The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
This is the main piece of legislation that covers health and safety in work places, also for both employers and employees have to make sure that all work is carried out as safe as possible. Employers have the right to protect their employees and other people. Employees have the right to expect that their employer is doing everything they can to protect them at work. But employees are responsible in protecting themselves and others. The benefits of this Act being used is that it ensures the individual who is doing the creative or therapeutic activity that they are in a safe environment and are away from harm.
This Act secures health, safety and welfare of the individual at work, protecting the individual other than the person at work against risks to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; being able to control and keep use of explosive or highly flammable or other dangerous substances away from the worker and service users. Especially in creative and therapeutic activity, such as arts and crafts clients will be using sharp items like scissors or substances like glue. The person organising the lesson, must make sure that these are not used in an inappropriate way.
The Food Standards Act 1999
This Act was passed on by the government so that the Food Standards Agency could be established. It sets out the functions and powers for the Food Standards Agency to make food safe to eat and protect public health. It has controls to interfere during the process of producing and supplying food to make sure that the people who are eating the food is safe. This Act targets on healthy eating and to also make sure consumers have the right to know what their food contains, so that the person can know what is safe for them and what isn’t. When using food in creative and therapeutic activities such as in a care home.
The elderly could have a session where someone comes in and teaches them how to make certain foods, the person who is organising the activity must find out their clients’ food restrictions and allergies, such as a Muslim can only eat pork. They also need to make sure that where they are making the food, it is on a clean and bacteria free zone to prevent the clients from catching illnesses, such as salmonella. They should be given different coloured chopping boards and knives to represent which foods should be used on what.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992)
This Act is used to ensure that when carrying and lifting heavy objects they are done in a safe way. In this Act there is a certain way to lift items, such as a heavy box from the ground to prevent yourself from hurting your back. In creative and therapeutic activities there may be heavy items and objects that may be used. Such as pottery work, the machine that is used to shape the clay mould is heavy. The client using this needs to make sure that there is someone else there to watch them in case there was a fault in the machine. When carrying heavy objects, the person should look at the object and ask themselves if it is too heavy for them to lift or it isn’t easy to grasp onto. If it is too heavy to carry they should look for another person to help lift the item and if it’s not easy to grasp onto there should be something to carry the item.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (2002) (COSHH) This Act makes sure that employers have control of hazardous substances that may be exposed to the employers or others around them. Hazardous products are things that can put a risk to someone’s health if it not taken control of. These can include glues, paints, cleaning agents, fumes, dust or bacteria. There are warning labels on the packaging to inform the person that it is harmful to the human if it is not used appropriately. Harmful substances that may be used in a creative and therapeutic activity are things such as glue or paint which can be harmful to the body if it is not used properly.
There are different types of glue that can be used, for example hot glue guns they are very hot and dry quickly once it is applied onto a cold surface. It can burn and damage the skin. To avoid this the person using the hot glue gun must be watched by another person. Or if it was used in places such as in a primary school the child should be assisted by an adult to use the hot glue gun. In nursery’s, they will use paint as part of their activities to keep the children entertained. As children are still having an understanding of the world and how things work, they may take paint as some sort of food for them to eat. This is an example of a hazard.
Organisational policies and Codes of Practice
An organisational policies manual is an important tool for any organisation and it sets out the regulations of the business and how they should be applied. It should also inform employees about what is expected of them. Codes of Practice set out the standards of conduct and practice expected of employees within which they should work. This can be used on people such as disabled people; they are vulnerable people and will not be able to do things for themselves. So they’ll need someone by them to support them. If a disabled person does not receive the support they can end up hurting themselves or cause an injury.