Short term effects of abuse…

Bruises, cuts and broken bones.

Contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Low self-esteem.

Poor self-image

Displaying challenging or needy behaviour.

Feeling angry, anxious or tearful.

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Long term effects of abuse...

Low self-esteem.

Feeling angry, anxious or tearful.

Developing mental health issues e.g. depression.

Inability to sleep

Developing physical health conditions e.g. anorexia.

Difficulties trusting others, forming relationships and friendships.

Difficulties with addictions e.g. alcohol.


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Intentional abuse

Harm and abuse towards others can be deliberate.

FOR EXAMPLE, a senior care assistant who supports an individual requiring care and support with their shopping and buys items for themselves with the individual’s money is deliberately abusing that individual financially.

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Unintentional abuse

Harm and abuse can also be unintentional, through poor care.

FOR EXAMPLE, a senior care worker who supports an older individual to move position in bed in a careless matter is unintentionally physically abusing the individual.

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Heath care environments

e.g. A clinic,

       GP surgery,



Health professionals carry out tasks such as surgical procedures that involve contact with bodily fluids that can contain pathogens and carry infectious diseases.

Tasks that involve coming into contact with hazardous chemicals can lead to accidental spillages.

Stress can be experienced by those who work in these types of environments.


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Care environments


Care home,

Nursing home,

Individuals home.

Vulnerable residents (those that are frail and or ill) may have vulnerable immune systems that can be damaged by illnesses such as leukaemia and therefore can make them more susceptible to infections.

Individuals living in care environments may also have may also have additional visual and/or mobility impairments that may mean that they are more susceptible to having falls. 

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Childcare environments




Children’s immune system are immature or more susceptible to infections.

Children may also not recognise potential hazards such as sharing toys that have been put in other children’s mouths, choking on food, picking up food that has dropped on the floor, not washing hands after going toilet, coughing etc.




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Public environments




Shopping centres.

Slips, trips and falls.

Food poisoning from food outlets.

Harm and injuries can also occur from people that may be abusive or violent.

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Slips and trips while getting on and off the minibus.

Wheelchairs not secured properly.

Faulty seatbelts may cause accidents. Individuals travelling in ambulance may experience sudden ill-health that requires first aid.

Body fluids from medical equipment could lead to the spread of infections.

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Financial loss

Hazards can also have an effect on employers and organisations as a whole. A lack of effective security systems for example, may result in theft of personal belongings and damage to property.

When a hazard results in an injury or fatality of an employee, the employee or their family maybring a lawsuit against the organisation which may result in the organisation having to pay for costs in relation to court fees and compensation.

The organisation may also be subject to fines from regulatory agencies SUCH AS, the Health and Safety Executive.

Lawsuits and fines can also damage the reputation of the organisation and future business may suffer as a result.

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Poor standards of care

Unsafe working conditions and working practices can result in hazards not being identified, reduced or removed, which can affect directly on the standards and quality of care and support being provided. FOR EXAMPLE, a lack of properly maintained handwashing facilities can result in employees not maintaining a good level of personal hygiene, which in turn can lead to the spread of infections like MRSA.

If health and safety procedures are not followed FOR EXAMPLE, slip and trip hazards or unsafe working practices, then this may cause injuries and harm to others; all of which could have been preventable.

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Biological and psychological hazards, if not identified and managed, can cause life threatening and long-term illnesses.

FOR EXAMPLE, used dressings need to be safely disposed of and you need to clean bodily fluid spillages quickly using the correct protective agents and equipment. Not doing so may lead to the spread of infections and serious illnesses SUCH AS, Clostridium difficile that can prove fatal.

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Injury or harm.

Individuals who require care and support may be harmed if environmental hazards have not been identified.

FOR EXAMPLE, an individual attending an appointment at the GP surgery may fall if uneven steps at the front entrance aren’t repaired. Similarly, a support worker providing support to an individual in their own home may be prone to injuries or harm if the large and heavy items ontop of the individual’s wardrobe are not moved to a safer location.

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Environmental hazards

such as crowded areas and wet floors that can cause slip and trip hazards in settings’ surroundings.

-Worn vinyl flooring in shower room in hospital.

-Wet bathroom floor in a residential care home.

-Frayed carpet in entrance to children’s centre.

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Biological hazards

such as waste and bodily fluids that can cause the spread of infections and affect people’s health.

-Used bandage left on bed in a clinic.

-Soiled laundry left on floor in nursing home.

-Vomit in children’s play area not cleared up.

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Chemical hazards

such as cleaning agents and medication that can cause harm if not used and stored correctly.

-Unlocked medicine trolley on a hospital ward.

-Unlabelled cleaning fluid in person’s home.

-Hot oil left unattended in after school club.

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Psychological hazards

such as stress and violence that can affect people’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

-Stress caused by people in dentist waiting room acting in a challenging way.

-Tiredness caused by high workload due to staff absence in a supported living scheme.

-Stress caused by children not wanting to participate in the activities planned for them.


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Working conditions

such as poor lighting and environments that are too hot or too cold that can cause harm and ill health.

-Noise and disruption to reception area of an opticians due to maintenance works.

-A senior homecare worker that travels long distances in between individual’s homes.

-A child’s bedroom that is cold and poor lighting.

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Working practices that are unsafe

such as lack of fire training or long working hours that can cause injuries, fatalities and illnesses.

-Long working hours due to staff absence on a mental health community unit.

-Lack of supervision for new volunteers working in a support group for adults with dementia.

-Lack of training for staff in a children’s residential home on procedures to follow when a faulty hoist is identified.

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Lack of security systems

such as window locks and alarm systems that can cause security and fire risks.

-Faulty smoke alarms in a clinic.

-A broken security chain on an individual’s door.

-Lack of interlocking doors in a school.

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