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Explain potential hazards in health and social care settings

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Task 1 - Explain potential hazards in health and social care settings It is the responsibility every employer and employee to comply with the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Order Northern Ireland 1978 and subsequent legislation and to provide and maintain a healthy, safe working environment. Failure to comply with requirement can result in unsafe practices. I will list and discuss these below: Hazards can be identified by the following categories. Chemical - chemicals that are potentially toxic or irritating to the body, including medications, solutions and gases. Some examples of these at home are cleaning agents such as bleach, in hospital, formaldehyde, glutaradehyde, and waste anaesthetic gases. At home medications left lying around especially for children, create risks. In hospitals risks are from, unsafe storage of medication and handling of, hazardous drugs such as cytotoxic agents, pentamidine and ribavirin. Psychological - these are factors or situations encountered either in the home or at work that create or increase stress, emotional strain and any other interpersonal problems. Examples of these are, stress in the home caused by a variety of reasons for example, poor marital relations, debt, poor living conditions and physical abuse. At work shift work, workplace violence, inadequate staffing heavy workload, increases in patient dependency. ...read more.


When working in another organisations premises The member of staff would be expected to comply with the organisations Health and Safety standards. The organisation should inform them of these standards in writing and to any health and safety risks which they might be exposed to. The member of staff also should inform the organisation of any risks, which may affect the organisation as a result of the nature of the work they have been contacted to carry out. Any staff not directly employed by the organisation should be subject to any pre-employment requirements for example health screening. Staff visiting from the organisation must be informed of the health and safety polices in particular what to do in the event of a fire or major incident this is also required for volunteers. Working practices which have potential hazards There are certain activities, procedures, working techniques and use of materials or equipment, which may create potential hazards these, are. General Working Environment - Poor design of premises, poor lighting, inadequate space and comfort to perform duties, poor hygiene and cleanliness. Health Problems - Poor control of substances hazardous to health, risks of acquiring an infection by not introducing infection control measures, poor health surveillance and Occupational Health services, poor conditions in relation to visual display units. ...read more.


Injuries - for example by using poor manual handling techniques, sharps injuries, unsafe and poor use of equipment for example repetitive strain injuries. Bomb scares - if there is not a major evacuation plan in place this creates a risk to all. Intrusions - planned procedures are required on how to deal with intrusions and what to do. Policies and procedures would also be required to identify and reduce the risks of lost property i.e. keys, money, missing persons, individuals locked out of premises. Risks The employer needs to have a comprehensive risk assessment framework in place to identify and minimise any risks. These risks assessments should be carried out in all areas of works and especially in relation to risk of contamination, injury, possibility of danger or damage to the environment and goals. Accidents Accidents may be caused by poor practices i.e. wet floors, not cleaning up spillages, poor maintenance of equipment. Falls may also occur when people have certain illnesses, which make them weaker or affect their balance. If someone is confused they may not realise the dangers, which can result in accidents. Sensory problems i.e. someone not hearing or seeing a warning or signs can cause accidents. If proper facilities for disabled people are not in place this can cause accidents. This task has looked at the potential hazards in Health and Social care settings in order to reduce these risks the government has introduced laws to ensure safe working environments and practices. Reference: www.hsegov.uk ...read more.

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On the whole the essay looks at some of the areas of health and safety in care settings. There is far too much material included that is not relevant to the title and the writer should ensure that they stay focused on the title. More examples are needed and a more detailed discussion of dangers individual groups of service users may face.

Marked by teacher Sam Morran 01/12/2012

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