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Understand health and safety in social care setting Essay

According to the health and safety authority a hazard is defined as ‘a potential source of harm or adverse health effect on a person or persons and a risk is defined as ‘. The likelihood that a person may be harmed or suffers adverse health effects if exposed to a hazard The example they use to contextualise the two is very clear and very helpful. ‘ If there was a spill of water in a room then that water would present a slipping hazard to persons passing through it. If access to that area was prevented by a physical barrier then the hazard would remain though the risk would be minimised.

To be able to use a health and safety risk assessment you must be able to spot hazards and evaluate what the hazard poses, for example you see in the clients home that there is an obstacle in the way of an entrance restricting the space so some walkers wouldn’t be able to get past safely this would be a high risk of falling Afterwards the risk assessment should have been reviewed and any findings that you make should be recorded appropriately, and changes made to further ensure that persons health and safety, perhaps by amending the work you have already done with the risk assessment and it should be reported to either your senior or manager that risk assessment is complete.

Reporting health and safety risks that have been identified. It is important for all staff to be able to report any possible identified health and safety risks. They should be confident in knowing how and when to act upon it. In the care working environment the employer must make their employees know that it is of the upmost importance that they are to act upon and report any possible health and safety risks that could potentially put others in a place of harm or injury in the work place. They must be aware that even if the recognised problem has already been flagged and documented they are still responsible in reporting it to ensure the correct procedures can be put into place. This will aid in the help of rectifying the hazard that has been reported. There will already be the properly implemented measures to reduce any possible health and safety risks. But the action and knowledge of the procedure of reporting and documenting all occurrences of physical, viral, injuries and sickness and also any potential risks of accidents is still a vital procedure that must never be ignored.

Within all Framework services they have policies and procedures in regard of reporting all health and safety incidents and accidents in place. They outline the importance of documenting and reporting in writing and also speaking of any possible preventable accidents no matter how large and small they may seem. In all any recognised health and safety issues the Framework is that they are reported to the line manager who is in the position of acting on the assessment of the hazard. All accidents and risks must always be clearly documented and reported with the correct time and date accordingly to give a true and accurate account of the incident. An on-going assessment of the health and safety in the workplace is vital to prevent any dangers occurring or being missed.

How a risk assessment can help address dilemmas between an individual’s rights and health and safety concern. Risks are an important part of our everyday lives we are encouraged to take them to possibly reach our set goals whether it will be for our working life or personal achievement’s. For others who may need special needs support they may be actively deterred from taking such risks. This could be due to a fear of them coming to harm or they may not be able to cope with the results of their actions. This could result in them becoming less confident with the purpose of their life and their right to be an independent individual. Legislation and workplace policies have been implemented to support such problems occurring. They enable these individuals to be given the appropriate support and help that they require to be able to live in society as independent as possible without the fear of being a health and safety risk to themselves or others.

Health and training for the support workers will help them with confronting any possible problems that could arise whilst helping the person who requires their help in becoming more independent. Continuous observation and of reviewing practice and procedures are put into place to ensure that the individual in their care is least likely to be confronted with any hazards or sociable obstacles that could lead them to suffer any further emotional or physical harm. The fact that the person in your care requires a risk assessment or a plan management this should not mean they are restricted in what they want to do or the person they want to be

Understanding of procedures for responding to accidents and sudden illness.

Different types of accidents and sudden illness that may occur in a social care setting. There are a wide variety of sudden illnesses and accidents that can occur and put the individual in immediate danger. These could be caused by everyday objects such as a loose rug or even a wet floor. If these hazards are not pointed out or left unchanged they could lead to the person suffering a fall or breaking of bones. The individual could be burnt or scarred if items such as an iron or cooker are left on. They should be monitored carefully with any hot appliances in the prevention of injuries. They could also suffer from poisoning and overdosing if chemicals or medicine is not correctly stored away from the vulnerable person.

Sudden illnesses

Illnesses that are brought on suddenly are medical conditions such as a stroke which is where the brain cells die suddenly through the lack of oxygen. This is when there is a blockage in the blood flow and or the rupture of a artery that connects to the brain. Asthma is a dangerous medical condition which causes difficulty in breathing, breathing difficulties can also be caused by allergic reactions to substances or items. Hypoglycaemia is a medical condition brought about by the drop of glucose [sugar]. Choking is a hazard brought about by the airway is blocked commonly by food. Seizures can cause spasms of muscles and or unconsciousness this is caused by the electrical workings of the brain fails to work correctly.

A fall could lead to the person losing consciousness or temporary fainting. A person who develops food poisoning from contaminated water or ill prepared or stored food will suffer from sickness and diarrhoea. A heart attack is known as a cardiac arrest this is where the heart fails to pump blood around the body leading to heart failure. Chest pain which is felt around the shoulders around the ribs and generally in the upper torso could imply a large amount of conditions. These symptoms should never be ignored and always be checked by the medical profession.

Procedures that are followed if an accident or sudden illness should occur. The first important thing that all staff must adhere to is the policies and procedures that have been implemented by their workplace. They must be always ready and aware of what action to take in the possible case of illness or accident. They should behave in a professional manner and that their actions and behaviour do not create any hindrance to their client’s recovery. You should remove any persons who are not directly involved in the aid of the client and keep the entrance safely clear to allow the medical staff a clear admittance. The client should be treated with respect at all times and not left to feel like a second rate citizen. The surrounding environment should be made safe and private. You can do this by.

Disabling the power supply in the prospect of electrical shock. Move the patient to a safe area in the case of risk of fire or an unstable building. Clear the surrounding area of any unwanted obstacles i.e.: furniture. You should make the person feel comfortable and dignified.

The correct way to handle emergencies and dealing with the medically trained professionals are:

For emergencies only you should ring 999.
Clear the area and make it a safe place.
Keep the person conscious by talking to them loudly or if they do not make a clear response check their [ABC] Airway Breathing and Circulation. You should call for help as soon as possible. Tilt their head and check for an airway, if there is not a clear one give 2 deep breaths. Check to see if there is pulses if none is felt on the main arteries in the neck begin the [BLS] Basic Life Support. This consists of 15 chest compressions and 2 breaths. Carry on with the BLS until the medical professionals arrive or the patients symptoms improve. Do not stop the BLS unless you are told to or a professional takes over.

When medical help arrives you must give them a clear and true account of the symptoms the patient’s medical history and of any treatment that they may have received. The line manager must be given a report on the circumstances of the accident or injury stating clearly the names of all the people who were involved in the incident, what the cause of the accident was or what medical condition brought about the incident. The report must be clearly documented giving a true and detailed account of all that occurred and naming all of who was involved and how the incident or accident was dealt with and the outcome of the event. The report should be signed and dated.

The importance of emergency first aid tasks to be carried out by qualified first aiders. The intention of First Aid is to aid a person with recovering from a suffered accident/medical condition. The act of First Aid is covered by the Health and Safety regulations and under your employees set of policies and procedures. The act of First Aid should be carried out to give the patient a better chance of recovery and reduce the possibility of further health problems. The only staff members that are allowed to carry out the act of First Aid are ones who have been legally and qualified. This is to stop the chance of any unqualified persons giving aid that could cause the patient harm and with less chance of recovery.

This could lead to legal charges being brought against the company. In the case of a qualified person in First Aid having doubts about what action they need to give the patient they should not carry out aid and contact their manager with the intent of asking for help to what they should do. If they do not ask for help and guess what they need to do this could end in serious consciences for the patient. This is clearly set out by the companies Frame work and should be adhered to at all times.

4 Reducing the spread of infection
4.1 Routes by which an infection can get into the body.

There are a variety of infections people can suffer from. The infections can enter the body come from four different ways. .Colds and other air born infections can enter the body in the respiratory tract go through the lungs. .Infection is also contracted through the skin. This could be from a sore or broken skin which allows the infection to break through the normally safe armour of the skin. .The digestive tract is the opening for infection to the stomach and bowels. This occurs when infected food or water is digested and this leads to stomach ache vomiting and diarrhoea. .The fourth entry of infection is through urinary and reproductive system. This is where the infection is contracted through the blood. .Infection is also carried through bodily fluids such as semen, saliva and the blood system. This can develop into sexually contracted disease and the AIDS virus.

4.2 Ways in which your own health or hygiene might pose a risk to an individual or others at work. It is important to keep yourself clean and tidy because if your own health and hygiene is left to deteriorate this can lead to the possibility of causing a risk to others. There are policies in the work place that are put into place to help with reducing the risk of infection. .Always wash hands before touching and preparing food.

.After using the toilet wash hands thourally.
.Cover your mouth when coughing and look away from others to prevent the spread of infection. .When changing or applying plasters always wash your hands.
.Always throw away used tissues properly.
.Protect yourself with the PPE provided.
.If unwell stay away from work to help with stopping the spread of infection. In the health and social care environment employees must be always well enough to perform their work safely. This is to maintain a high standard of health and safety which reduces the risks of patients and others being susceptible to infections. The work places set policies must be always followed to provide good practice. If you or family members are unwell and you are unsure of whether you will pose a risk to others you must consulate with your own doctor about going to work. Most practices have the guideline of not returning to work if unwell until you have being ill for 48 hours.

Because some infections can be carried in the body for weeks your employer can request that you take further investigations from medical professionals to confirm you no longer cause a risk of infection too patients or other staff members. PPE with self-protection amongst the staff members and clients is important to reduce them contracting illness and infections. They must ensure no possible infected materials and their own personal health is left or ignored to make the working environment is as infection free as possible and others are not put at risk.

The most thorough method of hand washing.

Hand washing i probably the most common of all of the hygienic operations in the care work place. Even when gloves have been worn this should not stop you from washing your hands. This is due to possible contamination when removing them or maybe tearing of the gloves may occur in the process of possible contamination. The technique of hand washing and engraining the act of hand washing is important to keep your hands with a high level of cleanliness. Particular attention to the back of your hands and finger tips as these areas are mostly missed. You should wet your hands first and then lather with soap. You may need to use a specialist type of soap if your hands are particularly dirty. This type of cleaning requires you to apply the soap first and then proceed with the hand washing taking care to follow the manufactures instructions. To ensure the stopping of passing on infections you should follow the steps of hand washing after you have wet your hands-

1. Rub your palms together
2. With your finger entwined rub back of hands.
3. Then with fingers still entwined rub palms of hands.
4. With fingers locked together rub the back of your fingers against your opposite palms.
5. Rotate your thumbs and rub the back of them within your palms.
6. Keep rubbing your fingers against your palm whilst turning your hands back and forward. To dry your hands thoroughly you must use a clean towel or disposable paper which you must wash or throw away to reduce to spread of infection and never reuse.

4.4When different types of personal protective equipment should be used;- The (PPE) which stands for Personal Protective Equipment refers to the clothing and equipment that is provided to reduce the possibility of the spread of infections. It is the duty of your employer to provide these items to ensure yours and others health and safety is never put at risk. You must follow their health and safety policies as set by your employers. If you ignore the health and safety policies and do not use or wear the provided garments you will be in breach of the health and safety laws that have been set for your own benefit and others. If somebody is dealing with the risk of infection through bodily fluids or maybe using cleaning fluids you must wear disposable gloves. The gloves should fit the person and not hang off your hands as this will hamper the safety of how you do your job. Never reuse these gloves or touch areas that could be contaminated and then your client as this will put at risk of infection.

You must discard the gloves correctly after use and then wash your hands thoroughly. Support workers should be aware that some people are allergic to the latex which is what the gloves are made from or maybe they themselves could suffer from allergies from these gloves. If this is the case their employers will supply them gloves made from a different material. If you are in a procedure that could lead to have some form of bodily fluids splash onto you, you are required to wear the plastic disposable apron that will be provided. Remember that you need to be aware of your hand hygiene when removing the apron as this could result in a contamination of the health and safety process. You must dispose of the disposable gloves and aprons correctly when you have finished with them; this should be in the provided clinical waste bin that is provided. When handling food the apron that is provided will be a washable one that can be used again when washed.

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