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HEALTH AND SAFETY

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Introduction

HEALTH AND SAFETY The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 "brought together a range of legislation covering health and safety since the first act was introduced in 1802" (Moonie et al, 1994:232). Although the act emphasises the responsibility of the employer on health and safety care workers must also have an awareness and understanding of their health and safety responsibilities in relation to relevant legislation such as * The Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 * The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999 * Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), 2002 * Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences * Manual Handling Regulations, 1992 (amended 2002) * Health and Safety First Aid Regulations, 1981 Important ethical issues arise with the exercise of the above duties through the Codes of Practice and the Human Rights Act 1998. The Codes of Practice help classify the quality of care clients can expect if they receive care services and they can be used as a source for measuring the quality of care provided. Issues arise because they involve questions of the restriction of liberty and adjudication by health and social care workers, between the sometimes competing interests and wishes of individuals and their families and communities. ...read more.

Middle

also explains that employee's duties are to: * Co-operate with the employer on all health and safety matters * Inform the supervisor about health and safety matters that concern you * Follow all work and safety procedures A risk assessment "is as much an art as it is a science and contains a strong element of detective work in gathering relevant information" (Kemshall et al, 1997:164). It is conducted by a competent person who takes note of anything that could cause harm such as a slippery floor or harmful chemicals. Managers and supervisors who are risk averse and are at the blunt end of the organisation etc then review a preliminary report. The blunt end refers to management, regulators who are responsible for policies which are lead by productivity goals and often contain failures which kick in at the sharp end resulting in accidents / incidents. The risk of each hazard is analyzed in terms of its likelihood for causing harm or its potential for serious injury. A risk rating scale is used to help decide which hazards are a top priority. ...read more.

Conclusion

Risk management is about ensuring that all foreseeable risks have been assessed and that suitable control measures have been implemented. The procedures for risk assessment, and the care team's responsibilities, provide the basic foundation for a systematic risk management approach. Risk management should be integrated within the assessment of needs of individuals and ongoing Care Plan reviews. In order to prevent errors in health care settings, it may be helpful to understand how those errors occur. One analogy used to explain the error process is called the "Swiss Cheese Model" shown in Appendix A, this model was designed by James Reason in 1990. The idea behind this is that the swiss cheese is cut into slices and each slice within the healthcare setting acts as a barrier to mistakes. However each slice has holes within it that errors can fall through, however if you have several slices of cheese somewhere along the line that mistake will run into a dead-end. It happens occasionally that the mistake is allowed to pass through each piece of cheese and actually arrive at the patient's bedside. At this point, a critical mistake can occur, which may or may not result in serious injury to the patient. ?? ?? ?? ?? Word Count: 891 ...read more.

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