Evolving Risks in Home Healthcare

Author: Gallagher National Risk Control

Compliance Connections: Transparency in Healthcare Coverage

Across the healthcare industry, many risks account for millions of dollars in claims from injuries to staff and patients. Workers in the home healthcare sector encounter several hazards that are typically not experienced in a hospital setting. Hospital settings generally include an abundance of resources such as mechanical lifts and additional staff to assist, as well as proper disposal containers and sterilization chemicals/equipment. With limited resources at patient homes, employees must preplan and consider alternative means for reducing and mitigating risks. Some of the more common hazards facing home healthcare workers include:


This should not be a surprise, as motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the United States. Patients may live in remote locations, requiring extensive travel time and the numerous hazards associated with vehicle travel. Often, healthcare workers will be alone when visiting patients' homes. This opens the door to further staff safety and security issues, such as harassment, abuse or criminal behaviors like theft or violence.


Other than the occasional service animals, pets are not likely to be found in hospitals or other healthcare facilities. This hazard is certainly a concern in the home healthcare setting. Some of the more obvious concerns include pets biting, attacking and scratching to cause injury to home healthcare workers. Allergies and the stress associated with employees that are simply afraid of pets (cats, dogs, etc.) will bring additional hazards into the workplace, preventing home healthcare workers from visiting certain patient homes.

Work environment

The work environment of a patient's home can be extremely dangerous or hazardous. The risks typically encountered at patient homes include uneven walking surfaces, cool or warm temperatures and poor lighting, as well as other home-specific hazards. These hazards can present dangers to both caregivers and patients.

Infection control

Healthcare workers have extensive training in preventing infections from spreading, including the proper disposal of needles and other sharp instruments. Patients in the home healthcare setting may not dispose of sharps properly, potentially exposing themselves and others to pathogens. Home settings are not as easily disinfected as hospitals as well, further increasing the risk of infection from affecting residents and home healthcare workers.

Patient handling procedures

One of the most challenging risks that is difficult to overcome in a home healthcare setting is patient handling. Healthcare facilities will typically have proper lifting equipment for various tasks that involve patient transfers or transport, and healthcare workers in traditional healthcare settings can also rely on each other, using team lifts to lift or reposition patients. Without mechanical assistance, home healthcare workers are at a greater risk for injury due to strain and overexertion. It is critical to review patient information before assignments to mitigate or minimize this risk to employees.

Managing the Evolving Risks of In-Home Healthcare Services Webinar

Home healthcare provides services to individuals in their residence for the purpose of promoting, maintaining, or restoring health, or for maximizing the level of independence while minimizing the effects of disability and illness, including terminal illness. Agencies can provide a full range of health care and social services to the elderly, infirm, and chronically ill. Many agencies also provide home hospice services for the terminally ill.

While the level of risk varies by agency, client needs and job descriptions, common elements often include:

  • Back and lifting safety
  • Trip and fall issues for caregivers and their patients
  • Workplace violence issues
  • Auto liability issues
  • Other leading liability and employee health concerns

Please join Mike Page and Tim Chace of Gallagher's National Risk Control Healthcare Practice in a discussion designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of managers and supervisors of these agencies.

Register now

Protect Your Business with Accurate Property Valuations

Author: Martha Bane

Effective management of financial and operational risk begins with accurate property valuation. If not done accurately, there could be serious financial consequences affecting your bottom line. Property valuation is the process of determining the replacement cost value of a property and its contents, along with business interruption values, for insurance purposes. Although there are different methods for determining a building's value, replacement cost is the most common and widely accepted valuation for insurance purposes.

Click here to download the full whitepaper where Gallagher discusses the best way to determine your property's value in a challenging insurance marketplace.

HR & Benefits Consulting Highlights

Limit Fiduciary Liability with Insights from Gallagher's 2021 Retirement Survey Report

The physical, emotional and financial stressors of the global COVID-19 pandemic continue to put pressure on workers and their families. Now, employers are looking to address the financial health of their workforce with tools and resources employees can use to help reduce financial stress and improve overall employee wellbeing.

According to the 2021 Retirement Survey Report, only 34% of healthcare employers felt informed about their fiduciary responsibilities and potential liability when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting plan participant data. Learn more about building a better financial security with the 2021 Retirement Survey Report.

It's About Respect: Creating a Safe and Respectful Workplace to Drive Organizational Performance

From the #MeToo movement spotlighting sexual harassment in the workplace to Salesforce.com, Inc. spending millions to amend gender and racial pay gaps, workplace respect has become familiar front-page news. Contributing to this trend's traction and momentum is the growing rate of millennials in all workforce roles, including leadership positions, who prioritize fairness and corporate social responsibility as the most important employer attributes.

Employers that proactively put policies in place to create a safe and respectful workplace promote an environment that improves employee productivity, engagement, retention, and ultimately financial performance. To learn more, read the full article here.

Author Information: