Explain the legislative framework for health, safety and risk management in the work setting
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering for health, safety and risk management in the work setting. The Health and Safety Executive, with local and other enforcing authorities are responsible for enforcing the Act and a number of other Acts in relation the work setting.
The legislation places responsibility on the employers and employees to ensure the safeguarding of health, safety and welfare of all employees, this is done by ensuring that all equipment is safe, stored correct, maintained to the guidelines provided and that all staff have the required training, supervision and information to operate such equipment within a safe working environment.
If a company has five or more employees it is their duty to provide a health and safety policy and procedure document which is accessible to all employees.
The legislation works alongside the following polices and procedures: Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999(amended 2003), RIDDOR 1995, COSSH 1994(amended 2002), Manual Handling Operations 1992, Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Regulations 2006, Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005. COSSH 1994(amended 2002), Manual Handling Operations 1992, Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Regulations 2006, Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005.
GS Social Care Solutions HR02 – Health & Safety Policy and Procedure states;
– ‘COSHH –forms part of our induction training and is incorporated into the individual Service User accommodation risk assessment, this then forms part of the Service Users Care Plan.
• For the purpose of COSHH, a substance is considered as hazardous if one or more of the following criteria are met:
Substances listed as very toxic, harmful, corrosive or irritant;
Substances for which maximum exposure limit (MEL) is specified in the COSHH schedule; A micro-organism hazardous to health;
Substances airborne as concentrations of dust;
Any other substances, which create comparable hazards.
. RIDDOR –All managers Ensure that each new employee is given induction training, including the precautions and procedures appropriate to their specific jobs. All new members of staff will be shown the location of first aid boxes, fire exits and firefighting equipment; ?
. Ensure that all subordinates are aware of the health and safety policy (a copy is on the organisation notice boards); ?
. Keep up to date with health and safety matters applicable to the operations of the organisation; ?
. Investigate all accidents with the assistance of the Safety Officer (when applicable), with a view to ?prevention of a further occurrence; ?
. Ensure that good housekeeping standards are applied; ?
. Review periodically all new and existing equipment with reference to mechanical and operational safety and, in particular, the location of all equipment bearing in mind all health and safety factors; ?
. Carry out regular safety checks and audits.
. Supervisors have the responsibility to provide leadership and to promote responsible attitudes towards health and safety. Supervisors must ensure that all tasks carried out in their sections are performed with the utmost regard for the health and safety of all those involved. ?
. Accidents, and other areas of concern with regard to health and safety, must be reported immediately to the Department Manager, Safety Officer or Registered Manager. ?
. Particular regard will be paid to:
Equipment and its usage to ensure that they are safe and do not endanger health; ?
Provision of safety arrangements for the handling, storage and movement of materials, equipment and substances; ?
Supplying sufficient information, instructions, training and supervision such as to enable employees to avoid hazards and contribute positively to their own health and safety at work; ?
Inspecting, on a regular basis, equipment such as lighting, passageways, fire alarms, fire escapes, fire extinguishers, first aid facilities and work practices, in order to ensure their efficiency and maintenance. ?
. All employees have a responsibility to do everything they can to prevent injury to themselves, their fellow employees and others affected by their actions or omissions at work. ?
. They are expected to follow company procedures in particular, to report any incidents which have or may have led to injury or damage. To neglect this responsibility can lead to prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive. ?
. Any employee who is faced with a conflict between the demands of safety and their job should raise the matter immediately with the Supervisor. ?
Manual handling operations regulations –
. Staff must not carry out moving and handling operations unless the operation has been assessed for risk, an opinion has been formed and recorded by an appropriate person, a recommended handling technique identified, and the technique communicated to all staff. ?
. Moving and handling form part of the induction training where general guidelines are given on the prevention of back injury and the importance of risk assessment of both individual lifting/handling operations and environmental consideration. ?
. Staff who find themselves alone with a Service User should never attempt to lift/move a Service User who has been assessed as requiring two people to perform such an operation. Advice should be sought immediately and the Service User should be made comfortable/safe until assistance arrives. ?
Provision and use of work equipment regulations –
. Electrical equipment is normally safe, provided it is properly installed and regularly inspected; ?
. Always remember that water and liquids are conductors of electricity, and be aware that their association with faults caused by, for example, damaged cables, flexes, plugs and sockets, the overloading of circuits and fuses, etc. would make the shock more severe; ?
. Therefore, you should:
NEVER touch electrical equipment with wet hands, move any portable electrical equipment without disconnecting it from the mains, make electrical repairs or do other electrical work unless you are an authorised person; ?
KEEP electrical supply cables and flexes away from wet areas or from where they will be damaged by being walked over or knocked when moving equipment about; ?
ALWAYS switch off all equipment when not required, unless continuous operation is necessary; ?
Disconnect electrical equipment at night by removing the plug from the socket, again unless ?continuous operation is necessary and/or instructed otherwise; ?
Report defective equipment to the Registered Manager’
1.2 Analyse how policies, procedures and practices in own setting meet health, safety and risk management requirements
GS Social Care Solutions Ltd uses QCS (Quality Compliance Systems) this is an online portal in which all staff (office and support workers) have access to via their own login, given at induction, the system contains a comprehensive set of policies and procedures as well as protocols care plans and supporting documentation, these are updated on a regular basis. When any policies are updates all users are sent notifications and a brief list of the changes that have been made. We also have copies of all policies and procedures in print form in the office, we have a designated person who updates these as required, if any polices are amended she updates us in monthly staff meetings, HR then feed this back to the support workers.
Our company Health & Safety Policy and Procedure Reviewed: 25/08/2016 Amended: 05/08/2015 page 1-2 reads:
“GS Social Care Solutions Ltd recognises that they have a responsibility to ensure that reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions which are safe, healthy and comply with all statutory requirements and codes of practice relating to the organisation’s particular activities. ?
GS Social Care Solutions Ltd will, so far as is reasonably practicable, pay particular attention to:
The provision and maintenance of plans and systems of work that are safe and healthy; ?
Arrangements for ensuring safety and the reduction of risks to an acceptable level in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances; ?
The provision of information, instruction, training and supervision such as to promote the health and safety at work of employees and others; ?
The control of the place of work maintaining it in a safe condition; ?
The provision of a safe means of access to and egress from the place of work. ?
This policy will be reviewed at least annually.”
We have a designated individual Jacqueline Webb (overseen by Registered Manager Dorothy Gould), who is responsible for ensuring that any updates to health and safety requirements or risk management are put in place and this is passed on within the staff team, we have daily handovers in which any of these issues/changes would be brought up by the appointed people. We also have a maintenance man who are responsible for attending to any health and safety issues and we have a book in which we write any causes for concern, unless this was of urgent nature, at the point we would contact the appointed people.
2.3 Explain the actions to take when health, safety and risk management, procedures and practices are not being complied with
If any staff member feels as though health, safety and risk management procedures or practices are not being complied with, they should take immediate action. The first point of call would be to speak with the responsible individual, they ensure that all risk assessments are up to date and compliant to regulations. The responsible person will then contact the maintenance team who will take appropriate steps to amend any problems. If a staff member is not complying with the company policies and procedures this will be addressed by a manager in formal supervision or immediately by the management, this could then lead to further training to ensure this issue does not arise again.
If a staff member continued to breach procedures this would then lead to an investigation meeting where evidence would be gathered, it would then be a management decision as to whether it was then brought to a disciplinary hearing. A disciplinary could lead to many outcomes – dismissal, additional training, improvement or monitoring plans.
4.3 Evaluate own practice in promoting a balanced approach to risk management
As Business Admin Officer, I am not directly involved in creating and amending risk assessments, however as a company, the care coordinators are in regular contact with the support workers and families of the people we care for. Weekly and monthly discussions take place with the young people to ascertain their views and requests and the staff teams then are consulted. This is also discussed by myself in staff supervisions, this is an opportunity for staff to bring up any concerns they have with a client’s care, I then feed this back to the care coordinators. There are times where certain requests cannot be met, however this is always discussed with the client and we then come to a compromise. Myself or care coordinators would seek further advice from management or sometimes each other.
4.4 Analyse how helping others to understand the balance between risk and rights improves practice
Helping others to understand the balance between risk and rights greatly improves practice, as it shows that you are not just making decisions, but you are consulting people about why a certain decision may have to have been made and explaining the reasons for this. Direct work with young people or formal supervision with staff members, creates a forum for discussion and allows for reasoning, explanations and understanding to take place. Once somebody understands the reason why a decision may have to have been made, they then begin to understand that it is for the benefit of themselves and in the best interests of all concerned. This in turn greatly improves practice as it creates a more open environment for future discussion to take place and compromising to be achieved.
5.2 Evaluate the health, safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices within the work setting.
All health safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices within the work setting are evaluated regularly. The risk assessments regarding the young people are a live document and may fluctuate on a regular basis, according to the needs and current affairs of the young people. Any updated information is recorded appropriately and all necessary parties are informed – (parents, social worker, young person) the staff team is then given guidance on how to ensure that any updates are adhered to through the communication log book and daily handovers. Health and safety policies and procedures are reviewed/evaluated annually, or before if required and any areas of concern are addressed without delay and reported appropriately work setting.
*I have attached our full HR02 – Health & Safety Policy and