has the training to carry out their duties safely. Compass Disability Services can support with finding a  suitable course.