Section Two: Task 3 Risk Assessment 4. Understand the importance of risk assessment in relation to the prevention and control of infections. 4. 1 Define the term risk According to Wikipedia risk is defined as… Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity (including the choice of inaction) will lead to a loss (an undesirable outcome). The notion implies that a choice having an influence on the outcome exists (or existed). Potential losses themselves may also be called “risks”. Almost any human endeavor carries some risk, but some are much more risky than others.
. 2 Outline potential risks of infection within the workplace. Infections in the workplace can occur anywhere in which harmful micro-organisms are present. These can include, but are not limited to, fungi, bacteria, internal parasites and viruses. Any infection is a potential risk within the workplace, in order to address any infection you must understand the chain of infection. Chain of Infection Furthermore if we look at some common infections in the workplace and their risks, as follows: Infection | Risk|
Common cold and flu| Spread from one person to another > health affected, Persons off work on sick leave > spread within family and community Spread from host to utensils > contaminate utensils > spread within place of work > spread to outside organisations and hospitals > loss of company reputation > increase of insurance > possible legal ramification > publication of malpractice > loss of profits and earnings > job losses > company closure | Gastroenteritis (stomach bugs and virus)| Spread from one person to another > health affected, Persons off work on sick leave > spread within family and communitySpread from host to utensils > contaminate utensils > spread within place of work > spread to outside organisations and hospitals > loss of company reputation > increase of insurance > possible legal ramification > publication of malpractice > loss of profits and earnings > job losses > company closure | So you see the outcome is the same for each infection, the only things that are different are the infections themselves, the symptoms and effects on health.
Obviously the more serious the infection, say for example HIV, the more likely the second process in the above table be completed. 4. 3 Describe the process of carrying out a risk assessment It is essential to address the potential risks to health and safety in any workplace by completing a general risk assessment. In addition to this and their legal responsibilities under COSHH. At unit 1 BMI not only are we potentially exposed to common infections (see above) we are also potentially exposed to potential blood borne virus (BBV). Therefore our risk assessment must determine whether specific risk controls against BBV exposure are required: 5 Step Risk Assessment Identify the hazards Are there any sources of blood and body fluids in the workplace? * Are there any activities being undertaken that may involve exposure to these blood and body fluids? * Are the blood and body fluids a source of BBV? Decide who might be harmed and how * Who may be involved in the activities posing risk? * How may they be affected if exposed to sources of BBV? Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions * How likely is it that harm will result from exposure? * Factors to take into account include: * standard operating procedures eg universal precautions * frequency and extent of potential exposure * characteristics of the organism eg survival times, infectious dose
Record your findings and implement them and any relevant control measures, to include consideration of: * Policy and procedures eg sharps policy, decontamination policy, spills and fumigation procedures * Engineering controls and work practices eg microbiological safety cabinets, planned preventative maintenance (eg cleaning, inspection, maintenance) * Training in safe operating procedures * Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) * Immunisation – a preventative control measure Regular reassessment of identified risks and any control measures, for example: * Review of risk assessment and update if necessary * Review and repeat of training, as necessary * Review of immunisation status Identify any significant changes (eg working practices, safer sharps) * Assess any new information Risk Assessment Flow Chart 4. 4 Explain the importance of carrying out a risk assessment Risk assessments are extremely important as they are designed to eradicate and minimise the adverse affects of risks in which an organisation is exposed. They are also a legal requirement: * Regulation 3(1) of the management of health and safety at work regulations 1992 states: a) Every employer shall make a suitable and efficient assessment of: i) The risk the health and safety of the employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work. i) The risk of the health and safety of those not in their employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct of their company b) For the purpose of identifying the measures the employer needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on them by or under the relevant statutory provisions Legislation also requires employers to reduce risks to a level that is as low as is responsibly practical, sometimes referred to as ALARP. To carry out a duty that is “reasonably practical” means that the degree of risk can be balanced against the time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty of taking measures to avoid the risk. As with all infections, it is important that the chain of infection be broken and the only way to do this is to ensure that there are policies and procedures in place that include risk assessments. I refer again the following process given earlier in part 4. 2: Infection | Risk|
Any infection, micro –organism, BBV, etc| Spread from one person to another > health affected, Persons off work on sick leave > spread within family and community Spread from host to utensils > contaminate utensils > spread within place of work > spread to outside organisations and hospitals > loss of company reputation > increase of insurance > possible legal ramification > publication of malpractice > loss of profits and earnings > job losses > company closure | In our line of work we must ensure a sustainable reputation with high quality and standards, with deal with potential hazards and risks as part of our duties, therefore it is vital that we follow the S. O. Ps of each area of work, that we adhere to the PPE policies and that risk assessments are completed for every task. Information from HSE, www. hse. gov. uk Google Images, Wikipedia
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Prevention and Control of Infection. (2017, Jan 31). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/prevention-and-control-of-infection-2/