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Procedures for communicating health and safety

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SYSTEMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR COMMUNICATING HEALTH AND SAFETY

It is important for organisations to understand how to administer health and safety for social care workers in health and social care workplace in accordance to legislative requirements. It is vital for all clients and carers cooperate to categorise health and safety risks and identify the best means to manage them.

Usual changes in health and social care work environments include: health and safety, and it is best to respond to these usual changes which can influence workplace practises. Communication is vital in ensuring the safety or users and staffs. Every worker must the risks faced and prevention methods put in place and any emergency action plans. This information must be provided in concise and non-technical terms for easy understanding.

Good communication between workers and employers includes:

  • Itemisation of all hazardous substances used or produced within the workplace.
  • Having a readily available Safety Data Sheets for any confidential hazardous substances in use.
  • Converting any useful information from Safety Data Sheets into workplace information that provides specific instructions on handling substances that are in constant use.
  • Ensuring proper labelling of hazardous substances, with hazard warnings for physical and health hazards.
  • Communicating the outcome of risk assessments.
  • Regular enquiries from workers about probable health and safety issues.
  • Providing workers with all applicable instructions, lessons and training on the hazardous substances available in the place of work, and the safety measures they should take to guard themselves and other staffs.
  • Making sure that every worker has the knowledge of appropriate usage of every control measures provided, who problems should be reported to, and what should be done in the occurrence of a mishap concerning hazardous substances.

Management Responsibilities of Health and Safety relating to Organisational Structures.

Under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, it is the obligation for an employer (host employer, contractor, and service provider) to ensure, so far as is reasonably viable, a healthy and safe workplace for themselves, their workers, including agency staff and subcontractors, and anyone else in the workplace.

To meet up with these obligations, service providers must carry out a risk assessment in the care home, before service provision of any kind clients, to discover probable hazards and put suitable controls in place to reduce the threat of injury or illness for clients, carers and other employees. Figure 1 below outlines the five- step risk management process the risk assessment must follow. This assessment must be done in alliance with service users and their families and every other involved client. Developing client’s care plan must be done identifying suitable control measures.

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Management has certain responsibilities to employees working in the home environment and should:

  • Communicate plainly and identify with what services are to be provided.
  • Consider supplementary services before being performed.
  • Evaluate any activity that may have altered to guarantee the controls are still working or need to be modified.
  • Document on a daily basis the monitoring of the service using various methods especially where a particular client has various service providers or community workers.

Managers should engage in the following to ensure quality control in areas of health and safety:

  • Perform regular audits to guarantee effective controls are in use.
  • Evaluate client’s condition and the work settings on a regular basis.
  • Promote timely reporting of hazards, incidents and early symptoms.
  • Check with with staff and follow-up on issues raised.
  • Ensure suitable staffing by reviewing staffing levels.
  • Providing visibly distinct job descriptions, procedures and policies.
  • Ensuring required competencies of managers.
  • Managing staffs exposure to occupational stress.
  • Providing information to clients about expected behaviour and its effects to service provision.
  • Evaluating organisational and performance management systems.
  • Putting policies and procedures in place for controlling conflict and workplace harassment.
  • Providing staff training and approach on dealing with workloads and handling conflicts and job rotation.
  • Sustaining an unbiased relationship and proper boundaries with clients.
  • Providing relevant therapy services for employees.
  • Declining or transforming client services if in high risk environment.

APPROPRIATE HEALTH AND SAFETY PRIORITIES FOR SPECIFIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE WORKPLACE SETTING

Employers have a common obligation under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to guarantee, so far as is logically practical, the health, safety and welfare of their workforce. These policies intend to make certain that work settings meet the health, safety and welfare desires of every employee, including individuals with disabilities. Most of the systems involve things to be ‘suitable’. Regulation 2(3) makes it clear that things should be suitable for anyone including those with disabilities. Where essential, parts of the work settings, including in particular doors, stairways, showers, passages, basins, sinks, toilets, bathrooms and workstations, should be made reachable for disabled persons.

Health

Ventilation

Workplaces need to be effectively ventilated. Fresh, hygienic air should circulate and can be from a suitable source outside the work setting, unpolluted by discharges from any process outlets like chimneys and flues, and be disseminated through every room.

Temperatures in indoor workplaces

Individual preference complicates specification of a satisfactory thermal environment for everyone. For organisations with mainly desk activities like offices, the temperature should usually be no less than 16 °C. If the job involves physical effort it should be no less than 13 °C (unless other regulations require less temperature).

Lighting

Lighting should be adequate to permit people to work and move around in safety. If essential, local lighting should be supplied at certain workstations and areas of particular hazards such as passage way to the basement. Lighting and light fixtures should not cause any hazard. Automatic emergency lighting, motorized by an autonomous source, should be supplied in case of sudden loss of power that would generate a risk.

Cleanliness and waste materials

Every workplace and the furnishings, equipments, surfaces of floors, walls and ceilings and fittings must be in clean and hygienic condition. Cleaning and the taking away of waste have to be carried out by a compulsorily effective means. Waste must be stored in appropriate containers.

Workstations and seating

Workstations should be fit for the individuals using them for the job. Employees should be capable of exiting workstations quickly in an emergency. If work must be done in a sitting position, seats should be made suitable for those using them for the kind of work they do. Seating should provide sufficient support for the lower back, and footrests should be available for employees who are unable to place their feet flat on the floor.

Safety

Maintenance

The workplace, and certain tools, devices and equipments should be properly retained in competent operational order for health, safety and welfare. Such protection is mandatory for mechanical ventilation systems; apparatus and devices which pose risk to health, safety or welfare in the event of faults; and equipment and devices proposed to avert or reduce danger.

Floors and traffic routes

The term ‘Traffic route’ is used for any route for pedestrian traffic and/or vehicles, and includes any fixed ladders, gateway, stairs, passage, and doorway, loading bay or ramp. There must be adequate traffic routes, of plenty distance across and headroom, to permit individuals and vehicles to flow effortlessly and safely.

Windows

Operable windows, ventilators and skylights must be able to open and close freely or adjusted safely. In an open position, windows should not be of any unwarranted risk to anyone. Ventilators should be designed so for safe cleaning.

Doors and gates

Doors and gates must be properly built and integrated with safety devices were appropriate. Swinging doors and gates and traditional hinged doors on central traffic ways should have a translucent viewing panel.

Escalators and moving walkways

Escalators and moving walkways should operate in safety, be fitted with the required safety devices. They must be equipped with emergency and panic controls that can be easily identified and are readily accessible.

REFERENCES

  1. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Commencement No.1) Order 1974, 1974/1439, art.2(a)/ Sch.1

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