1.1 Identify legislation relating to general health and safety in a health or social care work setting.
The Health and Safety at Work act 1974 relates to the general health and safety in a healthcare work setting. This acts as an umbrella for the other legislations which we must follow:
MANUAL HANDLING OPERATION REGULATIONS 1992 -Moving & Handling Techniques which are used to move people and objects in a manor which will avoid injury
CONTROL OF SUBSTANCES HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH 2002 (COSHH) carers should have a full understanding of disposing of and storing of all substance especially with regards Infection control. All carers must understand the importance of infection control whilst caring for individuals
REPORTING OF INJURIES DISEASES AND DANGEROUS OCCURENCES 1995 (RIDDOR) The carer should have a good understanding of the requirements of reporting accidents and ill health
FOOD SAFETY ACT 1990 – Food Hygiene The carer should be able to cook, prepare and store foods which are safe and would avoid food poisoning.
Describe the main points of the health and safety policies and procedures agreed with the employer.
HEALTH & SAFETY AT WORK ACT 1974
This was the first act to protect all employees regardless of their work place. It puts the onus on the employer to create a safe working environment for all employees. It says the employer must ensure the health & safety of all people on the premise sand to eliminate risks where ever possible. It also states that employers must maintain their safety and that of others with whom they work.
The types of things you must do in relation to this act are:
Attend all mandatory and any other relevant training eg. Manual Handling, Fire safety, S.O.V.A, Infection Control.
Recognise and report signs of potential danger eg worn carpets, trailing cables, blocked fire exits
Recognise and report signs of potential violence or abuse
Report all accident in the accident book
Never work if you are ill with a communicable illness, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Follow COSHH regulations dispose of contaminated waste correctly. Store Dangerous substances correctly
CONTROL OF SUBSTANCES HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH2002
What are hazardous substances? This can include things such as chemicals, fumes, dust, vapours, mist, gases. It is most likely that the main hazardous substances you will encounter will be cleaning chemicals, clinical waste, soiled laundry and body fluids such as urine and blood. You will need to have a full understanding of the correct way to handle and store hazardous substances and also the correct way to dispose of them.
Wear apron and gloves wash hands before and after to maintain infection control
Store hazardous substances according to the manufacturers instructions
Know correct procedure in the event of a spillage
Dispose of hazardous waste in the correct manner
REPORTING OF INJURIES DISEASES AND DANGEROUS OCCURENCES 1995
The reporting of accidents and ill health at work is a legal requirement. All accidents and dangerous occurrences should be reported to the incident contact centre which was established in April 2001. Reportable diseases include:
Some skin diseases such as dermatitis, skin cancer, ulcers
Lung disease, including occupational asthma
Reportable injuries include:
Fractures other than fingers, thumbs or toes
Dislocation of shoulder, hip, knee or spine
Carers should always report accidents in the accident book and to their Line Manager
FOOD SAFETY ACT 1990
This act makes it an offence to offer a service user contaminated food which may be injurious to health. It is important as a carer that you check the date on food, ensure it has been stored correctly, and it is cooked correctly. Ensure it has not been contaminated by cross infection, therefore always wear appropriate PPE when handling and preparing food. The carer should be able to cook prepare and store foods which are safe and would avoid food poisoning.
Outline the main health and safety responsibilities of:
Take reasonable care for your own safety and that of others
Co-operate with the employer in respect of health & safety matters
Not intentionally damage any health & safety equipment or materials provided by the employer
Using the systems and procedures correctly
Reporting flaws or gaps in the systems, equipment or procedures in use
the employer or manager
Provide a safe workplace
Ensure safe access to and from the workplace
provide information on health & safety
provide health & safety training
undertake risk assessments for al hazards
Update systems and procedures
others in the work setting
Express their needs and preferences in the area of their health and well-being
Individuals should be encouraged to understand and take responsibility for promoting their own health & care
Assess and manage risks to their health and well-being
Identify and report any factors that may put themselves or others at risk
Visitors to sign in on arrival and wear id badges if appropriate
Identify tasks relating to health and safety that should not be carried out without special training
Carers should not complete any tasks they do not feel competent to do or which they have not been fully trained to carry out. This could include:
Explain how to access additional support and information relating to health and safety
Any support or advice Ii need with regards Health & safety can be obtained from my line manager or from the workplace policies and procedures.
Understand the use of risk assessments in relation to health and safety
Explain why it is important to assess health and safety hazards posed by the work setting or by particular activities
It is important to risk assess health and safety hazards at work because they may cause harm or loss of life to members of the workforce. This would then result in the owner of a company being sued and prosecuted that is why risk assessment is needed.
Explain how and when to report potential health and safety risks that have been identified
I would report health and safety concerns to my line manager, and would report these as soon as they come into direct contact with me.
It is my duty as a Care Worker to report any potential health and saftefy risks that have been identified, in conjunction with the GSCC Code of practice, which states;
Bringing to the attention of your employer or the appropriate authority resource or operational difficulties that might get in the way of the delivery of safe care.
Informing your employer or an appropriate authority where the practice of colleagues may be unsafe or adversely affecting standards of care.
The Health & Safety at work Act 1974 also states that employers must maintain their safety and that of others with whom they work.
Explain how risk assessment can help address dilemmas between rights and health and safety concerns
Risk assessment can address dilemmas with rights and health and safety because clients can express their own rights to do what they want even though it can be defined as risky behaviour. If it is documented and a risk management plan is put in place the company can cover their own backs if anything goes wrong whilst a client is participating in risky behaviour.
Understand procedures for responding to accidents and sudden illness
Describe different types of accidents and sudden illness that may occur in own work setting
The most common types of accidents are:
Slips’s due to spills/Wet areas (bathrooms) Trips’ due to trailing wires/Objects left lying around/Frayed carpets, Falls’ out of bed/down steps/stairs
The types of sudden illness could be:
Sickness & diarrhoea, food poisoning, stroke, heart attack, shingles, influenza, scabies
Outline the procedures to be followed if an accident or sudden illness should occur
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995
Carers have legal duties under RIDDOR that require us to report and record some work-related accidents by the quickest means possible.
Any major injuries must be reported to RIDDOR immediately. This includes fractures other than to fingers, thumbs and toes and loss of sight (Temporarily or permanently) Any injury which occurred at work and causes a person to be off work for over 3 days must be reported.
Be able to reduce the spread of infection
Demonstrate the recommended method for hand washing
Demonstrate ways to ensure that own health and hygience do not pose a risk to others at work
Wash hands before and after attending a service user
Wear PPE when assisting individuals with personal care
Don’t attend work if you have a contagious illness
Be able to move and handle equipment and other objects safely
Identify legislation that relates to moving and handling
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The employer must :
decide what could harm you in your job and the precautions to stop it. This is
part of risk assessment.
In a way you can understand, explain how risks will be controlled and tell you version of pocket card who is responsible for this.
Consult and work with you and your health and safety representatives in protecting everyone from harm in the workplace.
Free of charge, give you the health and safety training you need to do your job
Free of charge, provide you with any equipment and protective clothing you
need, and ensure it is properly looked after.
Follow the training they have received when using any work items the employer has provided .
Take reasonable care of their own and other people’s health and safety
Co-operate with their employer on health and safety.
Tell someone if they think the work or inadequate precautions are putting anyone’s health and safety at serious risk
Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as reasonably practicable;
assess any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided; and
reduce the risk of injury so far as reasonably practicable.
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 PUWER
In general terms, the Regulations require that equipment provided for use at work is:
suitable for the intended use
safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and, in certain circumstances, inspected to ensure this remains the case;
used only by people who have received adequate information, instruction and training
accompanied by suitable safety measures, eg protective devices, markings, warnings.
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (1992) -LOLER
Generally, the Regulations require that lifting equipment provided for use at work is:
strong and stable enough for the particular use and marked to indicate safe working loads;
positioned and installed to minimise any risks;
used safely, ie the work is planned, organised and performed by competent people; and
subject to ongoing thorough examination and, where appropriate, inspection by competent people.
5.2 Explain principles for moving and handling equipment and other objects safely
Avoid hazardous manual handling operations so far as is reasonably practicable, for example by redesigning the task to avoid moving the load or by automating or mechanising the process.
Make a suitable and sufficient assessment of any hazardous manual handling operations that cannot be avoided.
Reduce the risk of injury from those operations so far as is reasonably practicable. Where possible, you should provide mechanical assistance, for example a sack trolley or hoist. Where this is not reasonably practicable, look at ways of changing the task, the load and working environment
Move and handle equipment or other objects safely
Ensure you attend manual handling training on a regular basis
Check the equipment is in a clean, safe working condition before use
Check the environment for obstructions, trip hazards
Avoid manual handling operations where reasonably practical
Always use equipment that is provided
Wear appropriate footwear and clothing
Check the individuals care plan risk assessment
Communicate with the individual and other staff how the move will take place
Report any changes to the individuals mobility for risk assessment reassessment
Know how to handle hazardous substances and materials
Identify hazardous substances and materials that may be found in the work setting
Cleaning chemicals such as bleach
clinical waste e.g. Soiled pads, soiled dressings, used sharps
body fluids such as urine and blood
Describe safe practices for:
Storing hazardous substances
Every workplace must have a COSHH file. The file lists all the hazardous substances used in the workplace. It should detail:
Where they are kept
How they are labelled
The maximum amount of time it is safe to be exposed to them
How to deal with an emergency involving one of them
Hazardous substances such as cleaning materials should be returned to a locked cupboard at all times, and always stored in their original container, then ensured that clearly labelled. This is to avoid service users being able to obtain and accidentally swallow them.
Using hazardous substances
When using or handling hazardous substances the Carer should wear appropriate PPE, which would include gloves, apron, mask, and eye shield depending on what the substance is. For example, The COSHH Approved code of Practice (ACoP) recommends that exposure be prevented by:
Altering work methods so that the task that causes exposure is no longer carried out â€“ for example, the Carer should be aware that mixing common household cleaning products such as bleach, chlorine or other similar general home cleaning products can cause serious injuries and respiratory problems:
Common cleaning products may be dangerous when mixed. Therefore the Carer must be aware of the following when carrying out tasks within the service user’s home:
Do not mix bleach and ammonia.
Do not mix bleach and acids.
Do not use two drain cleaners together, or one right after the other.
The following are some of the chemicals that may be hazardous if mixed/not used correctly:
In addition to ammonia purchased as a cleaning product, ammonia may be found in the following:
- some glass and window cleaners
- urine (be careful if you clean cat litter boxes or use a diaper pail)
- some interior and exterior paints.
Products containing acids include:
- some glass and window cleaners
- some automatic dishwasher detergents and rinses
- some toilet bowl cleaners
- some drain cleaners
- some lime, calcium and rust removal
- some brick and concrete cleaners
Dangers of mixing these common cleaning products include:
Mixing bleach and ammonia:
When bleach is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called chloramines are produced.
Exposure to chloramine gases can cause:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- watery eyes
- irritation to the throat, nose and eyes
- pneumonia and fluid in the lungs
Mixing bleach and acids:
When chlorine bleach is mixed with an acid, chlorine gas is given off. Chlorine gas and water combine to make hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids.
Chlorine gas exposure, even at low levels, almost always irritates the mucous membranes (eyes, throat, and nose), and causes coughing and breathing problems, burning and watery eyes, and a runny nose. Higher levels of exposure can cause chest pain, more severe breathing difficulties, vomiting, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs. Very high levels can cause death.
Chlorine can be absorbed through the skin, resulting in pain, inflammation, swelling, and blistering.
Hydrochloric acid also causes burns to the skin, eyes, nose, throat, mouth and lungs.
Mixing bleach and other cleaning products:
Bleach also reacts with some oven cleaners, hydrogen peroxide, and some insecticides.
With the above cautions in mind the carer should therefore ensure their own safety and the safety of the Service User by ensuring the following, when deemed appropriate and necessary:
modifying the process to remove hazardous substances, including by-products or waste
substituting the hazardous substance with a less hazardous type or form of the substance, e.g. using granules instead of powder to reduce dust levels or a less volatile solvent in a process.
If exposure cannot be prevented, it must be adequately controlled. The hierarchy of control measures can be summarised as follows.
Don’t use the hazardous substance or avoid the procedure which causes exposure.
Change the material or working practice to one less hazardous.
Enclose the hazardous substances or process in a closed system.
Disposing of hazardous substances and materials
The Carer should always ensure clinical waste is placed into the yellow bag (if available) or double wrapped in a plastic bag, soiled linen into the correct laundry bag, sharps into the used sharps bin. Other chemicals should be disposed of as indicated on the label. All clinical waste handling and disposal procedures must comply with The controlled Waste Regulations, The environmental Protection Act including Duty of care regulations, The carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations and the Hazardous Waste Regulations. All these regulations come under the umbrella regulation The Environment Protection Regulations (Waste Disposal).
Understand how to promote fire safety in the work setting
Describe practices that prevent fires from:
Starting and spreading
No smoking on the premises except in designated areas â€“ check workplace polices
No candles to be lit in the building â€“ check workplace policies
Ensure fire doors are kept closed
Attend regular fire safety training
Know where alarms, extinguishers, fire blankets can be located in the building and how to use them
Regular fire drills
Ensure empty boxes etc are disposed of outside the building immediately they are empty
Don’t leave open flames unattended in the kitchen.
Don’t leave electric irons unattended
Don’t leave flammable items near heat source
Outline emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a fire in the work setting
Each workplace will have their own procedures which must be followed in the case of an emergency. All workplaces must display information about what actions to take in case of fire. The procedure is likely to be similar to:
Raise the alarm
Ensure that everyone is safe and out of danger
If it is safe to do so, attack the fire with the correct extinguisher
Go to the fire assembly point (This will be stated on the fire procedure notice)
Do not return to the building for any reason
Explain the importance of maintaining clear evacuation routes at all times
The Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 1999 requires that all workplaces should be inspected by the fire authority. Part of the regulation states that routes to emergency exits from a workplace and exits themselves are kept clear at all times and that all emergency exits and routes lead as directly as possible to a place of safety. This is important for the safety of yourself, the service users, colleagues and any visitors to the building
8 Implement Security measures in the work setting
Use agreed ways of working for checking the identity of anyone requesting access to:
Check workplace procedures. The identity of all visitors to the workplace should be checked. This can be done in a variety of ways
Check their id card
Check with the person they have the appointment with
All visitors should sign in the visitors book. This aids the number count in case of a fire.
If someone wanted to gain access to the premises while I was at a service user’s property, I could phone my line manager to confirm whether I am scheduled any visits from anyone. Open the door on latch and get the person to present some identification to who they are and what they want. If I am still suspicious, phone the police.
Implement measures to protect own security and the security of others in the work setting
If anyone requests information on a client, I would refer them to my manager if they are claiming to be a fellow healthcare professional. My manager would have a better insight as to who is involved in a person’s care and should be able to pass them onto the company’s Caldecott Guardian who protects all confidential information within the company.
Practicing safely and professionally will protect own security and others in the workplace, such as following policies and procedures, reading my service user’s personal care plan and risk assessments, and just basically knowing my job inside out and practicing in a safe manner.
8.3 Explain the importance of ensuring that others are aware of own whereabouts
The importance of letting others know where you are helps stop staff getting kidnapped or assaulted whilst in a client’s house. Also, if there is a fire in a building and you sign in, the fire brigade know exactly how many people are left in that building when it comes to evacuating it.
9 Know how to manage own stress
9.1 Identify common signs and indicators of stress
Common signs of stress are depression, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, and illness due to lower immune system.
9.2 Identify circumstances that tend to trigger own stress
Circumstances that tend to trigger my own stress are over tiredness and dealing with complex traumas.
9.3 Describe ways to manage own stress
I manage stress through my days off, exercise, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy sleep pattern â€“ these are all vital for my own well-being and therefore enable me to be more professional and proficient in my work role and duties.
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