When a patient arrives at a behavioral health center, they are frequently in a vulnerable mental state and may even be considering harming others or themselves. This can often lead to a risk of ligature.
Any location where a patient could fasten a rope, cord, bed sheet, or other item that could be looped or tied to form a point of attachment and utilized for strangling or hanging constitutes a ligature risk.
One-on-one observation may be sufficient in certain situations to reduce the risk of ligature injuries. However, what should happen in places where this isn’t always feasible, such as resident bedrooms?
- Designing Resident Rooms That Are Ligature Resistant
Creating a ligature-resistant environment is critical for resident safety in behavioral healthcare institutions since resident rooms are not as closely monitored as common areas. Every resident room should have anti-ligature finishes and furniture to accomplish this.
In a nutshell, anti-ligature furniture, or ligature-resistant, is made without any places where ligatures could be bound or tied down with a rope or cord.
Anti-ligature mattresses, nightstands, desks, storage shelves, and even suicide-resistant chairs are a few pieces of furniture that could be placed in resident rooms.
Avoid ligature points in resident rooms by using alternatives resistant to ligature, such as coat hooks, ceiling fixtures, curtain rods, pipes, radiators, and door handles and hinges.
- Evaluating Environmental Risks
To lower the risk of ligature injuries, performing an environmental risk assessment for the entire institution, not just the resident rooms, is essential. Other items that could be weaponized or misused also need to be evaluated and possibly replaced, in addition to anchor points and their potential for harm.
To properly build a plan to address and eliminate ligature hazards in your facility, every place a patient may occupy must be carefully analyzed.
The type of ceiling, electrical outlets, glass used in windows, doors, door hardware, loose nails, furniture, and other potentially harmful objects are some places to pay extra attention to.
A thorough inspection of the furnishings in the resident and communal areas should be carried out to guarantee resident safety further.
- Anti-Ligature Furnishings to Lower the Risk of Ligature
Installing anti-ligature furniture such as anti ligature noticeboard is one of the most critical measures to lower the risk of ligatures occurring in your building.
Anti-ligature furniture removes all tie-down points and has various design elements that improve facility safety. Many anti-ligature furniture pieces have no moving parts and a solid, impenetrable surface, making contraband impossible to hide.
In addition to offering residents extra comfort and safety, anti-ligature furniture also gives staff members peace of mind that residents are safe.
- Restrict Access to Areas At High Risk
To minimize points of damage, every area of the building that could be dangerous for ligatures should be carefully inspected. Resident access should be restricted or utilized under close monitoring in situations where this isn’t feasible.
To lower the risk of ligature injuries and promote everyone’s safety, residents should only be able to access areas like roofs, balconies, and staff areas. This will keep people away from objects or places that could be used to hurt others.
It is critical to lower the risk of ligature injuries in behavioral healthcare institutions, and adding anti-ligature furniture such as anti ligature noticeboard makes the space safer for both employees and patients. Regular environmental assessments are necessary to ensure that every part of the facility is set up to lessen the risk of ligatures.