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Health and safety Essay

How legislation, policies and procedures relating to health, safety and security influence health and social care settings Health and safety at work act 1974 (HASAW) – This act provides general guidance about health and safety. The duty of the employer is to make sure health and safety of their employees and show that they have taken all attainable steps to do this. The employer should also give training and safety equipment, employers should carry out regular checks and improve and put in place a health and safety policy. If employers have more than five staff they have to carry out a risk assessment to find any possible hazards to employees. Information should be displayed around the work place for employees to see, for example, this could be posters. The employees also have legal duty and this is to follow their employers safety procedures, use the safety equipment that is given, report any hazards, and be aware of their own safety and the safety of others.

HASAW promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting because employers tell their staff what to rules to follow and they also get training on any safety equipment which makes the service users to be in a safe environment and also that staff won’t cause any harm to themselves or their clients as they know how to use the equipment properly and safely. Control of substances hazardous to health 1994 (COSHH) – These regulations refer to substances that could be hazardous, such as cleaning products. These regulations influence care settings as staff are likely to use cleaning products or store these products that could be dangerous.

Most care settings will have a list of all products that could be dangerous and show on how they plant to lower the risk in using them, this is as a result of COSHH. COSHH 2002 is to protect people against danger to health, by instantly and long-term from any contact to substances found in the workplace. COSHH is to put in place the needed requirements and a sensible approach for COSHH. Employers should carry out a risk assessment of all work which could put an employee into contact with hazardous substances. There are main requirements with this legislation: Assess the risks that occur when using a hazardous substance Come to a conclusion on what precautions are needed

Control or prevent exposure to employees of hazardous substances Make sure that all actions are used and maintained
Monitor where necessary the employees come into contact with hazardous substances Carry out relevant health surveillance

Produce plans and procedures to help with accidents, incidents and emergencies relating to hazardous substances Make sure that all employees who use hazardous substances are accurately informed, trained and supervised. COSHH covers the substances you use every day, which you might use at work-examples include adhesives and paint. COSHH also covers you when you come into contact with micro-organisms, biological and fungal and/or viral agents. COSHH risk assessments are to make a decision about what actions need to be put in place to control the hazards shown in substances. The result of this should be spoken about to all employees and a record has to be kept in a safe place, but is accessible for inspections by enforcement bodies. The actions should be controlled and developed through an order of measures:

Removing the substance

Replace the hazardous substance with less hazardous substances or the same substance but less hazardous Constructing control measures, such as working in a controlled environment To supply personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) but only as a last option or for very hazardous substances. The employer’s responsibilities are responsible for finishing COSHH risk assessments and speaking to the employees about the assessments. Employers are in charge of making sure control of exposure to hazardous substances are adequate and employers are also responsible to make sure that intensive examinations and tests of all engineering are followed at regular periods. A record of the inspection has to be kept for five years. COSHH promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting by making sure that all actions necessary are taken to make sure staff don’t come into contact with chemicals and especially service users.

For example, COSHH would be needed in a care home for people with learning disabilities, this is because they don’t always know what they are doing and therefor if cleaning chemicals weren’t put away in a locked cupboard the service user could drink it and become ill. Reporting of injuries, disease, dangerous occurrences Regulation 1995- These regulations compel workplaces to record any accidents, injuries, diseases or dangerous occurrences. Every workplace should an accident reporting scheme and if an incident happens to an employee who needs three or more days off work, this has to be reported to the health and safety executive.

In a number of care settings, it is common practice to have two accident books. One is for accidents that happen to staff and the other is for service users and members of the public. This information has to be stored in an accessible place and filled in accurately and immediately in the event of an accident. If an employee, child, a member of the public or a resident has an accident in the workplaces which leads to death the health and safety executive or local authority must be reported about this. If an incident occurs and means the employer is off work for more than three days a form needs to be sent to back up the conversation relating to the incident. The people who may be involved in an investigation after an incident are:

The employer
The insurance company
The health and safety representative
The enforcing inspector
The training organisation

RIDDOR promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting by reporting any accidents to anyone and writing it in an accident book it means that the incident can be looked into and also a risk assessment can be done on it to prevent it in the future. Manual handling 1992- This regulation includes a wide range of manual handling activities:

Lifting
Lowering
Pushing
Pulling
Carrying

This regulation needs the employers to avoid the need for dangerous manual handling, assess the risk of injury from any dangerous manual handling that is unable to be avoided and reducing the risk of injury due to dangerous manual handling. The employees responsibility is to follow the relevant schemes of work put in place for their safety, use equipment properly that is provided for their safety, work with their employers with health and safety issues, let the employer know if the come across any dangerous handling activities and to take care to make sure the activities they do don’t put others at risk. Manual handling promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting because staff will be trained on how to pick things up properly and therefore they won’t hurt their back and by knowing about manual handling means you won’t harm any service users, for example if you was in a care home and you had to help an elderly person up from their chair, you would know how to do it correctly.

Data protection act 1998- This act ensures that people who collect and use personal information follow rules of good practice for managing information. This act provides rights for individuals who have given their information and the information they use. Information that is collected should only be kept for a certain time frame. Confidentiality must be adhered to the strictest of confidence in health and social care environments, for example, patients may not want their family and friends to know their diagnosis. In this act it lays down that after someone dies there records have to be kept for eight years and can’t be destroyed until the eight years is over. Treatment that children are given and maternity records have to be kept until they are 25 years of age, this changes if they die, and therefor will be destroyed at eight years. Data protection act 1998 promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting by ensuring that all patients’ information is kept confident and isn’t passed on to anyone.

This way the service users are protected as they are not vulnerable from people because no one knows there details. Civil contingencies act 2004- This act refers to the responses of public services in crucial emergencies. This act gives instruction on anticipation, assessment, preparation, response and recovery before, during and after a serious threat to the public well-being. The law demands all the emergency services work together, for this to be done, simulation situations are set in motion to make sure that everyone involved are aware of their roles. This act promotes the safety of individuals because they are given support during an accident and after the accident and all services working together means the individual who is the victim gets all the help they can. Care home regulations – All care homes have to have a manager that is qualified in leadership and management in care services or are registered a manager’s award.

This person is important because they make sure that all parts of a care home to which service users have access to be free of hazards and if there are any risks to the individual’s risks assessments must be carried out to lower the risks that have been identified. If the manager believes that one of their staff is becoming incompetent or could purposely cause harm to a service user, the manager can suspend that member of staff during an investigation. The care quality commission must be informed immediately by the manager if this situation arises. This regulation promotes the health and safety of individuals in a care home by making them less at risk of harm, so doing regular risk assessments ensures that all service users are safe. Care minimum standards- The national minimum care standards were written in 2003 following on from the care standards act 2000. 38 standards are set out under the care standards act 2000 by the secretary of state for health, along with the care home regulations.

National minimum standards are only guidelines for providers, commissioners and users to assess the quality of care. Standards of care cover several services: care homes for 65+ year olds, care homes for 18-64 year olds, domiciliary care, adult placement schemes and nurses’ agencies. Each of these services should have a care plan for their clients which identify particular needs. Staff should get adequate training to make sure that their patients receive the identified care. Care minimum standards promotes the safety of individuals in health and social care settings by making sure all their needs are being met and their rights which makes them feel safe. Management of health and safety at work regulations 1999- The management of health and safety at work regulations explain what employers are asked to do to maintain the health and safety at work act. They put into usage for every work activity. When employers have more than five staff they have to carry out a risk assessment for the management.

Employers have to ensure that all the health and safety preventative measures identified by the risk assessment are carried out, they have to make sure the capable people are selected to help put health and safety precautions emergency actions in place and employers must give clear information and training for their staff. This regulation promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting by making sure that all employers have taken necessary steps to identify any risks that may cause harm to service users. Food safety act 1990- This act gives control to environmental health inspectors to inspect food and confiscate food that is unfit for human consumption and dispose of it.

Any organisation violating food hygiene standards can be served a notice of improvement and in extreme cases can be closed short term or long term if the practices are thought to be a health hazard. Organisations can be sued for breaching standards. This act promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting by making sure all food is suitable for humans and if it’s not food will be confiscated or the service will be shut down temporarily. Food safety (general food hygiene) regulations 1995-This regulations goal is to prevent cases of food poisoning by laying down that: Food areas are kept clean and acceptable standards of personal hygiene are controlled Food is thoroughly cooked through

Foods are stored at the right temperature
Cross-contamination is prevented

Food has to be stored correctly and use-by dates must be strictly followed. In health and social care settings the kitchen should meet all the requirements of the regulations. The kitchen should be easy to clean, meaning that the surfaces should be smooth stainless steel. There should be a separate sink to wash hands and to prepare foods. Anyone who has had an infection, such as being sick and had diarrhoea should not come into contact with food until they are free of symptoms until 48 hours. This regulation promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting by making sure all food is thoroughly cooked so no service users get food poisoning and by preparing food properly will ensure that no infections are caused.

Policies and procedures

Safeguarding- Legislation, policies and procedures for safeguarding vulnerable children and adults have made health and social care staff a lot more aware of what is known as abuse, and how to know that abuse may have already happened. These regulations will help you to understand what to do if you believe someone is being abused or a person tells you that they are. Procedures are in place to find people who have committed offences before to minimise the risk to vulnerable groups. Safeguarding promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting because understanding the rules will mean staff will be able to protect service users from abuse and other issues. Health and safety policy- All employers have to show their own health and safety policies and procedures to say how they will operate under the law. The health and safety at work act 1974 declare that organisations have to have a health and safety policy.

This promotes safety of individuals in health and social care settings by following the rules correctly no one will come to any harm. Reporting accidents- An accident/incident book keeps records and has to be kept. This promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting by recording any accidents means it can be risk assessed and prevented for in the future. Disposal of body waste- Any waste that is a potential threat of infection has to be disposed of correctly. Disposing waste safely you have to have had the right training, you have to wear person protective equipment and keep on top of good hand hygiene, report any hazardous handling and disposal of clinical waste to your manager, Dispose body fluids down the sluice or bags: yellow bag is for infected waste and used swabs and dressings-these have to be incinerated and a clear alginate bag inside a red plastic bag is for soiled and infected clothing and line to be laundered.

You should not try to clean up any spillages or collect and handle specimens until you are trained fully. When cleaning any spillages you should make sure you are wearing PPE. When you collect and handle specimens you should wear PPE, ensure the containers are suitable, sterile and don’t leak, Containers should be labelled with relevant information and any forms accompanying it should be completed, and the results should be wrote in the patients records as soon as possible and highlight any unusual findings to the relevant people. This promotes the safety of staff in health and social care settings so they don’t get any infections or diseases from handling other people’s body waste. Storage and dispensing of medicines- Staff who are in charge of medication should make sure that the drug trolley and cupboards are locked. The trolley should be locked against the wall when it is not being used.

Medication that service users give to themselves should be in a personal cupboard and locked so no one else can access it. This promotes the safety of service users in many health and social care settings so they don’t get the wrong medication or so they are not given too little or too much so it doesn’t cause any long term problems. Lone working- Lone working is filled with risks so therefore it is important that there are actions in place to protect and support them in work. There are policy and procedures which state how your safety will be managed. Mobile phone policy and procedures suggests to you how and when to use your mobile. Communication policy and procedures summarise about checking in and out of each visit and letting the office know when you have got home safely. Staff welfare policy and procedures ensure you are supplied with personal safety alarms. Staff learning and development policy and procedures request you to go to personal safety and awareness training. Your main job when working alone is to know your surroundings and the likely threats to your personal safety.

A disciplinary policy will lay down procedures for disciplining you if you are unsuccessful to follow actions set up to protect you. This promotes the safety of service users and staff who use health or social care services by making sure the staff know what they have to do and by this it is keeping the service user safe. Security of premises, possessions and individuals- All workplaces will have procedures that are in place to protect the employer and employees and clients and their family. Sign in and out book for visitors to state the time they arrived and departed, security codes, staff ID badges and any other professional in that environment and chains on doors are ways to secure the premises. Personal possessions of service users should be kept at a minimum and leave all valuables at home but if valuable are needed to be stored they should be put in a safe and signed by 2 people. Individual security includes CRB checks and CCTV.

The workplace will have procedures put in place to tell you how to deal with potential breaches in security, report and record these breaches and support other after the breach, Deal with bomb scares, theft and missing persons, manage challenging behaviour. This promotes the safety of service users in a health or social care environment by making sure no unauthorised person is in the building who could potentially cause harm to service users. CRB checks have to be done to make sure anyone who works within a health or social care setting aren’t going to cause any harm. When cleaning PPE should be used, COSHH, Storage, Risk assessments and health surveillance should all be thought about when cleaning in health and social care settings. This promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting because it means the environment will be clean which means service users won’t get any infections and the staff are protected by all the guidelines.

Food safety- All things that should be considered with these policy and procedures is to make sure fridge and freezer temperatures are the correct temperatures, Personal hygiene is up to a good standard, different coloured chopping boards for different kinds of foods, allergies are to be known, Records should be kept, utensils should be clean, be aware of cross-contamination, HASAW and food safety regulations should also be considered. This promotes the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting because it makes sure food is prepared correctly, cooked correctly and makes sure no cross-contamination or food poisoning occurs.

Fire evacuation- If a fire was to occur, closing doors as you evacuate is a good idea as this will slow down the fire by minimising the amount of oxygen getting to the fire, and this might even cause the fire to go out itself. When you are outside you should check that someone has called the fire service. You should look after others, more if they are confused or distressed, these people could be children or people with dementia. You should also make sure that no one is standing to close to the building, as it could collapse.

Fire alarms should be tested regularly, staff should know what to do during an alarm, fire exits should be clear and easy to get to and there should be a designated area to go to. This promotes the safety of everyone in any health or social care setting by making sure everyone is out of the building safely when being evacuated and also by testing alarms make sure that everyone is aware of what has to be done when an evacuation has to be done.

Bibliography:

Health and social care, level 3, Book One, BTEC national book Publishers: Carolyn Aldworth, Marilyn Billingham, Peter Lawrence, Neil Moonie, Hilary Talman. Published by Pearson education limited
Published in 2010
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