The Health and Safety at Work Essay
The Health and Safety at Work
Ai) The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation that covers occupational health and safety it outlines the responsibilities of the employer, employees and the individuals being supported to ensure safety is maintained. Other legislation would be: The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1985 (RIDDOR) The Manual Handling Regulations 1992
Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Hygiene Regulations 2005
Aii + Aiii) The policies and procedures that are set in place outline exactly what roles everybody has where health and safety is concerned. They cover every aspect of health and safety, ranging from food hygiene to the handling and storage of hazardous substances. They are clear guidelines as to what is expected and outline how to maintain health and safety so that any risk to service users and staff is eliminated in a social care setting. It is important that these policies and procedures are followed as this will eradicate risks from the workplace and help toward maintaining a safe environment for all within it. Should an incident occur, it also ensures it can be dealt with appropriately. Aiv) Each person within the setting has different roles and responsibilities regarding health and safety:
Social care worker:
To take reasonable care of your own health and safety, and the health and safety of other staff and service users To co-operate with the employers and follow the companies health and safety training and procedures To use PPE (personal protective equipment) where provided and necessary To inform the employer of any health and safety concerns that you have To inform the employer if something happens that might affect your ability to work Not to misuse anything that has been provided to help ensure your health and safety or welfare Employer/Manager:
Provide a safe working environment
Give information on health and safety and ensure they provide adequate training regarding all aspects of health and safety Provide PPE where necessary, and ensure that any equipment provided is safe to use and maintained
Have policies and procedures in place
Ensure you are able to enter and leave the workplace in a safe manner
Respect and adhere to the policies and procedures outlined by the company Co-operate with the employer and employees with anything concerning health and safety
Take reasonable care of their own health and safety
Av) There are times when the person receiving care is responsible for their health and safety. One example could be if the service user was a smoker, it would be their responsibility to ensure that they have adequately extinguished their cigarette once they have finished. Another could be if they have noticed something which could be hazardous to somebody’s health and safety, such as torn carpet which somebody could trip on, that has gone unnoticed by others. It would be their responsibility to notify somebody. Avi) Certain tasks within the workplace should not be carried out by anyone who does not have the relevant training: Use of equipment – There are many different types of equipment that may be used in a social care setting. If you do not have relevant training to use this equipment, you could cause harm to yourself or to others around you.
For example, if a hoist is used to aid somebody in moving, using it without appropriate training could cause severe injury to you, a colleague or the person being assisted. You could also damage the equipment. You would be liable and you are the one undertaking the task without being trained. First aid – You should never carry out first aid if you have not been trained to do so. You could end up doing more harm than good. The main consequence could be that you end up making the original injury worse by carrying out incorrect first aid. Medication – Medication should only be given by trained staff that have been observed in the safe administration of medication. You could accidentally give the wrong dose, the wrong medication or even give medication to the wrong person. This could result in the person feeling unwell, or depending on the medication, even death. Assisting moving and handling – Moving and handling can be very specific, and as you could end up supporting somebody, it is very important you are trained to do so correctly.
If you have not been trained, you risk causing injury to yourself or the person you are supporting. For example, if you incorrectly hold somebody when assisting them from bed into a wheelchair, they could fall, or you could injure them from the way you incorrectly supported them. Emergency procedures – Emergency procedures covers many aspects, such as evacuating a building in the event of a fire or extinguishing a fire. This requires specific training as in a social care setting, you will be responsible for safely evacuation both staff and service users alike. If you are not trained, may use the wrong equipment for dealing with that kind of fire, such as a water extinguisher on an electrical fire, which could cause serious injury and make the situation worse. In the case of evacuation, if you are not properly trained and are unable to follow the companies fire policy, lives could be lost. Food handling and preparation – If you have not been trained in food handling or preparation, you risk cross contaminating food which could result in someone becoming very ill.
You could also incorrectly store food, which could also have the same effect. Avii) Fire – For a fire to start, there are 3 things needed. These are heat or a source of ignition, fuel and oxygen. This is known as a fire triangle. If one of these elements is missing a fire cannot start. So the prevention of fire would be ensuring that these three elements never come together. Sources of ignition include naked flames, lighters and matches or even faulty equipment and hot surfaces. So ensuring that these never meet a source of fuel, which can include paper and similar products, flammable chemicals or even clothing and upholstery will greatly decrease the likeliness of fire. Oxygen is found all around, so preventing oxygen from being present to begin a fire would prove difficult. Should a fire occur you need to know how to respond.
You should have relevant training and be aware of how to raise the alarm to inform other a fire has broken out. Fire can spread quickly, so you should act quickly but in a calm manner and avoid panicking. You should be aware of fire exits and how to get people to them as soon as possible, and where the fire assembly point is to ensure everyone is present. Gas leak – Gas equipment is specialist and should be regularly serviced by a trained professional. Ensuring gas equipment is regularly serviced and used correctly are the two main ways to help prevent a gas leak occurring. In the event of a gas leak, you should evacuate the premises immediately in a calm manner, opening doors to ventilate the area and extinguish any naked flames if possible. You should not turn on or off any plugs for electrical items or light switches as this could provide the spark gas needs to ignite. Your gas company should then be called, along with emergency services if necessary, and the premises should not be re-entered until deemed safe. Floods – In the event of flooding from natural causes, nor much can be done. However, the prevention of flooding from inside the home can be rather simple. Simple things such as being mindful that taps in sinks or baths are never left running and water pipes are not damaged can be all it takes.
In the event of a flood the premises should be evacuated, head office and the parents of service users should be notified of what happened, and alternate accommodation should be arranged where necessary. Intruding/Security breach – Keeping the home secure should be of a top priority. Ensuring all windows and doors have adequate locking mechanisms in place and ensuring they are used are the easiest way to keep the home secure from intruders. Doing this during the night or when the house is empty is especially important, as these are likely to be the times this kind of event occurs. You should also make sure that keys are not left in doors, as if a window is smashed, this prevents someone from reaching inside and opening the lock. Gates and other side entrances should also have locks on them. Any lock which has a code instead of a key should not be easy to guess and should be changed regularly, especially if a member of staff leaves the company but knows the code.
In the event of a security breach or an intruder in the home, the police should be called immediately to alert them of the danger. Aviii) It is important to have emergency plans in place to deal with unforeseen circumstances for many reasons. The main reason is so that you have a guideline of the steps that should be taken should something occur. Without it, you would be clueless as to what to do and may end up doing the total wrong thing. For example, if you have severely bad weather and flooding occurs, you must have a plan in place informing people of the steps to take, such as who to notify and when to have alternate accommodation arranged. It could also be in the event of someone going missing. You must know the relevant people to contact and the steps the company require you to take to aid in finding that person, such as having missing persons information readily available. Without having these plans in place, you cannot be prepared to deal with such situations.
You should always be prepared for any situation. Aix) As I work in part of a team, it is always good to ensure you encourage other to follow procedures in place for safety. Leading by example is in my opinion the best way to do this, if you follow the correct procedures its likely other will too. Modelling good practice is always an effective way to encourage others. You could also refer to procedures where necessary, such as if a fire door is propped open or is partially blocked, pointing out the fire safety procedure says not to prop open or obstruct a fire safety door will inform them of their error.
You could also encourage them to take the time to sit and read through such procedures, and ensure they have had adequate training. Pointing out hazards could also be used. Ax) Additional support and information relating to health and safety can be obtained through your companies policies and procedures, through legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, through websites including www.dh.gov.uk (Department of Health and Safety)
Training in health and safety could also be given, as well as informational book and leaflets could be provided.
Bi) Risk assessments could greatly help to address the dilemmas between James’ rights and the health and safety concerns expressed by his mother. Risk assessments are essentially put in place to help identify any potential hazards that could occur for any given task. So in this case James’ mother is concerned about his safety in the kitchen and in dealing with food. So you would risk assess all possible scenarios, and then score the severity of them. Following this, you would put in your control measures, which are there to reduce the risk of these happening, and then score the severity of these hazards with the control measures in place. I believe this would greatly help address his mothers concerns, as any fears she may have would be indentified and then she can see what can be done to help prevent them from happening.
As it states James is also supported regularly by support workers, this should also help to ease her concerns as James has someone who can assist him with such tasks, and these could probably be implemented into the risk assessments too. Bii) The main points of food safety in a social care setting: Have relevant training in regards to how to prepare and store food safely Be aware of cross contamination and how to prevent it from occurring Understand the importance of personal hygiene
Ensure you have relevant equipment to use including PPE (personal protective equipment) where necessary Ensure food is stored at the correct temperature, so the temperature of fridges and freezers should be regularly checked, recorded and maintained Make sure food is cooked thoroughly, and is cooked at the right temperature. Use a probe thermometer to check it is hot enough throughout. Know about your service users like and dislike, or and special dietary requirements they have or allergies Biii) Store food safely – He should ensure food is stored in the correct place, and at the correct temperature, so determine what needs to be refrigerated, frozen or cupboard stored. He should ensure any opened food is properly contained, such as any opened tins should have the contents emptied into an airtight container, or meats are adequately wrapped. Handle food safely – James should ensure he has clean hands when handling food, and that the area in which he is handling the food is also clean.
He could also use gloves when handling raw meats. He should be careful not to cross contaminate, by doing things such as not using the same knives or chopping boards for different types of food, and ensure raw meats are kept separate. Dispose of food safely – Make sure he has a bin conveniently placed and this is also regularly cleaned. Any food waste is tied in bin liners, and the bin itself must be stored away from food storage areas. Outside bins should be properly closed, so as not to attract pests and vermin or other sources of contamination.
Biv) Potential consequences of not following food safety standards include someone becoming ill from food that has been inadequately stored, prepared or cooked. They could also become ill from cross contamination if someone has not been paying attention to food hygiene by taking into account cleanliness or using PPE. Rodents and insect infestation is a possibility for food that has not been properly stored or disposed of. You risk injury from equipment if you use it incorrectly or do not take care when using it.
Ci) The main points of moving and handling legislation, such as the Health and safety at Work Act 1974 and Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 are: Outlines the responsibilities of both the employer and the employee regarding moving and handling. They set out a hierarchy of measures to reduce the risks of manual handling: avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as reasonably practicable; assess any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided; reduce the risk of injury so far as reasonably practicable.
Employees have duties to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions. They must communicate with their employers so that they too are able to meet their health and safety duties. Employees have general health and safety duties to:
follow appropriate systems of work laid down for their safety make proper use of equipment provided for their safety co-operate with their employer on health and safety matters inform the employer if they identify hazardous handling activities take care to ensure that their activities do not put others at risk Outlines that you should work as trained and only use equipment that you have been trained to use Cii)a) The principles for safe moving and handling protect those in a social care setting from injury or harm as they set out guidelines for safe moving and handling and outline what everybody’s responsibility is regarding this issue. This reduces the risk of injury by following what is considered as safe practice and if injury does occur, sets out the steps to identify alternate ways of working.
It also helps prevent injury by dictating that adequate training and equipment should be provided where moving and handling is necessary b) Care plans are tailored to the individual. Here you can find information on what is required when performing such a task, and any special requirements this person has for being moved or handled. If you fail to follow the care plan, you could risk injury to this individual, this could even prove fatal. It is important to engage with the person firstly so they feel more at ease comfortable with being moved or handled as it can be quite personal, and so that you can determine that they are ok and don’t feel any discomfort throughout the process and are happy to continue. You should not move or handle anyone without ensuring they are ready. c) Situations that may require additional supports would be when moving and handling occurs in a confined space, or with loads that are considered heavy or unstable
. Task D
Di) There are many different signs or indicators that someone is feeling stressed. Some of the most common are:
Feeling tense, uptight or angry
Feeling of anxiety
A quick temper or irritation
Disturbance of sleep patterns
Dii) Stress is the way you feel when too much pressure is placed on you. So two examples of circumstances or situations that cause you to feel stressed could be having too much work to complete in a short space of time, or when things aren’t going too great at work and/or at home. Another example could be that you are having relationship problems and don’t know what to do about it. Dii) There are many strategies for positively managing stress. Some are more effective than others, it usually depends on the person and the reason for which they are stressed. These include: Physical activity – such as going for a long walk or participating in sports. This can be very effective as it used up the extra energy your body produces when stressed. Doing something positive – go to the cinema, or even go on a shopping spree.
This gives you a chance to escape the problem, even if for a short period of time, and enables you to come back to it with a clear mind. Relaxation techniques – as your body tends to tense up and ache when you are stressed, this can be particularly useful. Learning to control breathing and how to release muscular tension can provide great relief from the symptoms of stress All of these techniques can be effective in relieving the symptoms of stress. But its down to the person to find what’s right for them. They may find some techniques more useful than others. You may even find multiple techniques work best. Div) Three types of accidents or sudden illness that may occur in a social care setting are:
Seizures due to epilepsy
Cuts and burns that could occur as a result of an incident in the kitchen Back injury due to poor lifting technique
Dv) In the event of an accident, you should immediately call for the assistance of a trained first aider so that they may assess how bad the injury is. If it is a minor injury that they are trained to deal with, then they may continue to do so. If the injury is more severe, then the emergency services need to be called immediately. You should ensure that the immediate vicinity that the injured person is in is safe and there is nothing around that could cause more harm. All incidents should be logged in the accident book and reported to head office. In the event a member of staff is ill, you should inform the company immediately so that they may arrange for cover staff.