Health and Safety in the Health and Social Workplace

Health and Safety in Health and Social Workplaces

Name of Student



TOC o “1-3” h z u HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651623” Introduction PAGEREF _Toc409651623 h 3

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651624” Health and Safety Legislation in Health and Social Care Facilities PAGEREF _Toc409651624 h 3

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651625” Health and Safety Priorities PAGEREF _Toc409651625 h 5

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651626” Impact of Health and Safety Requirements for Customers and Practitioners PAGEREF _Toc409651626 h 7

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651627” Principles of Care Planning PAGEREF _Toc409651627 h 7

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651628” Risk Assessment Template PAGEREF _Toc409651628 h 8

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651629” A Care Plan from the Risk Assessment PAGEREF _Toc409651629 h 9

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651630” Impact of Health and Safety Policy PAGEREF _Toc409651630 h 10

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651631” Response to Dilemmas in Applying Policies PAGEREF _Toc409651631 h 10

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651632” Effects with Noncompliance with Legislation in Safety and Healthy PAGEREF _Toc409651632 h 11

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651633” Monitoring Health and Safety in the Care Facility PAGEREF _Toc409651633 h 11

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651634” Monitoring and Review of Policies and Practices PAGEREF _Toc409651634 h 11

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651635” Effectiveness of Health and Safety Policies and Practices PAGEREF _Toc409651635 h 12

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651636” Evaluation of Individual Contribution PAGEREF _Toc409651636 h 13

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651637” Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc409651637 h 14

HYPERLINK l “_Toc409651638” References PAGEREF _Toc409651638 h 15

IntroductionHealth and social care facilities are at the heart of clients in regard to the provision of care. However, they are areas in which safety and health are a concern despite being at the helm of care provision. In order to address the challenges that can arise, there are policies and laws on the safety of the practitioners (staff) and the service users. In this case, a care facility called Christy is put in focus. The care facility is located in the heart of East London. It provides both health and social care services to people with diverse backgrounds. The implementation of policies regarding health and safety are very crucial. In addition, the impact of the policies and practices of the facility will be given a center stage. As a nurse at the facility, I have discussed and compiled various reports upon being delegated to do so by the management staff.

Health and Safety Legislation in Care Facilities

Health and social workplaces are responsible for the provision of care to different clients from diversified places in terms of religion, race and residence among others. The care facilities that offer the care have put systems, policies and procedures in place for the passing of information concerning health and safety. The safety and health of the service users and employees are important and paramount. The systems in place include the structural ones that will guide how the information will be controlled. According to the Imperial College of London (2015), the structure should comprise of the organization council at the top, which controls all communications on matters of health and safety. This council is followed by the principal officers who coordinate departments that work together. Then, the departmental heads follow, and their role is to report information to the above principal heads. In each department, there are employees who have the most important role of passing information from the point of service with the care receivers to the above management.

The law requires that all health and social care facilities adopt measures that promote the safety and health of the care receivers and the employees. The policies in this care home are in line with the legislation. The Health and Safety Authority (2012) explains that all the employers should ensure that the safety and health of whoever is in their institution are upheld. Anyone who gets injured or faces the wrath of unsafe practices should get some appropriate compensation that will be determined by the committees put in place. The management should ensure that safety measures are in place to protect not only the employees, but also the service users (Health and Safety Executive [HSE] 2005). For instance, the care facility should install fire alarms and extinguishers in addition to providing information to the people in the institution on how to respond a fire emergency. However, the case that one has a problem, there must be guidelines on how to respond to the health hazard that is already in place. For instance, patients who fall on the floor in the hospital and get injured should file a report in writing through the immediate care providers.

On the other hand, the employees have a great role in safety and health management. Employees are supposed to provide reasonable care in order to protect their safety and health in their place of work. In doing so, they also have to make sure that in their course of work, their acts don’t cause any harm to the service care receivers and their fellow colleagues (Field and Lohr 1992). That can be achieved when they follow safe procedures in doing their work. In a health care facility, the nurses and doctors should follow aseptic techniques while providing their care to patients so as to minimize nosocomial infections and promote the healing process. Ensuring the use of clean and or sterile equipment has indicated that the infections transfer to patients in the hospitalized patients are reduced to a great deal (Cherney 2013). Cherney asserts that using the technique also protects the health care professionals from getting infections from the sick patients they routinely serve.

In addition to that, employees should work hand in hand with the management, in regard to health and safety in care providing institutions. Cooperation with the employer ensures health and safety in all places of work. Although the employees are supposed to work hard by ensuring they do procedures that promote safety, they also need to report unsafe cases that the management will respond over. Barrach and Small (2000), found that most care providers in health and social care homes who report on safety have fewer cases compared to those who aren’t used to such. Once the information is received from the reports by the management, immediate investigation follows. Upon ascertaining the same, then corrective measures should be applied, which may include compensation for the affected person and also implementation of measures to prevent such an occurrence in the future. The reporting and communication of the unsafe practices and incidences follow the established structures from below the hierarchy to the top. The top also brings feedback downwards. In short, the communication systems in place enhances a lot of information flow. In minimizing the unsafe practices, the management ensures proper and continuous training of its workers so as to promote safe and efficient practices at work. In regard to new employees, the management does the most appropriate orientation about the safety of both the service users and the employees themselves. Proper orientation of employees with clear illustrations of safe practices in a new organization promotes safety (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [ACSQHC] 2008). There are priorities like accidents and emergencies that the health and social care facilities put forward among others.

Health and Safety PrioritiesIn the health and social care facility in the heart of East London, there are health and safety priorities that need to be implemented. In this section, a case study will be used to illustrate some incidences that predispose the priorities, not only to the knowledge of the employees, but also the stakeholders. Mr. Fred, a safety specialist, came to the care facility to assess the practices and emergency preparedness concerning the safety and health of all the institutional members. When he entered the facility, he found out that due to the shortage of land, there wasn’t adequate space in the compound where people could rest. In addition, most people were just lying next to a building that was still under construction.

He then went to the office of the chairperson of the Emergency and Safety Council. Michael introduced himself as the agent of the national department responsible for assessing the safety and health preparedness for institutions that offer both health and social care. After that, he requested to be taken around to assess the situation on the ground. While he was moving, he found clear instructions on what to do in the case of a fire emergency. There were notices all over, with descriptions of the directions to run to once a fire erupts. On the same line, he found that all the areas of the facility were installed with fire extinguishers. They were all in good functioning condition and adequately filled. However, the well-installed fire alarms were not functional. They were incompletely installed, although the chairperson, Dr. Adams, assured that all would be well in a week’s time.

When it came to the records for the patients, there were many complaints about some patients who fell into the flow, yet Adams had no idea since the cases weren’t reported. Proper communication is a remedy for many problems that can concern the patients’ safety ( HYPERLINK “” Coiera 2006, p. 83). More so, the patients’ files indicated that some patients, although few, had hospital-acquired infections. That indicates that there were infections either from other patients or due to septic practices. However, the hospital was running well with all members whom Mr. Fred had an interaction with saying that the care facility had clear strategies to handle safety issues. He agreed with that from the evidence he had already seen in the chairperson’s office.

In the analysis of the case, it is clear that the safety unit is well equipped for handling fire emergencies. However, priorities in the installation and maintenance of well functioning systems need to be given an upper hand. The facility should ensure that the alarms are always functional. The presence of alarms during an emergency helps alert people to the actual or potential hazard, thus a quick response from all the involved people (Imperial College of London 2015). In addition, the priority of the facility is to buy more land so that there can be space even to create fire assembly points. More so, the availability of land will prevent other problems that are risky to the health of the occupants of the institution. For instance, people will never be resting near the building under construction, because, in the case of a collapse, many can die or sustain injuries.

Similarly, the hospital should ensure that all cases regarding safety are reported. Although there are clear guidelines, the cases should be reported appropriately to the management and appropriate action taken. On the same line, training of the care providers should be made a priority, especially in areas of hospital disease prevention and aseptic practice. That can help reduce hospital-acquired infections. The use of aseptic technique in the provision of care results in the protection of fatal infections between the care provider and the patient and also among themselves (Cherney 2013).

Impact of Health and Safety Requirements for Customers and PractitionersPrinciples of Care PlanningIn care planning, the individuals who receive the care must be identified in addition to identification of the potential or actual problems. Some of the principles include identification of those who have the actual or potential problems (National Patient Safety Agency 2007). Then, it’s good to have the indicators of why the care plan should be formulated. In addition, practitioners who will to the appropriate actions to eliminate the problem should be identified and a procedure of how they will occur put in place. More so, there should be an evaluation of how the plan was implemented and the goals that were achieved in a given duration of time. In the case of a care facility, a risk assessment can be done with findings documented as shown in the template. After the assessment, a care plan formulation follows that guide the implementation of measures to promote health and safety.

Risk Assessment TemplateFacility name: Date of risk assessment:

Hazards People who can be affected What is being done Whose responsibility is it? Starts from when Was is done

Fire Patients, practitioners and visitors Fire extinguisher installations.

Fire alarm installations.

Education on how to respond to fire outbreak cases

Strengthening the fire response unit Management, supervisors, the safety and health council A month ago Still being done up to date

Accidents Patients, practitioners, and visitors Keeping flows dry and clean

Promoting safe needle injection practices

Educating patients who can’t walk to seek for assistance when they want to move. Cleaners, health caregivers, risk educators

Three months ago

Being done up to date

Infections Practitioners and patients Promoting aseptic practices

Practitioners should wear protective, healthy clothes.

Using clean and sterile equipment. Management, practitioners From now on Being done to date

The information from the risk assessment is very influential to both the individuals and the institution. For instance, the organization can decide to formulate policies that are based on the findings from the risk analysis. In the case of fire as a risk, the facility will install fire alarms and extinguishers. Individuals can as well decide to adopt measures, which promote and facilitate safety.

A Care Plan from the Risk Assessment This care plan has used the information from the risk assessment template. The information is key to decision making on what can be done both by the individuals in the facility and the management.

Facility name: Date

Assessment data Risk diagnosis Expected goal Intervention Evaluation

Poor response to fire drills, un-functional fire alarms, poor connections of electric wires in some places, history of fire breaks in the neighborhood.

Risk of fire related to poor connections of electric wires and a history of fire in the neighborhood. Prevent any fire outbreak.

To increase knowledge levels of the members of the facility on how to respond to fire outbreaks Do a thorough connection of electric wires.

Educate all the members of the care facility. Frequent falls of patients, and practitioners on wet floors, history of accidental needle pricks. Risk of accidents related to unsafe injection practices and wet floors. Is to minimize accidents from any action.

Ensure that all floors are dry after cleanliness.

Train practitioners on how to inject and dispose of sharps safely.

Reports of frequent nosocomial infections in the patients.

Risk of infection related to infection transmission between patients and care providers. Eliminate infections that are acquired from the care facility.

Promoting aseptic practices

Practitioners to wear protective, healthy clothes.

Using clean and sterile equipment. Impact of Health and Safety PolicyOne of the aspects of the facility is to ensure that the practitioners provide quality care, which is safe for themselves and their clients (ACSQHC 2008). With this aspect of the policy, a lot of impact to the care facility has been evident. For instance, despite having cases of nosocomial infections up to date, their prevalence has reduced greatly. That is as a result of employing measures to prevent transmission of infections between clients and the practitioners and also among clients themselves. The policy addressed on the measures like use of sterile equipment in the provision of care. More so, the adoption and promotion of aseptic techniques by the practitioners have played a major role. With all this, the facility has gained much reputation as most clients benefit by receiving quality care in addition to minimal chances of getting hospital acquired infections. That has made the patients spent a little cash for the payment of the bills because of spending few days in the facility before recovery.

Response to Dilemmas in Applying PoliciesIn the application and promotion of policies concerning healthy and safety, there can be dilemmas, yet the major aim is to ensure that patients are safe. A good example is when the policy demands patients to seek for assistance when they want to move out of bed, especially when they are very sick. This situation once happened in the facility when a patient decided not to seek for assistance. That meant that his safety was compromised. The policy must be enforced yet it can’t force someone to do so because humans have the right to make their decisions without coercion. According to the Great Britain, (2010), all humans have the basic freedom of making their choice. That brings a problem in such a scenario, in that you can’t force patients because of their rights despite endangering their health and safety. However, the policy implementation cannot be compromised. The facility ensured that the policy is a reality, but no one patient could be victimized or punished due to failure to comply unless otherwise.

Effects with Noncompliance with Legislation in Safety and HealthyThe laws and policies are to be followed by the practitioners and the clients as well. The greatest impact, of failing to comply with the policies is coming into conflict with the law (HSE 2005). According to the HSE (2005), those people who fail to comply with the policies must be prosecuted. Convictions for such offenses result in fines among other punishments. The other effect is risking the health and safety of those in the surrounding. For instance, the failure of a nurse to use a sterile equipment in the implementation of care will risk not only the safety but also the health of the patient. In general, the impact can be great if the policies of health, safety and security aren’t followed to the latter.

Monitoring Health and Safety in the Care FacilityMonitoring and Review of Policies and PracticesThe practices that promote health and safety in the care facility are monitored alongside with the policies. Monitoring is mandated by the Council of Health and Safety. The organization has representatives from all the care-providing departments just to monitor safety practices. They ensure safety of the facility occupants through supervision. In the workplace, the supervisors are endowed with the responsibility of supervising safe practices when the care providers are working. Monitoring by supervision is very important as any deviation from the standard can be corrected (Department of Health 2003). That means that the supervisors can identify unsafe practices and rectify them by involving all the stakeholders who may at one point or the other do the same.

More so, the care facility has numerous assessments to identify unwanted and unsafe practices. As a result, assessment is common, and all the findings are taken to the Council, which takes the appropriate action. More so, the views from the managers and junior staff and the care receivers are always gathered. The information is taken to the council, which acts appropriately. For instance, if the care workers complain about policies, then they may be reviewed after a careful examination has been done to see the validity of doing so. In the review, various stakeholders are involved, including the patients’ representative and the staff. Further ways of monitoring are from the routine reports and service records. A critical analysis of the records can clearly give clarity on how the safety practices are being employed (Health and Safety Executive 2014). An increase in the unsafe practices may force the council to review the policies if need be. For this reason, it is better to monitor policies and practices regarding health and safety so as to minimize or eliminate the harm that institutional occupants may get.

Effectiveness of Health and Safety Policies and PracticesThe policies that are in place for the care facility are effective in regard to the health and safety of both the care providers and the receivers. For instance, the care providers have ensured that they will practice safely for the good of the patients. According to Scott (2009), safe practices are the only way to ensure that both the staff and service users are healthy. With such practice, the number of cases that occur yearly is reducing tremendously. The institution has also gone deep to have policies that will see it strive to ensure health safety. That has been effective since there are installations of fire alarms and fire extinguishers among others. In addition, there are departments created fro the aim of ensuring the safety and health of its occupants. However, there is still more to do in order to realize the most effectiveness of this policies and practices in the setting. A good example is increasing the training sessions for the staff about safety and health while working in the facility.

Evaluation of Individual ContributionAs an individual, contribution to the health and safety practice is key to the success of the policies of the care facility. The Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (2010) asserted that reflection and evaluation of the individual practice can lead to the adoption of good practices and improvements of the already existing ones.With the use of the Gibbs cycle that was developed in 1988, I have done my practice using the aseptic technique as a nurse. It is only in the beginning in which I used to do procedures without paying a lot of attention to the sterility of the medical equipment. Similarly, I have educated both the patients and my colleagues about the safety measures that are good after attending various learning sessions like the one organized by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Similarly, I have had an opportunity to supervise the staff in the ward, and this enabled me to promote safe practices through the process. Such makes me feel much okay to have contributed meaningfully.

However, the practice I had initially couldn’t have aided in the safety of the patients and staff. That is because asepsis was compromised. I could have had a procedure, and then greet my colleagues even without washing hands. Goldmann (2000, p. 99) found out that failure to wash hands can increase chances of infection transfer through contact, leading to the acquisition of preventable diseases. Through this, I was compromising the health of the staff and patients. Experience in addition to routine and continuous learning have brought a positive impact on my practice in regard to the safety of the environment.

ConclusionHealth and social care facilities have and will still play bigger roles in promoting the health and social life of the people in the society. In East London, the Christy care home is at the helm of providing the care. However, there are challenges of ensuring health and safety at the place during its operations. In order to ensure that, there are policies and legislation that are vital and being followed. The policies are towards the promotion of health and safety not only the service providers, but also for the service consumers. The safety policies and practices have a great impact on both parties. The report has further discusses on how the policies and practices can be monitored in this care facility. In summary, the care providers and receivers should have the policies at their fingertips. They should unanimously encourage safe practices for the good of all the members of the facility and the society at large.

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