Understanding roles and responsibilities
An employee must maintain a high standard of personal hygiene and also health. They should be aware of the company policies and procedures when it comes to infection control and follow the best practice in prevention. The working environment needs to be kept clean and hygienic. Any risks should be reported to the employer.
Keep all training in infection control and prevention up to date.
An employer should insist that all laws and regulations in the workplace are followed. Risk assessments are needed so as to identify and minimise the impact of infection hazards. Company policies and procedures need to be out lined and put in place.
The employer must provide equipment to prevent and control infection. Any relevant information about infection hazards and prevention and control methods need to be given to the employees. Training and supervision of all aspects of infection and control needs to be given. Records need to be kept relating to infection prevention and control.
Understanding legislation and policies
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – Sets standards to prevent infection happening and spreading Public Health Act – Sets standards for water supply, sanitation and rubbish disposal Food Safety Act 1990 – Sets standards relating to food production and consumption Environmental Protection Act 1990 – Ensures safe management of controlled waste Management of Health and Safety at Work Act 1999 – Risk assessments introduced Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 – Employers must supply and employees must use appropriate protective clothes and equipment Food safety Regulations – The safe hygiene practices to prevent pathogen contamination during storage and handling of food Reporting of, Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences 1995 – Any infection caused by bodily fluids and highly infectious diseases are reported The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health – Regulates storage and use of chemicals that pose a danger. All work places need to supply employees with access to COSHH information Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 – About sharps and clinical waste disposal which could pose an infection hazard Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infection Regulation 12, 2010 – Concerns ways to reduce the incidence of HCAI
Understanding systems and procedures
Food Hygiene – To prevent cross-contamination and cross-infection particular attention needs paying to, Personal Hygiene – Keep hands clean, wear PPE and do not work if unwell Kitchen and dining areas – Keep cooking equipment and surfaces clean Food safety practices – thorough thawing and heating of food, correct storage, preparing edible raw foods separately to avoid contamination
Disposal of Waste – Waste products provide a perfect environment for pathogens and spreading infection. Rubbish left laying around can also attract vermin which can carry diseases. Disposal of waste depends on: The type of waste
The risk the waste may pose to people
The risk the waste may pose to the environment
Disposal of Sharps – Sharps whether they are scalpels, needles or razors may be contaminated with harmful pathogens such as Hepatitis B and C or HIV and can be transmitted into a persons blood stream via a sharp injury. When dealing with sharps you should: Take disposal container to the sharps and not the other way round Never fill the disposal box above the indicated mark
Avoid passing items directly from hand to hand and keep handling to a minimum. Do not bend, break or replace caps
Report all incidents in line with RIDDOR
Decontamination procedures – there are three levels,
Clean using soap to remove surface dirt and odour.
Disinfect using chemicals to kill pathogens.
Sterilise to remove all pathogens and the habitat they live in.
Cleaning policy- all work places must have a cleaning policy which provides guidance of how to use equipment, routines and how chemicals should be used and stored. Specific procedures should be outlined to deal with spillages of blood, urine, faeces and vomit: Spillages must be dealt with immediately
An immediate risk assessment is needed in case the area needs cordoning off Relevant equipment should be used to clean the spillage
Use appropriate PPE
Try to prevent the spillage from spreading
Use paper towels to absorb the spillage
Dispose of correctly
Clean area with disinfectant
Once cleaning tasks are done, thoroughly wash hands
Laundry procedures – soiled linen can be a source of contamination. Therefore: Wear PPE while handling soiled laundry
Place soiled laundry in correct bag
Minimise carrying soiled laundry by using bag at bedside
Flush solid faeces down the toilet
Understanding the importance of risk assessment in relation to the prevention and control of infections
Risk – the chance of something going wrong: the danger that injury, loss or damage may occur
Potential risks of infection within the work place
Work environment risks, locations and materials:
Work activity infection risks:
Preparing and serving food
Caring for individuals with infections
Providing personal care
Disposing of waste
Managing soiled laundry
Identify infection hazards – Areas where pathogens thrive
Who is at risk and why – Identify vulnerable people
Evaluate infection risk and way to reduce it – can the infection be reduced or wiped out Record findings – Log and share results and implement a strategy Review – Check regularly and update strategies
The importance of carrying out a risk assessment is key to providing infection free work environments and working practices in health and social care settings.
Understanding the importance of using Personal Protective Equipment in the prevention and control of infection
Different types and reasons of PPE are:
Aprons to cover clothes or uniform (made from plastic), protect from body fluids Plastic or latex gloves to protect the hand and nails which ism the main way pathogens are transmitted Paper masks to cover the mouth and nose which can be a source of pathogens Cloth or paper gowns provide cover for the whole body
Plastic over shoes are worn over normal shoes to prevent external pathogens being brought in Paper hair cover to prevent stray hairs escaping
Plastic goggles which can be worn over glasses and cover the eyes
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations set out employers responsibilities to the work place and work force and the company uses these regulations to provide their own policy.
An employer must:
Supply appropriate PPE
Store and maintain PPE correctly
Provide training and notices about PPE
Carry out risk assessments to decide appropriate PPE
Make sure PPE is used properly
An employee must:
Use PPE at appropriate times
Report if stocks are low or faulty
Follow instructions and attend training sessions
Follow and carry out risk assessments for appropriate PPE
Not cut corners and use PPE on all appropriate occasions
Dispose of PPE correctly
Prior to applying gloves and aprons hands need to be washed. PPE must be put on before the procedure is started. PPE need changing between different care tasks for the same client and always use new PPE for different clients. After every procedure is complete the PPE should be removed carefully so as hands or clothes do not have any contact with any contaminating substances on the PPE. PPE are to be disposed of as clinical waste. Avoid touching the bin, a foot pedal to be used if possible. After disposal wash hands with soap and water.
Understanding the importance of good personal hygiene in the prevention and control of infections
The key principles of good hygiene are:
Bathing and showering – doing this regularly prevents the spread of bacteria and reduces body odour
Hair care – regular washing prevents the spread of bacteria. Long hair should be tied back and keep checking for infestations of head lice.
Oral hygiene – It is important to brush teeth after meals or smoking and visiting the dentist every six months will prevent the build up of bacteria and reduce bad breath.
Clean clothes – clothes should be changed daily. Uniforms need to be made of hard wearing material that can be washed at high temperature to remove pathogens.
Stopping bad habits:
Touching of the mouth, nose and ears which are routes for infection Sneezing and coughing without covering the mouth, not disposing of tissues correctly and not washing hands afterwards
Nail biting can give you sores and risks spreading infection Smoking can cause coughing and also involves putting your hand to your mouth.
Taking care of your health can avoid and fight of infection. A good diet helps to keep your brain and body working well. Intake of fluids helps to flush out toxic wastes. Sleep helps to refresh and renew your body. If unwell then you should not go to work and this will prevent the spread of infection.
The correct sequence for hand washing:
Make sure sink and taps clean
Check that there is soap, paper towels or hand drier
Roll up sleeves
Run water to a warm temperature
Wet hands thoroughly
Soap hands thoroughly
Rub hands vigorously together for at least 10 seconds paying particular attention to in between the fingers, the tips and the thumb Rinse hands thoroughly
Dry hands thoroughly preferably with a hand dryer or paper towels which should be disposed of without touching the bin
Hands should be washed:
If dirty or sticky – to remove dirt
After using the toilet or touching the mouth or nose – pathogens are in bodily fluids and need to be removed Before and after contact with a client – to protect each other from pathogens Between different care activities for the same client – some activities are cleaner than others and it will stop cross-contamination Before using and removing disposable gloves – gloves are only to be used for higher risk activities After contact with body fluids – so as to rid any pathogens
Before and after handling, cooking, serving and eating food – food is a good pathogen carrier. Eating is a good route to infection After cleaning tasks – to remove any contamination
After handling rubbish or laundry – to remove pathogens
After feeding and handling pets – Animals carry pathogens which can be harmful to humans
Hand washing products – soap based where there is a lower risk of infection and antimicrobial products for use in high risk areas. It is also acceptable to use an alcohol based hand rub where running water is not available.
Skin care – cleansing products that are gentle to the skin are best and also the use of hypo-allergenic disposable gloves. If any allergies occur, please contact GP.