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Health, safety and security in health and social care

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There are not many health hazards in the library. There could be a health hazard if a user of a library is not sitting on a chair correctly or the computer screen is not adjusted properly. The harm that could be caused by not sitting properly could be problems with people’s backs and if the computer screen is not adjusted properly or if the person does work on the computer for too long then there could be problems with sight.

In the library there could be potentially lots of safety hazards: things left on the floor and wires on the floor which could cause people to trip over it, electrical equipment that could do harm if a person doesn’t know how to use it. The book cases are big and heavy, books are really high and can fall down if not put down correctly. The harm caused by things and wires on the floor could be tripping over and hurting yourself. Electrical equipment could give someone an electric shock. Books and cases can fall over and hurt someone.

Legislation, policies and procedures (Health and Safety Act 1974) which influence health and social care can just be put down as two simple statements: employer’s responsibility and employee’s responsibility. Employer’s responsibility is:

1. To ensure that all health and safety policies are in place and known by the employees.

2. To consult employees or their safety representative on matters relating to health and safety at work

3. To carry out risk assessments or implement measures as identified in the assessment

4. To report certain injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences

Employee’s responsibilities are:

1. To take care of themselves and people around them in the workplace and be mindful to the effects of their actions

2. Cooperating with their employer on health and safety

3. Correctly using work items provided by their employers

4. Not interfering or misusing anything provided for their health, safety and welfare

There are couple of legislations to go with Health and Safety Act. First one is Manual Handling Regulations 1992. It aims to reduce the risk of injury from lifting or moving objects or people. This includes lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying. The second one is COSHH 2002 (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) and this covers using, storing and disposing of any substances. The basis of this Act is that employers should assess the risk that hazardous substances can present and then take precautions to minimise the risk.

The third one is RIDORR 1995 (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) and this legislation covers injuries, certain diseases and dangerous occurrences. These events must be recorded and may be reported to the Health and Safety Executive. In the case of serious accidents the HSE will investigate. Next legislation is Food Safety Act 1990 which is about managing food hygiene, identifying the risks and what could go wrong and then bringing in checks and controls to ensure that any risk is reduces.

The fifth legislation is the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These regulations state that employers have a responsibility to train staff in health and safety. This in relation to all the major points of the legislation so would include preventing a fire, controlling the spread of infection, moving and handling appropriately. It also requires employers to carry out risk assessments.

Policies and procedures are always a bit different in different workplaces. Employers should develop and implement policies and procedures that are relevant to the individual workplace incorporating the legislation. For example, a newspaper shop would have a slightly different set of policies than in a care home because there are different tasks carried out by people.

The main purpose of the legislation is to secure the health and safety of people at work, to protect others from risks arising from the activities of people at work, to control the use and storage of dangerous substances. Employers and employees should share responsibilities for: assessing risks before carrying out tasks, checking equipment for faults before use, using appropriate personal protective clothing, handling hazardous/contaminated waste correctly, disposing of sharp implements appropriately.

Risk assessment

1. Lighting may not be adequate for tasks so it might damage people’s eyes in some way. To get rid of the hazard you should always check the lighting before doing something and if it is not adequate you should report that to the supervisor.

2. Temperature and airflow in room may not be adequate which can lead to people not feeling well. To get rid of the hazard you should always check the temperature and airflow and make sure it is right.

3. Floor coverings and walkways may not be in good condition which would lead to a slip/trip hazard. To get rid of this hazard you should always check the floors and make sure that they are in good condition and there are no trip hazards.

4. Library floor plan may not allow for easy sight of students and visitors which may lead to a hazard where supervisors will not see what people are doing and for example they could hurt themselves. To get rid of the hazard floor plan should be arranged differently if it doesn’t allow for easy sight.

5. Furniture may not be in good and safe condition which can lead to hazard of hurting someone, books may fall of the shelves or inappropriate chairs may damage someone’s back. Furniture should always be checked and reported if there is any damage or risk.

6. Broken plugs, sockets, switches, double adaptors and piggy back plugs present which can lead to hazard of electrocution. All broken plugs, sockets, switches, double adaptors and piggy back plugs should be removed and not accessible to students to avoid the hazard.

7. Frequently used items may not be within easy access between knee and shoulder height which may lead to hazard of not handling properly. There should be posters on how to handle things properly and It should be checked that everyone is handling things properly.

8. Storage racks and shelves may not be stable or fixed to walls and may not carry appropriate weight load limits which may lead to broken shelves and books falling off. Shelves should be checked regularly.

9. Exit pathways may not be clear and accessible which can lead to hazard of not getting out of the building quickly enough for example in case of a fire. If the exit is not clear, member of staff should always make sure that it is.

Two incidents that I am going to talk about are fire emergency and injury emergency in college.

In case of a fire emergency in college there are procedures to be done. If someone sees the fire they should set the fire alarm and close all the windows and doors when evacuating from the classroom. Then people should evacuate through emergency routes and fire exits. People should take any person who is not able to evacuate by themselves to the refugee point.

Then everyone should meet at the assembly point and let the marshals sweep the building and wait till it’s safe to go back inside. There are some priorities when the policy, practice, process or procedure could have a differential impact. These are age, disability, pregnancy and maternity and language. This means that small children, disabled people, pregnant and people who don’t speak English should be evacuated first.

Second emergency I am going to talk about is injury. For example someone fell down the stairs and broke their leg. Member of staff must be informed and first aider has to come. First aider has to fill out the emergency form and if the emergency is really urgent then the ambulance should be called. There are the same priorities for injuries as in fire except the language. Small children, disabled people and pregnant woman should be treated first but it depends on how bad the injury is.

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