Understand health and safety in social care settings Essay Sample

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1.1 Identify legislation relating to health and safety in a social care setting. Health and Safety at work Act 1974
Data Protection Act 1998
Human Rights Act 1998
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Health and Safety First Aid Regulations
Manual Handling Operations regulations 1992 (amended 2002)
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) Care Standard Act 2000
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

1.2 Explain how health and safety policies and procedures protect those in social care settings. Policies and procedures are in place for all employers and employees to follow. The Health and Safety Act 1974 is like the overall “umbrella” that holds all the guidelines and regulations that extend it, including; Manual Handling Operations Regulations, which ensures all employees are trained correctly under these regulations, keeping themselves and others safe in the work place, and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) which protects employees and service users from any dangerous substance in the work place, including any cleaning products, which will be kept locked under these regulations. If these substances were not locked under COSHH regulations, then there will pose more risks to each individual, for example, a service user whom I support can be an opportunist, and also lacks capacity to understand what may be dangerous and have detrimental effects on his own health, so may attempt to drink any substance he finds. Policies and procedures protect those by identifying significant risks and putting controlled measures in place to ensure agreed ways of working.

1.3 Compare the differences in the main health and safety responsibilities of:

The Social Care worker
To take reasonable care of your own health and safety
To take reasonable care not to put other people – fellow employees and members of the public at risk by what you do or do not do in the work place. To co-operate with the employer , making sure that you receive correct training and follow the companys health and safety policies. To report any injuries, strains or illnesses you suffer as a result of doing your job. To tell your employer if something happens that might affect your ability to work (for example, becoming pregnant or suffering an injury) The employer or manager

Make the workplace safe
Prevent risks to health
Provide adequate fist aid facilities
Tell you about any potential hazards from the work that you do, chemicals and other substances used by the organisation, and give you information, instructions, training and supervision as needed Set up emergency plans

Make sure all facilities meet health, safety and welfare requirements Check that the correct equipment is provided, properly used and regularly maintained Prevent or control exposure to substances that may damage your health Provide PPE

Ensure that the correct warning signs are provided and in place correctly Both employer and employee are jointly responsible for safeguarding the health and safety of anyone using the premises.

Others in the Social Care setting
Respect and obey the rules and regulations and legislation imposed by authority Follow instruction and guidance provided (for example, no smoking on the premises, or do not use the lift in the event of a fire etc) Co-operate with the employer and workers if anything has been noticed that may cause harm to others or concern to others’ health and safety

1.4 Identify situations in which the responsibility of health and safety lies with the individual

It is the responsibility of any individual to maintain general health and safety within the workplace, for example, if you were to see an object lying on the floor which another individual could slip, trip or fall on, then it is your responsibility to pick up said object and put in an appropriate place in order to prevent a hazard causing accident or injury in the workplace. .

1.5 Explain why specific tasks should only be carried out with specific training

Specific tasks should only be carried out with specific training to comply with legislation, to practice safely and correctly, to minimise the consequences of illness or injury, and to treat illness and injury effectively. If you were to carry out a task that you had not received appropriate training for and became injured, you would not be legally covered in the work place. At the same time, if you are asked to complete a task that you are not trained to do, you can refuse to do this task until you have received adequate training.

1.6 Explain how to access additional support with information relating to health and safety

There are many ways to access additional support and information on health and safety, this could be accessed by talking to supervisors or management within the home, or more experienced colleagues. Reading the company health and safety policies and procedures can give you extra information, or you can seek additional support from outside organisations.

2.1 Explain why it is important to assess health and safety risks It is important to assess health and safety risks in order to reduce or eliminate them. Risk assessments are vitally important in order to protect the health and safety of both you and the individual’s you support. You should always check that a risk assessment has been carried out before you undertake any task in order for you to follow the steps identified and reduce any risk posed. There are many regulations that require risks to be assessed, including; Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (amended 2002), Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, COSHH Regulations 2002.

2.2 Explain the steps to carrying out a risk assessment
There are five key stages to undertaking a risk assessment, which involve answering the following questions: 1. What is the purpose of the risk assessment?
2. Who has to assess the risk?
3. Whose risk should be assessed?
4. What should be assessed?
5. When should the risk be assessed?

2.3 Explain how to address potential health and safety risks identified The management of health and safety at work regulations 1999 state that employers have to assess any risks which are associated with the workplace and work activities. This means all activities, from walking on wet floors, to dealing with conflict and violence. The employer must then apply risk control measures. This means that actions must be identified in order to reduce the risks. For example, CCTV cameras put in place, alarms, extra staff employed, as well as steps taken such as providing extra training for staff or written guidelines to follow on how to deal with a particular hazard.

2.4 Explain how risk assessment can help address dilemmas between an individual’s rights and health and safety concerns A risk assessment can help address dilemmas between rights and health and safety concerns as the risk assessment supports the individuals to have their choices met in the safest way possible ways. Each individual has the right to have their living space the way they wish, however, if it was to become a healthy and safety risk for example, lots of wires, tripping hazards, dirty environment, then it is our duty of care to at least advise the individual to abide by health and safety regulations as they are putting other at danger.

2.5 Explain how to promote health and safety within the social care settings In order to promote health and safety you can provide all new staff members with a leaflet of health and safety information, before providing them with the correct training, and ensuring that they read the company’s health and safety policies and procedures which can be found in the staff office. Hold regular staff meetings, making time to discuss any recently discovered health and safety issues, or any issues that have recently been rectified. Make sure all staff are aware of all current risk assessments in place for health and safety, and also carry out every day risk assessments in the workplace.

3.1 Describe the different types of accidents and sudden illness that may occur in a social care setting. The types of accidents that could occur could be anything from slips, trips and falls, to cuts and burns perhaps if using the kitchen. A service user may fall ill for any reason, even if they do not have a medical condition. Sudden illness could include; epileptic seizures, asthma attacks, heart attacks, stroke etc. Also, this could include more minor illnesses such as, coughs, colds, flu, sickness bug, or even constipation may make them feel poorly.

3.2 Explain procedures to be followed if an accident or sudden illness should occur. If any form of accident should occur, whether it be service users or staff, then an accident form should be completed and the accident should be reported to a Senior or management. If the accident is more severe than what can be dealt with in house by a qualified fist aider, then the decision would be made either to call NHS Direct for advice, go to the hospital, or in the most severe cases call an ambulance. This would be the same procedure for a sudden illness, except if it was a more severe illness eg. Heart attack, stroke etc. then an ambulance would be called immediately, and if competent to do so, a trained first aider would perform CPR on the service user whilst waiting for the paramedics to arrive.

3.3 Explain why it is important for emergency first aid tasks only to be carried out by qualified first aiders. First Aid is the assistance given to any person suffering from a sudden illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, and/or promote recovery. Someone not adequately trained to perform first aid could potentially cause more damage, although with the best of intent, if they do not know the correct procedure for CPR, for example. It also complies with health and safety standards and legislation, which will fall under the policies and procedures of the home.

3.4 Explain the consequences of failing to follow emergency first aid. Failing to follow the emergency first aid procedure can result in the patient suffering severe complications, worse injuries, or even death before the paramedics can get to the scene. Also, in the workplace, a designated first aider who refuses to help somebody (unless it is unsafe to do so) can have the consequence of a disciplinary, or even legal charges for negligence.

4.1 Describe the routes by which an infection can get into the body. Possible routes of infection getting into the body include:
Breathing (respiratory)
Drinking or eating (ingesting)
Broken skin
Insect bites
Although it seems like there are only 4 ways, there are many variations and methods of how infection can occur through each route, like breathing for example, there could be an infection naturally occurring in the air or pollen, or somebody else could sneeze or cough around you transferring their infection, or there could be dangerous pollutants in the air such as harmful sprays or paint fumes etc. 4.2 Explain the following prevention methods:

Hand washing
Hand washing is considered to be the most important measure to prevent the spread of infection. You can spread certain “germs” and infections by casually touching another person. You can also catch these “germs” and infections by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touch your face (eyes, mouth and nose). “Good” hand washing techniques include using an adequate amount of soap, rubbing your hands together palm to palm, then right hand over the left, interlacing fingers then vice versa, backs of fingers to palm with fingers interlocked, rotational rubbing of both thumbs and wrists, then rinsing with water. It is best to dry hands with a paper towel as these will carry less “germs” than a fabric towel. Hand washing should be carried out before and after carrying out any procedure which has involved contact with a person, or with any body fluids, soiled linen or clinical waste. You must wash your hands even if you have worn gloves and gloves should never be used as an alternative to hand washing. You must also wash your hands before you start and after you finish your shift, before and after eating, after using the toilet and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Own personal hygiene

Your own personal hygiene refers to the comprehensive cleaning of and caring for your body. Maintaining good personal hygiene includes bathing, washing your hands, brushing your teeth and wearing clean clothing. Implementing good hygiene also has both health and social benefits. A health benefit of maintaining good personal hygiene is that it can combat and prevent illness, and social benefits can include a reduction in body odour, an improvement in your personal appearance which can also have a positive effect on your own self image. Encouraging the individual’s personal hygiene

Providing information to the individual about personal hygiene, explaining the health benefits and also the social benefits may encourage them to maintain a good standard of personal hygiene. Prompts to complete personal care tasks may be necessary, as well as support to do so on occasions.

4.3 Evaluate different types of personal protective equipment and how they can prevent the spread of infection Personal protective equipment acts as a barrier between infectious materials and your skin, mouth, nose, or eyes. Gloves can reduce the number of germs transmitted to the hands, however, germs can sometimes get through latex. Gloves should not be used as a substitute to washing your hands. If gloves become dirty, you should exchange these for cleans ones to prevent the risk of cross contamination. Aprons or gowns should be worn to protect clothing for any procedure that involves bodily contact or is likely to deal with body waste of fluids. These can prevent infection getting onto your clothing and spreading to the next person that you come into contact with. Aprons and gowns should be disposable and thrown away at the end of each procedure. Face masks can be used when coming into contact with another individual who is carrying an infection that can be transferred through the respiratory system such as MRSA or influenza. These can also be used if you have a common cold in order to prevent spreading the infection to other individual’s.

4.4 Explain own role in supporting others to follow practices that reduce the spread of infection I support the individual’s that I work with by encouraging them to wash their hands at the correct times and using the correct method, to shower or bathe on a regular basis, to wear clean clothing and support them to use the correct method of laundering soiled linen or clothing. When supporting an individual using the kitchen area, I make them aware of the correct chopping boards to use for different foods that they are using, to wear an apron to protect their clothing and to tie their hair up if necessary.

5.1 Describe the main points of legislation that relates to moving and handling The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (amended 2002) require employees to avoid all manual handling where there is a risk of injury so far as it is reasonably practical. The main points of legislation in relation to this are; Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) which states that all equipment used in the workplace should be suitable for the intended use and conditions in which it is used, safe for use, maintained in a safe condition and inspected so that it remains safe for use, used only by people who have received adequate training and instruction, and accompanied by suitable safety measures, for example, protective devices, markings, and warnings. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1992 (LOLER) states that employees do not have any responsibilities under LOLER, but under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employees have to duty to ensure that they take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by the actions that they undertake. They must ensure that all equipment provided for use at work is sufficiently strong and stable for the particular use and marked to indicate safe working loads, positioned and installed to minimise any risks, and used safely.

5.2 Explain how following principles for safe moving and handling protects those in the social care setting from injury or harm There must be risk assessments and procedures in place to reduce the risk of injury or harm to employees, which could involve ensuring that sufficient staff are available to lift or handle someone safely, or it may require the provision of specific equipment in order that the move can take place safely for all concerned. Failing to follow the risk assessments, guidelines and principles in place could result in injury either to the employee or the person being handled.

5.3 Explain situations that may require additional supports necessary for safer moving and handling There may be times when additional support is needed in order for moving and handling to be practiced as safely as possible. A hoist may be used if needed, as well as additional staff to use the equipment; this may be due to cramped space or perhaps the size of the individual, and their capability of moving themselves. Additional staff may be needed in the instance of moving objects that are large or heavy and unable to be moved safely by one person.

5.4 Explain why it is important for moving and handling tasks to be carried out following specialist training Poor moving and handling practice can lead to: Back pain or musculoskeletal disorders which can result in the inability to work Moving and handling accidents which can injure or harm both the employee and the individual being handled Discomfort and lack of dignity for the person being moved

By following the correct procedures for moving and handling after receiving adequate training will ensure that it is done in the safest and most comfortable way possible in order to reduce the risk of potential harm caused to anybody.

6.1 Explain why it is important to have specialist training before assisting and moving an individual Specialist training is very important when assisting or moving an individual as without it you may not be able to meet their needs and preferences, which leads to you being unable to work to a standard that meets the agreed ways of working. Without specialist training you may not be complying with the policies and procedures of the home, as well as regulations surrounding moving and handling.

6.2 Explain the potential consequences of assisting and moving an individual without specialist training By assisting and moving an individual without the correct specialist training is failing to comply with legislation and regulations which are in place. You could potentially be breaking the law if you were to move an individual in the wrong way, such as “the under arm” technique, which has been against the law for several years now. If you were to continue to assist and move individual’s without the correct training, you could cause damage to the person if it was performed in the incorrect way. This could then lead to the disciplinary process, dismissal, or legal action taken against yourself or the home on behalf of the individual in question.

6.3 Explain the consequences of not following and individual’s care plan or fully engaging with them when assisting and moving A care plan is a document in which detailed information is held about each individual, which can include basic contact information, guidance on how to work with them, their medical history and medication requirements, their likes and dislikes, information about their behaviours and reactive strategies to use, and a general background of the individual. Following an individual’s care plan ensures that their needs and preferences are understood, and met wherever possible. By following the care plan and correct procedure when assisting and moving reduces the risk of any harm or injury caused to the individual, yourself, or others. Failing to follow the guidance in a care plan can lead to disciplinary procedure, and in more severe cases, dismissal. By working together with the individual and explaining the process to them step by step will also reduce the risk of any harm or injury, as they will know exactly what to expect and what is expected of them throughout. By doing this it also promotes active participation as the individual is included during the process of assisting and moving.

7.1 Describe types of hazardous substances that may be found in the social care setting Some of the hazardous substances that may be found in a social care setting could include any cleaning materials, such as disinfectant that can easily cause injury to the skin as most useful disinfectant is an irritant and should be stored in a locked cupboard under COSHH Regulations. Another hazardous substance that may be found is any type of medication, which of course could cause harm to an individual if they were to consume the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or medication that could cause them to have a reaction. Medication is stored in a locked cabinet in a room that only staff are able to access.

7.2 Explain safe practices for:
Storing hazardous substances
Safe practices for storing hazardous substances include having them kept in a lock cupboard where no unauthorised person can access them, making sure that they are properly labelled with warnings, cautions, and instructions. Storing substances in the correct conditions is also important as some substances state that they must be kept out of direct sunlight, stored at room temperature, or some medications may need to be kept chilled, so can be kept in a secure, locked medication fridge.

Using hazardous substances
All hazardous substances should be handled with care after reading the label before use, never mixing different substances as this can be highly dangerous and can cause harm or injury to you or anyone in close vicinity. PPE such as gloves should be worn when dealing with hazardous substances and hands should be washed thoroughly after use.

Disposing of hazardous substances
Care homes and residential homes should all have COSHH guidelines on how to dispose of any hazardous substances that are kept in the establishment, such as clinical waste disposal put in marked, sealed yellow bags and used sharps such as needles placed in a yellow sharps box, and any unused, out of date medication should be collected or delivered to the pharmacist in order to dispose of properly and safely.

7.3 Explain the dangers associated with not following these safe practices If the above practices are not followed then it could cause harm or injury to a service user, staff, or any others that enter the premises, for example, at my workplace, if someone was to leave a hazardous substance on the side after use and not lock it back inside the COSHH cupboard, a particular service user may find this and decide to drink the contents. If staff do not follow correct instructions on labelled products, or mix products, this could cause an unwanted reaction and potentially put everyone in the house in danger.

8.1 Explain procedures to be followed in the social care setting to prevent Fire – Most things that can be done to prevent a fire are common sense, such as not leaving a fire door propped open, making sure all plugs and sockets are switched off if they are not in use, not allowing sockets and wires to be exposed to liquid, having all electrical equipment PAT tested before use etc. Having a designated smoking area external to the building is also a big factor and helps to prevent fires, so long as the cigarette bin gets emptied on a regular basis, and cigarettes and extinguished properly. There is usually a fire procedure in every home, so adhering to that also helps. Gas leak –

All gas appliances should be used safely and correctly; switching them off when not in use, and having checks performed on them. Gas appliances such as cookers should be professionally checked to ensure that there are no visible problems. Floods –

Being aware of where the main water supply comes from and how to turn it off if necessary is essential in preventing floods. Common sense factors such as turning taps off properly after use is also helpful. Intruding –

In order to prevent intruders entering the premises you can ask for proof of identification before anyone enters the home and once this has been checked they can then sign in as a visitor, recording their name, date, time and their purpose of being there. Other things can be put in place in order to reduce the risk of intruders on site, such as flood lights, a locked gate, or CCTV. Security breach –

A security breach is where information which is private and secure has been accessed deliberately by someone who is unauthorised to do so. In order to help prevent this, all personal information on service users should be kept in files and locked in the office to be kept private and confidential.

8.2 Explain the procedures to be followed in the social care setting in the event of: Fire
In the event of a fire, the alarm should be raised and call the emergency services immediately. A designated fire warden can attempt to locate which zone of the property that the fire is in and inform the fire brigade on their arrival. Staff will encourage the individual that they are supporting to evacuate the building quickly and safely with them to meet at the fire assembly point. When safe and possible, record this incident.

Gas leak
In the event of a suspected gas leak, the gas should be turned off at the main source if safe to do so. Staff and service users should evacuate the building quickly and safely as somebody contacts the emergency services and informs the manager of this incident. All staff and service users should remain at a safe distance away from the building until they are told it is safe to enter again. When possible, record this incident. Floods

In the event of a flood, the main water supply should be turned off quickly, no electrical appliances or switched should be turned on or off. It would be the safest practice to evacuate the building and inform the manager or health and safety officer and record the incident. Intruding

In the event of an unwanted intrusion, call the police to report this, and move all staff and service users to a safe place and remain there until further instruction is given. Inform the manager of this incident. Security breach

In the event of a security breach, inform the police and management immediately. Follow any instruction given by both police and management in order to keep yourself and others safe.

8.3 Explain how you would encourage others to adhere to environmental safety procedures. In order to encourage others to adhere to environmental safety procedures you can explain the reasons why these are important, and perhaps direct them to the house policies and procedures. Training can also be provided, and posters can be displayed around the house to remind everybody of the correct procedures to follow. Further to this, staff can role model good practice on a daily basis.

8.4 Explain the importance of having an emergency plan in place to deal with unforeseen incidents. An emergency plan would be developed in collaboration with other agencies such as the local authority, fire and rescue service etc. The plan would comply with legislations and workplace procedures. Having an emergency plan will reduce the risk of serious danger, harm or injury to you, individuals and others. The plan will promote understanding of any emergency procedures and ensure that everybody is prepared for unforeseen incidents.

9.1 Describe common signs and indicators of stress
Common signs and indicators of stress can include; feeling more sensitive and tearful, perhaps anger, loss of motivation, changes to sleeping pattern and changes in appetite.

9.2 Describe factors that tend to trigger own stress
Common factors than can trigger stress include; increased demand from others, changes in working practices or new working practice, relationships, personal matters, financial matters, or perhaps self esteem and self image issues.

9.3 Evaluate strategies for managing stress
Strategies that could help you manage your own stress levels can include; talking to your manager about any outstanding issues, explaining how you feel and whether there is any additional support that you could use to reduce stress, using some of your annual leave entitlement to relax and take part in relaxing activities, perhaps taking up yoga or meditation exercises, or seeking support from your doctor.

10.1 Describe main points of agreed procedures about handling medication All medication to be signed in by two members of staff.
All medication to be kept in a locked cabinet, or fridge if necessary. All medication stored in line with instructions given.
Medication is transported from the cabinet to the individual in a locked tin. Unless stated, medication to be administered by two members of staff. Follow the correct administration procedure by identifying the individual, medication, dose, time, and any other specifics required. Immediately sign the MARS book when the individual has taken their medication, or whether they were unavailable, refused, or on home leave etc.

10.2 Explain why medication must only be handled following specialist training Medication must only be handled following specialist training in order to comply with legislation, and to ensure that it is administered correctly and safely in line with the in-house medication procedure.

10.3 Explain the consequences of handling medication without specialist training Consequences can include; serious risk to the individual e.g overdosing, under dosing, not recognising adverse or side effects, it could cause illness or lead to fatalities if the wrong medication was given to an individual, and failure to comply with legislation and procedures can lead to disciplinary action or dismissal. If the wrong medication was given to an individual, and this causes severe illness or fatality, legal action can be taken against the untrained person who had handled the medication.

11.1 Describe the main points of food safety standards in a social care setting
The main points of food safety standards are;
Storing all food correctly e.g fridge and freezer
Correct temperatures in food storage
Correct food temperatures when cooking and handling
Personal hygiene when dealing with food
Correct disposal of left over and out of date foods

11.2 Explain how to:
Store food
Ensure that all stored food is covered, within its use by date, on the correct shelf, at the correct temperature before storing, and labelled. Maximise hygiene when handling food

Keep yourself clean, wear protective clothing e.g apron and gloves, keep the workplace clean, use clean utensils and equipment, use separate utensils for different foods, and regular thorough hand washing. Dispose of food

Wipe all spillages quickly, dispose of any unwanted left overs quickly, and empty the bin frequently.

11.3 Explain the potential consequences of not following food safety standards By not following food safety standards you are putting all other individuals at risk by food contamination, leading to illness or fatalities from food poisoning, failing to comply with legislation and work place procedures.

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