HEALTH AND SAFETY IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE
TASK 1 - ESSAY WRITING
Q1. Reviewing procedures, policies and systems that are used for communication and also to maintain health and safety in the workplace as per the legislative requirements (AC 1.1)
With regards to legislations, within the UK, there are particular policies that need to be considered in order to understand the health and social care aspects within the scope of the workplace. Some of these policies are as follow:
The Health and Safety at work Act, 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, 1992 are the main regulations that are likely to be followed within the scope of the Health and Social Care industry. Each of these legislative policies becomes critical in order to be followed within the scope of the health and safety at social care workplace .
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the most important regulation in the UK. All the employers are required by this act to ensure that they provide health, safety at work and also facilitate employee welfare within the workplace. Additionally, it provides information on the ways in which operations and maintenance of equipment can be done in a safe way.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 defines the responsibilities that need to be carried out by the employers in order to assess the risks that might arise throughout the course of the work activities.
Apart from the above two regulations, Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, 1992 is also followed in the Health and Social Care sector in the UK. This particular regulation focuses on the need to ensure that the workplace is safe and the tasks that are required to be carried out in the case of emergencies.
Within the Health and Social Care sector, these regulations are important to be followed along with others including Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002, Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 1995, Heath and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, Food Safety Act 1990, Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulation 1995 and Food Safety (Temperature Control) Regulation 1995. These are important to be followed since the Health and Social Care employees are consistently exposed to the handling of medicines, harmful substances . Moreover, they are more prone to come in both direct and indirect contacts with patients which require their employers to follow the regulations.
Q2. Assessing the responsibilities specified in health and social care at workplace in order to manage health and safety in connection with organisation structure (AC 1.2)
The main roles and responsibilities of the health care employers are inclusive and holistic when considering the aspects of safety at workplace. Some of the roles and responsibilities include:
The maintenance of premises by ensuring that the people working on the site and the workplace are safe.
Before any work is assigned to the health care workers, it is important that those workers are informed about the potential hazards. For example, if a patient with infectious or contagious disease needs to be treated, a health care worker should be informed about the same and provided with the appropriate equipment and precautions.
Consider all the legislations with regards to the maintenance of health and safety at the workplace including the Health and Safety at work Act, 1974, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, 1992, Heath and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, Food Safety Act 1990, Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulation 1995, Food Safety (Temperature Control) Regulation 1995 and other.
There are some responsibilities of the health care employees as well. These have been noted as under:
For the supervisors it is important that staffs being supervised are working under proper work environments and to communicate with upper management in case of discrepancies.
The staffs should be alert about the hazards and also should be able to communicate the same to the supervisors and the upper management
The staffs should also cooperate with the Health and Safety committees in order to gain knowledge about the appropriate health and safety protocols that might be followed.
The organisational structure has been considered by noting the roles and responsibilities for the management as well as the supervisor and the staffs. This provides an understanding of the hierarchical nature of the health and social care sector
Q3. Contribution towards healthcare workers in order to promote health and safety mainly for the service-user and the people working with (AC 3.3)
My understanding of the needs for promoting a healthy, safe and positive culture is what I think would be critical in terms of the contribution that I make within the workspace. In this regard, it becomes important however, to understand that the evaluation of one’s own contribution needs to be considered from both personal and professional viewpoints. In doing so, it becomes critical how one ought to apply their personal viewpoints to the problems that have been considered as being important while making the contributions.
For example, I was working in a service organisation where the equipment that I was provided with was not working properly. This would have had serious safety problems. But I considered it to be important and brought the same to the notice of my seniors. In doing so, I personally understood and made a critical contribution to the promotion of a safe and positive work environment which was important for me to understand how I could enhance the overall aspect of the work environment and also uplift the same.
Range of sources has been used in order to develop this study. More importantly, it has been noted that range of sources that have been utilised draw from an extensive breadth of literature which is crucial to be considered as part of the changes that need to take place within the scope of health and safety.
TASK 2 - CASE STUDY 1
Q5. Effects of the non-compliance along with legislation of health and safety in the social care workplace (AC 2.4)
Not complying with health and safety policies can be crucial. As per the Health and Safety Executive, not complying with the health and safety provisions can lead to the prosecution of the organisational director, manager or anybody in similar capacities under Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 section 37. The most important role is probably of that of the directors who cannot neglect their responsibilities in complying with the health and safety standards. In this context, if any director is found guilty, they as per the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 section 2(1), the court can mandate the disqualification of the individual.
The impact of not complying with such standards is more stringent in the event that such an act of negligence leads to death. This is governed by the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. The maximum penalty for such a case where a grossly negligent behaviour on the part of the management leads to death of the employees is unlimited fine and also a publicity order to publish details of the conviction and fine .
Q7. Risk assessment based on service user's needs and organisational decision-making (AC 2.1)
Information from risk assessments can be used for care planning and organisational decision making. This can be noted in the ways in which the participation of the patients and the care givers are considered with equal importance. In this context, it becomes important to understand how the information gathered from the risk assessment can be effectively used in ascertaining the care goals as well as to make the best use of the resources.
In the event that a patient is unable to decide what care he/she needs, it becomes crucial for the service user to act in the best interest of the patient. Noteworthy in this regard is the way in which the patient’s view can change and the decisions can be impacted by the actions taken. Hence, care planning should be treated as the first step towards developing an effective decision making procedure.
Organisational decision making is somewhat more complex. This is because in addition to the care planning process, the organisations need to consider how changes can be brought about within the scope of the operational capacities as well. Therefore, organisational decision making needs to be effective in terms of both clinical as well as non-clinical aspects. The clinical aspects include providing prescriptions, developing treatment plans and determining diagnosis procedures. On the other hand, the non-clinical aspects include administration, maintaining cooperation within the organisation, defining the roles and responsibilities of each employees and staffs and also to ensure that workplace safety and health legislations are met .
The effective approaches to study can be applied in order to understand the impact of health and safety at workplaces. The descriptive approach has been chosen in order to consider all the aspects of health and welfare within the health and social aspect of the changes. In this consideration, the comprehensive nature of the study can be noted.
TASK 3: CASE STUDY 2
Q9. Two effective Health and Safety policies in promoting positive and healthy practice (AC 3.2)
Promoting a safe, healthy and positive work culture is dependent on the ways in which a holistic management approach can be developed. In this regard, the effectiveness of risk management has been noted. For example, design flaws in equipment or operations or poor working conditions would invariably lead to problems at work. Hence, the attitudes and values of the work place need to be in line with the approach that is followed at the workplace.
The development of a safe and positive culture is again related to the development of shared values. The belief of each of the individuals working at the organisation and the ways in which they interact are critical to the behaviours that are permeated throughout the length of the workplace. Additionally, the employees need to be trained and communicated properly in order that their weaknesses do not limit the organisational effectiveness.
On the other hand, a negative and unsafe work culture promotes the idea that not maintaining and meeting health and safety policies is the norm. Accordingly, the employees and the individuals would work in the same way which would eventually reflect badly on the image of the organisation.
What can be done in this regard is to lay stress on consistently promoting and applying new ways of thinking and coming up with solutions such that a safer working environment can be provided and developed. This can also be done by communicating effectively with the employees and the staffs and understanding their levels of commitment towards developing and supporting a positive work culture. Risk taking behaviours should also be monitored such that improvement plans can be developed in accordance to the amount of support that an employee is intending to provide .
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