Health and Safety Essay Sample
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Health and Safety Essay Sample
When planning an environment for children, there are certain requirements that must, by law be taken into account and ensured to be met by the care provider. The individual care setting may also bring in policies and procedures that go further than the legal requirement if they feel the need to. The premises in which children and young people will be cared for must be fit for purpose, the equipment and toys must be safe and the building should be secure, including areas that are used by young people and staff located outdoors. The care provider has a duty, by law, to comply with health and safety requirements. Employed staff have a responsibility to keep all areas clean and of a good hygiene standard. Policies and procedures must be in place, specifically policies covering identifying, reporting and resolving any accidents, hazards or faulty equipment. There must be an emergency evacuation procedure for all young people, staff and visitors, and adjusted evacuation plans for people using wheelchairs or those who are bedbound.
Fire detection and control equipment should be provided, and must be in working order with regular checks and fire safety drills, which must then be recorded in the fire log book. Fire exits must be clearly identifiable, with no obstructions and should be easily accessible from the inside. There must be a non smoking policy in place within the grounds of the building and anywhere where there is be young people. There are also space requirements that need to be taken into account by law. Kitchens, storage areas, though fares, staff areas, bathrooms, cloakrooms and utility areas are not included within the space requirements and are as follows: Children under 2 years: 3.5m² per child
2 year olds: 2.5m² per child
Children aged 3-5: 2.3m² per child.
For children under 2 years old, there should be a separate baby room,
although these children should be encouraged to have contact with older children and should be moved into older groups when appropriate. There should be separate rooms or partitions for children to sleep or play quietly. These areas then need to provide appropriate furniture in which to do so. Sleeping children should be checked regularly. Parents and carers should be able to feel they can talk to staff about their child’s progress confidentially, a private area suitable to do so should be provided within the setting. A staff room or area away from the young people must be provided to enable staff to take breaks. There must be at least one toilet and one hand basin provided for each 10 children within the setting. A separate toilet for adults must be provided. Risk assessments must be continually carried and out checked. These can be relating to setting, the environment, staff and young people. They are to be reviewed regularly and amended if the risk has changed.
A risk assessment is required for each specific issue that may be harmful to children, staff or visitors and can be used as proof to parents and carers as to how risks are managed, and also ensure staff continuity of care. Risk assessments need to be observed by all staff, and are used to identify when and by whom certain equipment needs to be checked, how risks will be managed or removed, and in the case of young people, how behaviour will be managed. When outings or trips are organised, risk assessments are required which will include the correct adult to child ratio. Written parental permission will be required for children to take part in the trip, and vehicles in which young people will be travelling will be adequately insured, as will the driver of the vehicle. Children and young people must only be released to the care of other individuals if it is notified to staff by the care provider or parent. Children must not leave the premises unsupervised and procedures must be in place for unauthorised people entering the premises. ID must be shown by all visitors to the building, and overnight care facilities such as residential homes will have a more detailed procedure for staff to follow.
In circumstances such as pregnancy in staff and children with extra needs, risk assessments will be carried out and any adaptations will be made to support each individual appropriately. There may also be policies and procedures in place to support any changes required. Where a hazard or faulty equipment has been noticed, it must be recorded as soon as possible and appropriate action taken to remove the risk of the hazard developing into an accident. Use of equipment knowing it is faulty, or not reporting a hazard is a breech of the health and safety at work act and if an accident occurred because of this you would be liable for any accidents or injuries. Employers also have a responsibility to provide suitable, safe equipment that is safe for purpose, to provide training for staff using certain equipment where appropriate, and to have policies, procedures and risk assessments in place to outline risks in the workplace and the ways in which they are managed. CYP3.4-1.2 Tell me about how your setting makes sure that health and safety factors are checked. How faulty items are dealt with and how people such as colleagues, visitors, and families and carers are made aware of health and safety issues. Health and Safety is taken very seriously at Lucerne House. Our manager ensures that all staffs are kept up to date with all risk assessments, and provides the relevant training in regards to Health and Safety.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is available within the office for staff to access and refer to at any time they wish. When visitors are welcomed into the home, they are asked to sign the visitor’s book then shown the location of all fire exits and told of the fire procedures and designated safe zone. Young people who reside at Lucerne House, are made aware of areas where they cannot access unsupervised to, due to there being a possible risk to them, such as the kitchen and laundry rooms, and these rooms are then locked when not in use. The home is cleaned to a high standard, throughout each shift, every day and any accidents, hazards, injuries and faulty equipment are recorded and reported immediately.
CYP3.4-1.3 Name at least 2 websites that will give you information on planning safe environments To access information with regards to planning safe environments within the care sector, two websites that can be visited are: The Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (www.iosh.co.uk) Direct Gov (www.direct.gov)
These are government websites that outline all current legislation on health and safety in the workplace, including information on planning safe environments.
CYP3.4-1.4 Using the list below tell me a bit about each of these (linked to health and Safety) and explain how they are implemented in your work setting. * Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
– The Health And Safety At Work Act is a piece of government legislation which applies to all sectors of work in the United Kingdom. It covers the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, and outlines the duty of care we as employees have to protect others against accidents and hazards in the workplace. It also outlines the policies, procedures; training and requirements employers have to follow to enable employees to carry out their job role. Within my setting at Lucerne House, all employees are provided with relevant training and a safe working environment. Policies and procedures are followed by all employees at all times. Staffs understand the importance of Health and Safety within our role and our responsibilities to ourselves, our colleagues, the young people we support and the visitors, in regards to The Health and Safety at Work Act. * Toys (Safety) Regulatitions 1995
– The Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995 state that young people must be protected against risks of injury when playing with toys, and that toys provided are safe to use. Lucerne House provides a range of age appropriate, safe toys for young people to play with at their leisure. * Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 – The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 is a piece of government legislation that states the requirements of employers to provide suitable chemicals relating to work tasks, such as cleaning. Each product is recorded in the COSHH log which states the type of product, ingredients, directions for use and any hazards associated with the use of the product. Lucerne House provides adequate cleaning products for domestic tasks, which are all COSHH checked and listed. Staffs are all required to read the COSHH log and understand the intended purpose for each product before use, and the correct use for each product. * Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
– The Manual Handling Operations Regulations outline the policies and procedures in regards to moving or transporting a load. The load can be an object or a person. It is used as a national standard to ensure that loads are moved, supported or transported in a way that does not cause injury to the employee. Lucerne House provides training to all staff to ensure safety to themselves and young people when performing any manual handling task. * Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 – RIDDOR is the reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences and is another piece of government legislation which requires staff employed within the care setting, to report any serious injury, dangerous occurrence or death that has occurred in the workplace to the relevant authority. If a serious injury, dangerous occurrence or death has happened within Lucerne House, staffs are able to report to RIDDOR as relevant training is provided. * Childcare Act 2006
– The Childcare Act 2006 outlines the requirements local authorities are to follow in order to improve the wellbeing of children and young people. Lucerne House supports staff in providing a safe, comfortable living setting for young people. Staffs ensure young people are listened to and have their views taken into account, and receive positive help and guidance into making healthy lifestyle choices. Staffs promote diversity and a sense of identity with each young person, allowing them to feel safe and secure within their home setting. * Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997
– All workplaces are required by the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 to have an emergency evacuation plan. This should include the actions to be taken by staff in the event of a fire, evacuation procedures and arrangements for calling the fire brigade. Lucerne House has a fire evacuation plan in place, which is always available for access by staff in the office. When visitors are welcomed into the home they are shown the emergency exits and told of the evacuation plan and safe meeting zones. CYP3.4-3.1. Why is it important to take a balanced approach to risk management? Please include the following: * taking into account child or young person’s age, needs and abilities * avoiding excessive risk taking
* not being excessively risk averse
* recognising the importance of risk and challenge to a child or young
person’s development. When planning activities for young people there can sometimes be a misunderstanding between what is safe and what is not safe within terms of play. It is extremely important to understand that there needs to be a balance between managing risks and allowing a young person to explore and learn about the world around them through playing. The health and safety executive has released a statement which says that eliminating risks is not the goal in regards to playing. The risks and the benefits should be weighed up and where possible, the benefits should be increased. Accidents and mistakes can happen when children play, but it is important to not restrict young people from doing something that is of medium risk and beneficial to their development. Depending on a young person’s age and abilities, it may be less important to focus on the risks of play and more on the things they will learn through playing. An example of this could be the risks involved with a young person playing on a trampoline in the garden.
They could slip and fall off causing a head injury, land in an awkward position causing a sprain or break to their limbs, catch their fingers or toes, but this is where staff are needed to provide and follow the relevant health and safety guide lines and checks to make sure safe use and access for the young person to the trampoline. Staffs are to continually risk access before, during and after a young person has accessed the trampoline and whilst in use, to ensure that the trampoline is in perfect working order, fit for purpose and offers the correct safety features. Examples of risk accessing- There is protective netting all the way around which is fully intact with no holes or rips. Padded protectors are intact with no damage to ensure that there is not any exposed metal. The zip on the protective netting is not broken.
There is safe access to get on and off of the trampoline suitable for users of all abilities. Young people are supervised/offered support by staff, at all times whilst the trampoline is in use. The experience and time on the trampoline can help to develop a young person’s motor skills; it is a good form of exercise and can teach a young person about the consequences of play. A young person, who is a wheel chair user for example, may gain great achievement and personal development from being able to stretch out and enjoy the freedom of being out of their chair. With regards to the consequences of play, an example could be that the young person is able to learn that if they bounce gently and fluently, they gain momentum and rhythm, this allowing for a good form of exercise. Depending on the young person’s abilities, with guidance and support received from staff, they can progress onto other forms of jumping or flips, for example. The risk is higher in younger children, children under the age of 6 should be provided with a smaller trampoline suitable for their size, but the risk can be controlled and reduced by providing the correct safety materials.
CYP3.4-3.2. There is often a conflict between allowing children to take risks and keeping them safe, can you tell me about this? Everyday life involves a degree of risk and young people need to learn how to cope with this. They need to understand that the world can be a dangerous place and that care needs to be taken when negotiating their way round it. Inevitably the most powerful learning comes from not understanding or misjudging the degree of risk. By watching young people, we can see that, from an early age, they are motivated to take risks – they want to learn to walk, climb, – and are not put off by the inevitable spills and tumbles they experience as they are developing coordination and control. In early year settings children find their own physical challenges and, in doing so, learn about their own strengths and limitations.
Children who are sheltered from risk and challenge when young will not be able to make judgments about their own capabilities and will not be well equipped in their later years. Children who learn in their early years to make their own reasoned decisions with help and support from staff or family, rather than simply doing what they are told to by others will be in a stronger position to risk access themselves. In contrast, overprotected children may well make reckless decisions which put them in physical or moral danger. There is a danger that many adults, who are afraid that children might hurt themselves, simply remove objects and equipment rather than teach children how to use them safely.
CYP3.4-3.3. Following on from your answer in 3.2 give me an example of this, tell me what happened and why. A young person within our setting wished to access the kitchen to help staff prepare a snack. Before doing so, staff
carried out a normal risk assessment of the area, ensuring that the sharps cupboard (stores all of the sharp equipment, e.g. knives, scissors) was locked, there were no dangers or hazards present to prevent any unnecessary risk. Staff then provided the support needed for the young person to chop up her fruit for her snack. Staff took the required knife from the locked cupboard, handed it correctly and safely to the young person, enabling her to cut her own fruit, offering verbal advice, such as: ‘This is how you hold the knife.’
‘Always look carefully at what you cut.’
Staff offer support and observe closely to assess any potential risks, initiates discussions with the young person to help them understand both the possibilities and the potential dangers, discusses possible solutions, and then allows the children to try out the experience which they have assessed together. By following the correct policies and safety procedures put into place at Lucerne House, and by allowing the young person to cut her fruit by herself, enabled personal development and achievement. The young person finished the task, took her fruit in a bowl and went to show another member of staff as she was proud of what she had done. The staff member in the kitchen then cleaned and tidied away the sharps and put them in the locked cupboard.
CYP3.4-4.1, 4.2. Tell me about the policies in your setting for accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness and then go on to tell me about how you record the information for 4.2 Accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness e.g.:
* accidents involving children, young people or adults
* incidents – all types
* emergencies such as fire, missing children or young people, evacuation recognising signs of illness such as fever, rashes or unconsciousness and taking appropriate action If an accident involving young people or adults takes place at Lucerne House, it should be reported to the manager and recorded in the accident book as soon as possible. Within the case of a
young person, it needs to be also recorded in their daily observation charts. If the accident that happened has caused an injury to a young person or staff member, first aid may need to be administered and the injury will be recorded within the Daily Log and MARR sheet. If the accident is minor, it is the home manager’s responsibility to investigate the cause of the accident and initiate control measures. The home manager then needs to risk asses the likelihood of the accident happening again. If the accident is more serious it will need to be recorded in more depth:
reportable accident or emergency – an accident that falls between minor and health and safety executive reportable, for example an accident involving a young person that requires hospital treatment
a serious reportable or notifiable event or incident – for example death or major injury, including if it has been sustained through physical violence
Once the manager is aware that a reportable event or incident has occurred, they are responsible for notifying the young person’s placing authority and/or social worker, the regulatory authority, the health and safety executive and the local health authority. In the case of an emergency within Lucerne House, for example a fire, there is an evacuation plan in place, with two different fire exits to allow for an escape route if either one is blocked by fire. Details of this emergency plan are kept in the office for staff to refer back to at any time. Lucerne House also has a policy that ensures a fire drill and alarm check is carried out every week.
Lucerne House policy states that if a child is missing from care, we will undertake a series of escalating actions aimed at returning the child to the home safely. If staffs are unable to contact the young person and they have been unable to find them after searching the local area and places the young person may possibly be, they will be reported as a missing person to the police, local authority and other notifiable people, such as parents.
In the case of a young person or staff member contracting an illness, depending on the severity of it, details may need to be recorded as a serious reportable or notifiable event. If the illness is infectious, such as sickness and diarrhoea, the ill staff member, for example, will be sent home for the relevant recuperation period, and not allowed to return to work until 48 hours after the last sickness. If the young person is ill with sickness and diarrhoea, staff are to support the young person by wearing the correct personal protective equipment, always ensure they wash their hands after any contact and ensuring a very high standard of cleanliness is kept at all times.