Pensioner scalded by faulty shower in respite home

Published:  16 February, 2012

A pensioner has been awarded compensation and the Isle of Wight Council fined after he was scalded by a faulty shower in a respite home.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the shower fitting was not suitable for use in a healthcare facility, and was not fitted with a mixing valve that would have limited the water temperature to a safe level.

Inspectors who interviewed Isle of Wight Council chief executive Steve Beynon under caution, found that two other council respite homes, The Adelaide, Ryde, and Westminster House in Newport, also had showers without appropriate mixing valves to limit the temperature.

The investigation also found the council had no system in place for maintaining such valves when they were in place or for taking water temperature.

Since October 2009, Building Regulations Part G has specified that thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) must be installed on baths and showers to prevent scalding. In healthcare situations such as hospitals, TMVs must be certified to Buildcert TMV3 standards. TMV2 standard valves are suitable for domestic and most other premises, but if risk assessments indicate that the facilities are used by vulnerable people, such as the elderly, young or less abled, then TMV3 valves should be installed.

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