Health Safety and Security
Health Safety and Security
Outline how legislation, policies and procedures relating to health, safety and security influence health and social care settings. M1: Describe how health and safety legislation, policies and procedures promote the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting. Within health and social care there are a number of acts and procedures set out in legislation which must be followed. These acts ad procedures influence care settings by offering practical examples of good practice and the way that health and social care should be delivered. They provide advice on how to comply with the law and determine what is reasonably practicable.
The acts enforce a duty of care to everyone who is involved at all levels such as the service user, the service user’s friends and family and the staff. The first act I will be looking at is the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. This act was put into place to protect employees from exploitation and being over worked. The main features of this act are that employers-who employ more than five employees-must provide a written health and safety policy, take precautions to reduce the possibility of accidents occurring, provide training to enable staff to work safely, provide equipment (if needed) to ensure the health of those working.
Employees must comply with health and safety policies in the workplace and report any potential hazards. Also, employees need to be fully informed of their rights and responsibilities and leave nothing to chance. ‘The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering work-related health and safety in the United Kingdom. ’ www. nidirect. gov. uk/ For the employees, this act means that training in all aspects of health and safety is compulsory so they would need to be fully informed about policies and procedures such as what to do in the event of a hazard to minimise any risk.
So, the employee would know what to do, who is responsible, how to report the hazard and how to deal with it. Also, the employee would have important knowledge about fire regulations and how to evacuate the building (know where the fire exits are). It prevents employers from exploiting employees and having them work long hours and shifts in health and social care. Service users can be at risk if the people who are caring for them are overworked and tiered. Employers themselves could be held responsible if there are breeches of health and safety at work.
If the training is inadequate for manual handling and the use of equipment then employees can be injured. Volunteers are subject to the same requirements under the Health and Safety at Work Act too. Some employee legislation is weakening, yet this act is strengthening in its influence and interpretation. This act also influences health and social care settings for service users. People receiving the service need to be sure that the building is a safe place to be. They can be vulnerable and dependent upon the staff and the work environment for their safety. This is a huge responsibility and the law reflects the magnitude of this.
In schools, children have been known to of ‘gone missing’ or walked out. Relatives need to know that their children or siblings are being constantly monitored and that freedom and independence is balanced with health and safety procedures. The second act I will be looking at is the Data Protection Act 1984. This act introduced basic rules of protection of people’s personal information. ‘The Data Protection Act 1984 introduced basic rules of registration for users of data and rights of access to that data for the individuals to which it related’. http://www. out-law. com/page-413.
It was designed to protect individual’s personal information from being passed on to other people, also known as confidentiality. ‘The purpose of the Act is to protect the rights and privacy of individuals and to ensure that data about them are not processed without their knowledge and are processed with their consent wherever possible’. http://www. soas. ac. uk/infocomp/dpa/policy/overview/ The principles of the Data Protection Act include: obtaining and processing data fairly, ensuring accuracy and relevance of information and taking effective measures to prevent unauthorized access to data.
Individuals have the right to be told if a third party holds information about them, obtain a record of that information, and require correction if necessary. The Data Protection Act was reviewed in 1998; this newer act gave employees the right to see their personal records. This act was again reviewed in 2000 to include computerised data. For employees, this act ensures that their personal information can only be accessed by their employee and themselves. This protects the employee from hassle from third parties.
For employers, this act prevents them from selling person information of there employees to third parties. However, this can be breached, but only on a need to know basis such as for public or individual safety and if the information is needed by a court order. In health and social care, the Data Protection Act protects service users/patients details being passed on to anyone unnecessary. However, their details may need to be passed onto other professionals if they are under the care of more than one health or social care professional.
If the information is shared between these professionals, they understand that it will not be used apart from where it is needed. An example of this would be a school and carers or social workers. The school would need to know what situation the child is in and then they can adequately safeguard him/her. It may be that one parent is not allowed contact with their child. This keeps all involved safe. ‘Where information is shared, there is an implied understanding that the information will not be used except where it is strictly needed to help the professional provide the service’.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 December 2016
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