Describe how legislation, policies and procedures promote the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting.
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Unit 3 - Health, safety and security Task 3 P2- Outline how legislation polices and procedures relating to health, safety and security influence health and social care settings. M1- Describe how legislation, policies and procedures promote the safety of individuals in a health or social care setting. Health, safety and security issues are extremely important in health and social care sectors in order to protect patients, service users and also those working within the sectors. The country is governed by legislation and regulations to ensure that guidelines are followed to enforce safety and security within an organisation. Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body. Before a piece of legislation becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as legislation while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to authorize, to proscribe, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict. The Data Protection Act 1998 is an example of a piece of legislation, the purpose of the 1998 Act is to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of living individuals, and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of their personal data. It puts in place duties on employers/employees to ensure confidential and appropriate handling of 'sensitive personal data', sensitive personal data includes information such as a person's name, date of birth, address, marital status, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan and medication.
The term is not normally used to denote what is actually done; this is normally referred to as a procedure. Policies can be different within different working environments and organisations although all policies will relate to legislation, for example polices may be in place within a health and care environment for the correct disposal of medicines/needles, whereas a building working environment may have policies in place for dealing with the disposal of asbestos. An example of a policy relating to health and social care could be a health and safety policy. All organisations employing five or more people must have a written Health and Safety Policy statement. The policy should cover all aspects of the organisation and be relevant to all employees. A Health and Safety Policy demonstrates how seriously an organisation takes its health and safety responsibilities. A good policy will show how the organisation protects those who could be affected by its activities. The policy should be of an appropriate length and relevance to the activities and size of the organisation. The policy should include a statement section (often a single page) detailing how safety will be managed and that demonstrates the organisation's commitment to health and safety, an organisation section that details where responsibilities are allocated and how employees fit into the overall safety management system and an arrangements section that contains details of how specific activities and functions are managed.
Legislation, policies and procedures are all essential to have and to follow within an organisation, especially in the healthcare sectors, as it promotes the health, safety and security of all individuals involved within the organisation. They help to make the workplace and environment safer and prevent risks to health as they provide; adequate first aid facilities, information about any potential hazards involved within the workplace, how to store and use chemicals and other substances used by the firm, set up emergency plans, make sure that ventilation, temperature, lighting, and toilet, washing and rest facilities all meet health, safety and welfare requirements, check that the right work equipment is provided and is properly used and regularly maintained, prevent or control exposure to substances that may damage people's health, take precautions against the risks caused by flammable or explosive hazards, electrical equipment, noise and radiation, avoid potentially dangerous work involving manual handling and if it can't be avoided, take precautions to reduce the risk of injury as they provide protective clothing or equipment free of charge, if risks can't be removed or adequately controlled by any other means ensure that the right warning signs are provided, that reports of certain accidents, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences are documented and that all required information, instructions, training and supervision is provided. All of these laws, rules and guidelines contribute to the promotion of health, safety and security and ensure that the environment is not only safe but also a pleasant environment.
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