Uinderstanding Health and Saftey in Social Care
Standard 8 – Understanding health and safety in adult social care settings Standard purpose and aims This standard is aimed at those who are interested in, or new to, working in a social care setting - Uinderstanding Health and Saftey in Social Care introduction. It introduces knowledge and understanding of areas of health and safety required to work in a social care setting. Main area Roles and responsibilities relating to health and safety in the work setting/situation Outcome: 1. 1 Be aware of key legislation relating to health and safety in your work setting/situation 1.
2 Understand the main points of the health and safety agreed ways of working in your work setting 1. 3 Know the main health and safety responsibilities of: a) You b) Your manager c) The individuals you support 1. 4 Know what you can and cannot do relating to general health and safety at your current stage of training 1. 5 Know where and from whom additional support and information relating to health and safety can be accessed 1.
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1 Key legislation relating to general Health and safety in a work setting/situation The framework of legislation is based on Acts of Parliament being passed and Regulations, Codes of Practice and Guidance being made under these to explain, in greater detail, the requirements of the Act itself. • • • • • • • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASWA) Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) Managements of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992 The Provision of Workplace Equipment Regulations The Management Welfare Regulations The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations (1981).
The employer has a duty to carry out an assessment to provide suitable first aid arrangements. Employees should be informed of these arrangements. Your ? Not to be copied or reproduced 1 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 workplace will have either first-aiders or appointed persons. Their names and location should be displayed on the notice board. • Food Hygiene Act (1995) The purpose of this legislation is to prevent food poisoning, by ensuring that the food we eat has been prepared and handled safely. •
Environmental Protection Act (1990) This act governs how and where waste is disposed of, in order to protect the environment. • • RIDDOR – The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (1995) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Act 2002 The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) place a responsibility on the employer to ensure that all substances used in their place of work are safe and used correctly. • • Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 Communicable diseases.
Any disease that can be transmitted from one person to another. This may occur by direct physical contact, by common handling of an object that has picked up infective micro organisms, through a disease carrier or by the spread of infected droplets coughed or exhaled into the air. The most dangerous communicable diseases are on the list of notifiable diseases e. g. Meningococalmeningitis. The Public Health (Control of Disease Act 1984) – Doctors must report notifiable disease to Public Health officials.
1. 2 The main points of health and safety policies and procedures Organisational safety and security procedures In order to keep the workplace safe and secure, employers write policies and develop procedures to be followed by their employees. The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) requires employees to draw up a Statement of Health and Safety Policy, to tell all employees about it and to revise it as often as necessary. This applies to all employers who have five or more employees.
Health and Safety Policy Statement ‘An employer (of 5 or more people) should prepare (and revise when necessary) a general statement of policy with respect to health and safety at work and in particular outline the organisation and arrangements which have been implemented to ensure that the policy is being carried out’. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 2 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 This means a company should write down the arrangements in place for ensuring that the health & safety of its employees are taken into account in the day to day running of the business.
The policy should include: All significant risks All controlled measures assessed for hazards Methods for report hazards or health problems Procedures for first aid fire and emergencies Methods of all reporting procedures. The policy should be in writing and brought to the attention of all employees. It should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of individuals and managers for health and safety. It should be signed by the most Senior Manager within the Company in order to show commitment. 1.
3 The main health and safety responsibilities The Health & Safety at Work Act places responsibilities on both employers and employees to ensure compliance with health & safety. Duties of Social Care Worker (Employee) Employees should: Take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions. Co-operate with the employer on matters of health and safety and follow work place procedures. Correctly using, and not misusing or interfering with, anything provided for health, safety or welfare.
Procedures have been developed to ensure that equipment and materials are used safely, to prevent injury to the worker, client or visitor. The manufacturers also provide information on the equipment and documentation. Portable electrical equipment [PAT] has to be checked annually to ensure functioning correctly, that the wiring is intact and safe and correct fuses installed. The employee is responsible for visually checking prior to using the equipment.
Is the plug cracked or damaged, any loose parts and is the cable intact so that wires cannot be accidentally touched Take part in Health and safety training Report any potential hazards and risks Understand and comply with health and safety procedures To report any accident or incident that may occur, whether or not anyone sustained injury To work in a safe manner. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 3 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Duties of the Employer An employer should ensure, so far as it is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all employees.
In particular this section requires the employer to: Provide and maintain plant and systems of work that are safe and without risk to health. Make arrangements to ensure that substances (e. g. solvents) can be used, handled, stored and transported safety. Provide information, instruction, training and supervision to ensure health, safety and welfare of employees. Maintain the place of work in a safe condition and without risk to health and to ensure that means of access and egress to and from the place of work are provided and maintained in a safe condition.
Provide and maintain a safe and healthy working environment and provide adequate welfare facilities. Providing plant, equipment and premises that are safe to use Provision of first aid facilities Training and supervision in health & safety matters Outlining procedures for dealing with fires Adequate provision for the safe storage of goods Providing protective clothing when necessary Making regular audits and assessments of workplace activities Providing a written statement of Health & Safety if 5 or more people are employed Arrangement of adequate insurance cover for employees and the public Providing a safe environment for all.
Duties of the individual (someone requiring care or support) To comply with health and safety instructions and procedures To take reasonable care of their own health and safety and the safety of others. 1. 4 What you can and cannot do in relation to health and safety It is imperative that you know what you can and cannot do in relation to health and safety at your current stage of training. In order to establish this it is important that you refer to your job description, understand your role and responsibilities, adhere to policies and procedures and obtain advice and guidance from your manager.
Many health and safety tasks require specialised training. Tasks relating to health and safety that require specialist training Tasks that the learner should not carry out without special training may include those relating to: Use of equipment First aid Medication ? Not to be copied or reproduced 4 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Assisting and moving Emergency procedures Food handling and preparation. Under the Management of health and safety at work regulations, Regulation 13: ‘The employer must ensure individuals are appropriately trained to carry out their duties’.
Many pieces of legislation require an employer to ensure that staff has received appropriate training. Standard 3 of the GSCC Code of Practice states that: “As a social care employer, you must provide training and development opportunities to enable social care workers to strengthen their skills and knowledge”. Standard 6. 3 of the GSCC Code of Practice states that care workers must: “Inform your employer or appropriate authority about any personal difficulties that might affect your ability to do your job competently and safely”. Induction Training This type of training should be carried out when a person joins a company for the first time.
Health & Safety should form an integral part of any existing Induction training package. Topics to be covered include Emergency Procedures such as Fire precautions and Evacuation, First aid arrangements, Accident Reporting, Procedure and Company Safety Policy. Job Specific The extent and complexity of training will depend upon the job being carried out. It is important to consider a period of supervision, especially if the employee is a young person or has any learning difficulties. On-going Training It is important to introduce a periodic refresher or update of skills (e.
g. moving and handling techniques) to ensure that employees continue to practice safely. A programme of regular health and safety training can be used to advise employees about: Any new hazards and risks The results of risk assessments Control measures to reduce risks. Specialised Training Some jobs require individuals to be highly skilled and ‘competent’. A competent person is defined as a person who has specialised knowledge of the issues concerned, who may have a recognised qualification and experience but above all knows their own limitations.
Within this area are included medication training, food handling and preparation and first aid. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 5 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 A first-aider is someone who has undergone a training course in first aid at work and holds a current first aid at work certificate. An appointed person is someone who looks after first aid equipment and takes charge when somebody is injured or is taken ill in the workplace. Training Records It is important to have a formal way of recording any training that employees receive during their employment.
This will not only assist in ensuring that persons are appropriately trained to carry out their relevant tasks, but may be of use should an incident occur, or worse still a compensation claim. If an accident occurs in your place of work, the HSE or EHO may ask for training records to verify if the injured person received appropriate training, or whether lack of training was a contributory cause of the accident. 1. 5 Accessing additional information and support Information and support relating to health, safety and dealing with incidents and emergencies will be stored in a variety of places.
It is important that you know where relevant information is, and how to gain access to it. This will help inform and develop your practices. Sources may include: Workplace – policies, procedures, publications Trained professionals – e. g. doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, health and safety representatives, first aiders, manager Internet – ensure source is reliable Library Newsagents – professional journals / publications / books can be purchased Manufacturer’s instructions and data sheets. Main area Health and safety risk assessments Outcome: 2.
1 Know why it is important to assess health and safety risks posed by the work setting/situation or by particular activities 2. 2 Understand how and when to report health and safety risks you have identified 2. 1 The importance of assessing health and safety risks In order to achieve a suitable and sufficient assessment it is essential to identify all the hazards associated with the activity to reduce the risk of harm associated with that activity. Defining hazard and risk Hazard – something with the potential to cause harm, death, ill health, injury, loss of production or damage to plant or property. ? Not to be copied or reproduced
6 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Risk – entails the likelihood of injury, damage or harm arising, taking into account any preventative measures already in place. For instance, a sharp knife left in a washing up bowl is a hazard, receiving a cut from putting your hand in is the risk; a control measure is not to leave sharp knives in the bowl. Risk Assessment A risk assessment may be defined as an identification of the hazards present and an ‘assessment ‘ of the extent of the risk involved, taking into account whatever precautions are already in place. Where five or more persons are employed that assessment must be written down.
There are “Five Steps to Risk Assessment” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Identify all the hazards Decide who could be harmed Evaluate the risks and decide if existing control measures are adequate Record the findings Review the assessments at regular intervals. The format for recording the assessment may be one that suits your organisation The following list is a guide to some of the hazards, which need to be considered when identifying hazards for the purpose of risk assessment. Slipping/tripping hazards Fire Loose or trailing cables Storage of boxes and files Manual Handling Noise Poor lighting Electricity Housekeeping Chemicals.
This is not a comprehensive list, but is given to illustrate the extensive nature of hazards which may need to be taken into account. Evaluation Evaluate the risks arising from the hazards and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done. For each activity a risk assessment has to be carried out. To estimate the extent of the risk, use guidance material (e. g. a manufacturer’s hand book supplied with a machine will tell you of potential hazards), information and your own experience.
Risk is a combination of three factors: The numbers of people who could be affected ? Not to be copied or reproduced 7 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 The severity of likely injuries that persons could suffer The likelihood of harm actually occurring. The overall risk score is calculated using the following formula: Risk rating = numbers x severity x likelihood Assessing risk should be systematic, ensuring all aspects are covered, addressing what actually happens and taking into account existing, preventative (control) measures.
The following questions should be asked: Do the precautions… Meet the standards set by a legal requirement? Comply with recognised industry standard? Represent good practice? Reduce risks as far as is reasonably practicable? If it is found that something needs to be done, ask: Can the hazard be removed altogether? If not, how can the risks be controlled so that harm is unlikely? Once the risk has been assessed, it must then be decided how to eliminate, reduce or control it. If your organisation has have fewer than five employees you do not need to write anything down but
you still need to assess the risk. Five or more employees means that you must record the significant findings of your assessment. This means writing down the more significant hazards and recording the most important conclusions. 2. 2 How and when to report potential health and safety risks that have been identified It is important that you know when and how to report potential health and safety risks that have been identified. It is the responsibility of all employees to report risks, even if that employee is in a junior position.
Reporting a risk will ensure that the health and safety officer and /or manager/employer is aware and is able to assess the risk. Even if a written risk assessment is in place you must report any risks that develop due to any hazards identified changes that occur or if control measures are inadequate. Your workplace will have policies and procedures with regard to the processes required to report potential or actual risks to health and safety. Your role within the organisation will determine who you report this risk to and how you do this.
It is likely that if you are new to care or in a junior position you will report the risk to a designated senior colleague e. g. your manager, a trained nurse, or the health and safety officer. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 8 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 It is good practice for you to make a written record of the potential/actual risk identified and when and to whom you reported this. Indeed, it is likely your care organisation will require this. Faulty equipment should be removed from use, clearly labelled and a written report made. Any environmental risks (e. g.
loose tiles, rugs etc. ) should be reported, the hazard removed if possible, and all those within the care setting protected from the risk. This may be done by the use of signage, cordoning off of the area and requesting urgent repairs or replacement. The manager or health and safety officer will then follow legal and organisation processes to report the risk. It is important that you appreciate that reports must be clear and accurate. There is little to be gained from a report that is not understood or that gives a false impression of the situation or has vital details omitted.
How a risk assessment can help address dilemmas between an individual’s rights and health and safety concerns Amendments to the Management of H&S at Work Regulations 1992 In 1999, the Management Regulations were updated. Specific requirements were placed on employers to consider the risks to vulnerable people at work, namely pregnant women and young persons. Risk Assessment and addressing dilemmas Take account of others It is the right of every individual to be treated equally and not be discriminated against. You have a duty of care to actively support your clients to access their rights by ensuring you and others uphold these rights.
You must do this by giving information and guidance, and reporting any concerns immediately, acting on behalf of the individual if necessary. Each individual is entitled to the full protection of the Health & Safety at Work Act, along with related legislation, local and organisational policies and procedures. The needs, wishes and preferences of individuals should be taken into account, whilst you ensure your own safety, the safety of individuals and key people such as: Family Friends Carers Others who provide support.
Example: It may be acceptable for individuals to smoke in designated areas. However, an individual who wishes to smoke in bed would pose an unacceptable risk to themselves and others, and this should not be permitted. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 9 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 You, as a care worker, can encourage individuals to express their needs and wishes by listening to what they want, discussing all aspects of care with them, offering explanations and reassurances, and communicating at a manner, level and pace appropriate to their needs.
Individuals should be encouraged to assess their own risks with support, and take responsibility for their health and well-being. Conflict There may occasionally be a conflict of interest with regard to health and safety issues. This may occur between team members, individuals, key people, care workers and others. Resolving this conflict must never compromise health and safety. It is essential that you explain the reasons for and the process for risk assessment and involve those concerned in its development to promote understanding and encourage co-operation.
There may be areas of conflict that you have encountered. For example, an immobile individual and their carers may decide they do not wish to use recommended moving and handling equipment such as a hoist, and this may result in the client being lifted manually, or colleagues may lift manually as they feel this is quicker. You must remind colleagues of their responsibilities under current legislation, that they face disciplinary action if they persist and that you will record and report unsafe practices. Discussion and re-education may be sufficient to resolve this conflict.
In the case of the individual and informal carers, the potential risks and dangers of their action and the possible consequences to all concerned must be discussed and related to the risk assessment. The use and benefits of equipment should be clearly explained and reassurances given. Resolution may be reached if the individuals concerned agree to use the equipment or the use of suitable alternative equipment is agreed. However, you must not agree to do anything you know is unsafe and must discourage others from doing so. Reporting this conflict, seeking advice and making a record is vital.
Each person has the right to choose to accept the consequences of their actions, but no-one has the right to compromise the health and safety of others. It is worth noting that legal challenges to moving and handling legislation have been made and you, as a care worker, must keep yourself up to date with how this may affect your practice, now and in the future. Main area Moving and positioning Outcome: 3. 1 Be aware of key pieces of legislation that relate to moving and positioning 3. 2 Be aware of tasks relating to moving and positioning that you are not allowed to carry out at your current stage of training 3.
3 Understand how to move and position people and/or objects safely maintaining the individual’s dignity, and in line with legislation and agreed ways of working ? Not to be copied or reproduced 10 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 3. 1 Legislation that relates to moving and positioning Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (amended 2002) Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. These regulations concern the moving of objects within the activities carried out at work.
This includes any type of physical movement such as: Pulling Pushing Lowering Lifting. The employer is expected to avoid the need for manual lifting, wherever this is possible. A risk assessment should be carried out, efforts made to minimise the risk of injury and the need for equipment identified. All care staff should be fully trained to move and handle and use equipment safely. This will reduce the risk of injury to staff, individuals and others. In addition, these regulations include numerical guidelines to help determine when assessment is required. No statement is given as a limit below which handling may be considered safe.
Guidelines advise that all client handling should be assessed, taking into consideration all aspects, not just weight. Lifting of people manually is definitely NOT RECOMMENDED. This will include the use of slide sheets to lift clients, rather than turning or rolling. The message is clear – DO NOT LIFT CLIENTS MANUALLY! Local and Organisational Policy Every care organisation should have an organisational policy and procedures, based on the Manual Handling Regulations and local policy. All staff should be aware of this and know where to locate the information.
Your organisation should have supplied you with a copy of the policy and you should have a clear understanding of you and your employer’s responsibilities. 3. 2 Being aware of the tasks relating to moving and positioning you are not allowed to carry out at your current stage of training – those tasks requiring specialist training It is important that moving and positioning tasks are carried out only after having specialist training because: It is the law It helps to prevent Back injuries Promotes the Safety of your clients, yourselves and your colleagues Limits Compensation claims for back injuries.
? Not to be copied or reproduced 11 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 All staff should be provided with training appropriate to their needs i. e. all staff should be fully trained in moving and handling objects. In addition, care workers require further training in working with people. Anyone who needs to use equipment to lift, move or handle objects or people must be given appropriate training to use the equipment safely. There may have a variety of moving and handling aids and equipment in a care setting. It is essential that you are fully aware of their purpose and use.
It is vital that you understand your role and responsibilities regarding moving and handling. You must be clear about what you are responsible for, and whom you are accountable to. You must always operate within the limits of your role and responsibilities. Undertaking tasks or using equipment you are not trained for could have disastrous consequences. You are accountable to your client, colleagues and the care organisation and may face disciplinary procedures or even civil or criminal proceedings if you fail in your responsibilities.
Specialist training promotes good practice and prevents poor practices As well as “manually” lifting people, bad practice can also include: Failing to assess the person and treat as an individual Incorrect / inappropriate use of technique / equipment Failing to enable the person. 3. 3 Principles for safe moving and handling Moving and handling You must use, and support others to use, safe procedures and techniques for moving and handling. Moving and handling activities may be conducted manually or using equipment and may be used to lift, move or handle: Other items Materials People.
Within the individual’s care plan there should be a moving and positioning risk assessment which must be completed. A care plan may be known by other names (e. g. support plan; individual plan). It is the document where day to day requirements and preferences for care and support are detailed. Using the individuals care plan is essential to ensure that you are able to follow and implement the plan giving care in an effective and consistent way. This will ensure that the individual’s needs are fully met.
In addition, the care plan should be used to review the individual’s condition and capabilities and the interventions planned. This will evaluate whether interventions are effective and identify any changes which need to be addressed. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 12 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 If you fully engage with the individual whilst assisting and moving them you will be in a position to gain consent for any assistance you may have to give, to give reassurance both from yourself and the individual that the move is safe and constantly assessing the individual and their capabilities.
Privacy and dignity must be maintained by ensuring that the individual is covered at all times, respect is shown to their wishes and moving and positioning are carried out in private. Employers are required, by The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, to carry out risk assessments for all moving and handling activities; this includes the laundry, kitchen and the office, as well as for individual clients. The result of these assessments should provide information that ensures that lifting and moving of heavy loads is avoided. Employees are required to read and follow these assessments.
This risk assessment should include the following areas: L Load – this includes weight, centre of gravity, the temperature, any attachments such as catheters, the shape and size of the load, how cooperative the load is I Individual – includes height, weight, age, fitness, gender, training, attitude, ability and capability, clothing and shoes T Task – how often do you do the task, look at the distance, speed, and positioning, do you have to twist, stretch or reach, what equipment do you have to help you E Environment – look at space, noise, stairs, obstacles, ventilation,
humidity, floor surface, and are you inside or outside. The following points are important and should be observed at all times: Before any load, whatever it is, is moved or handled, a full assessment of the risks involved must be undertaken Do not lift manually if the load appears too heavy. This will include the people you care for, who should not be lifted manually unless in exceptional circumstances (e. g. falls in places inaccessible to a hoist or certain life threatening emergencies).
You should have received training in safe techniques and summon the help of as many people as possible Following training, always use the equipment provided where this is advised Always check that any equipment you use is clean and in good working order If you are unsure you must seek advice from your manager before attempting the task Do not attempt any moving and handling task you feel may result in injury to yourself or others Always bend your knees when lifting and keep your back straight ? Not to be copied or reproduced 13 Common Induction Standards V1.
0512 Stay close to the load; don’t stretch to reach it Feet should be slightly apart with one foot slightly in front of the other. This will spread the weight of the load Hold the load firmly – if dropped it could injure your feet and cause damage to the item When putting a load down, bend the knees and keep your back straight. Remember to practice this at home as well as at work! If you need to reach items beyond your normal height, always use stepladders or purpose-built equipment. Never use a chair or stand on boxes, shelves etc.
There are 10 basic principles for safe lifting and handling and they are: Good foot position – is your balance and stability good Face in line with movement – this will reduce twisting which can injure your back Back “straight” – reduces lumbar pressures Avoid twisting – move your feet – prevent lower disc stress Bend your Knees – this ensures you use the large muscles in the tops of your legs Firm grip – will give you more control Hold close – this lowers the pressure on the spine Raise your head – so you can see where you are going and helps to keep your back straight Lift in stages if necessary – your muscles will work better with rest Lower carefully – this will prevent ‘whiplash’ type injuries when you release. Main area Responding to accidents and sudden illness Outcome: 4. 1 Be aware of different types of accidents and sudden illness that may occur in the course of your work 4. 2 Understand the procedures to be followed if an accident or sudden illness should occur in your work setting/situation 4. 3 Be aware of tasks relating to emergency first aid that you are not allowed to carry out at your current stage of training 4.
1 The different types of accidents and sudden illness that may occur in a social care setting Emergencies can be described as situations involving an immediate and threatening danger to individuals and others. Incidents are defined as occurrences that require immediate attention to avoid possible danger and harm to people, goods and/or the environment. When ? Not to be copied or reproduced 14 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 emergencies and incidents take place it is essential that you know what to do and that you are able to take immediate and appropriate action. Emergencies situations include: Explosion Fire Flood Serious damage to the building Health emergencies.
Incidents could be: Intruders Chemical spillages Lost keys, purses etc Missing individuals Individuals locked out Contamination risk Aggressive and dangerous encounters Bomb scare. Possible accidents and sudden illnesses could be: Slips, trips and Falls Burns and scalds Inhalation and swallowing of hazardous substances Stroke Breathing difficulties Hypoglycaemia Seizures Loss of consciousness/fainting Food poisoning Cardiac arrest Sudden and severe chest pain. 4. 2 Procedures to be followed if accidents or sudden illness occur The urgent nature of emergencies and many incidents means that it is essential that the action you take is provided without delay. Because of this, you must be prepared to deal with these situations, so that you do not waste valuable time if they occur.
Fire drills and practice emergency evacuations will help you to be ready to deal with some of the emergencies and incidents that may occur. Training and a good understanding of organisational policies and procedures will prepare you to respond to other situations. Provide support and assistance and make the area safe When health emergencies occur, care workers may provide complete First Aid care or call for help and follow the instructions of a more qualified person. The care you provide will vary according to the type of emergency and your training, knowledge and experience in dealing with emergencies. The more experienced person or ? Not to be copied or reproduced 15 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512
ambulance may take a few minutes to reach the scene and you will need to provide the casualty with reassurance and any immediate help or first aid that you feel confident in providing. First Aid terms A B C Airway Breathing Circulation B L S Basic Life Support Cardiac arrest (the person is unconscious and you are unable to detect a pulse or breathing) This is a life-threatening situation, failure to commence basic life support – BLS within 3 minutes, will cause severe oxygen deprivation and death may be the inevitable result. Basic life support Assess safety – remove hazards Speak to, shout at and shake the casualty – if no response check A. B. C.
, summon help If no A B C – 999 emergency Check and clear airway – head tilt/chin lift or jaw thrust- give 2 rescue breaths Check carotid pulse – no pulse – commence BLS – 15 chest compressions: 2 breaths Continue BLS until help arrives OR the patient shows signs of life OR you are too exhausted to continue Do not interrupt BLS unless you are told to by someone in authority Other health emergencies may include: Shock Epileptic seizure Choking and breathing difficulty Poisoning Electrocution Faints or loss of consciousness Burns and scalds Severe bleeding Fractures, actual or suspected. When professional help arrives, you should give information to the paramedic, doctor or nurse about the circumstances of the injury or illness and the treatment that has been given already.
It is also important that you think about the area around the person with the emergency with regard to safety and privacy. Safety You should always assess the situation that the casualty is found in and pay particular attention to the safety of yourself, the casualty and other people in the area. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 16 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 You should take charge of the situation in a calm way, ensuring that the cause of the injury does not create further harm. This can be done by: Switching of the current, in the case of electric shock Moving the casualty to safety, if there is a risk from fire or the collapse of the building Removing furniture or equipment that is in the way.
Privacy The casualty’s privacy should be protected as much as possible. When someone has been taken ill, they do not want to be looked at by others who have no need to be around and it can add to the distress and anxiety felt by casualties when they are the focus of unnecessary attention. You can protect the privacy of the person with the emergency by asking bystanders to leave the area, and restricting entrance to the surroundings until the casualty can be moved. Supervision When a number of people respond to an incident or emergency it is vital that they work together as a team and that they understand their individual roles. The key to this is the use of appropriate supervision.
The person in charge of the situation can ensure that: Someone calls for any assistance required The most appropriate individual(s) administer First Aid The safety and privacy of the area is maintained Changes in the situation are responded to The handover to the emergency services is effective When the casualty has received appropriate help, others (clients, staff and visitors) may also need support because they helped to deal with the emergency, witnessed the incident or they may have been ‘close’ to the casualty. Being involved in an emergency situation and being concerned about the well-being of a casualty can be both stressful and distressing. You should be as supportive as possible to everyone involved and remember that the incident may have an emotional effect on you too. If you or others involved in the incident require extra support to manage stress and prevent distress, you should seek the advice of your manager.
Report and record incidents, accidents and emergencies All incidents and emergencies whether they involve staff, individuals or visitors must be reported immediately to the manager. Reports made must be accurate and complete so that those who receive them have a clear understanding of the incident or emergency, any injury that was caused and the action that was taken in response to it. It is a legal requirement that all accidents are reported and investigated. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 17 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 All employers are required to keep an accident book. Accidents books are designed in a loose-leaf format so that completed pages, containing personal information about casualties, can be removed and filed securely for data protection purposes.
The accident book should be used to record: Details about those who had accidents in the workplace such as: – Name – Address – Occupation Details of the accident such as: The date and time of the accident The place and circumstances of the accident Location of others involved, (staff, clients, visitors) The type of injury The treatment that was given Details about the entry Who made the entry in the accident book The date when the entry was made All records and reports should respect confidentiality, be accurate, legible and complete, and conform to organisational and legal requirements. Details of any incident, accident or emergency involving am individual should also be recorded in their care plan.
Accident reports and employer responsibilities Records in accident books should be used as part of the risk assessment process, to identify the types of accidents that occur in the workplace and to help employers to recognise risks and take action to reduce them. An accident investigation must be completed at the earliest opportunity. The purpose of this is to establish what caused the accident and what caused the injury. By completing a full accident investigation, it can be possible to remove the risk of the same accident happening again by changing the procedures, working practices or instigating repairs to the machinery or the fabric of the building. The legal requirement to report incidents and emergencies is identified in RIDDOR – The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.
Under these regulations, the ‘responsible person’ in the workplace must notify the relevant authority about: The death of any person as a result of an accident Major injuries sustained by people Injuries that result in the casualty being taken to hospital. Employers must report any listed injury, dangerous occurrence or disease to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or local authority. The preferred method of reporting is by telephone to the Incident Contact Centre (ICC) 0845 300 9923. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 18 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Reports made in this way will be recorded and a copy of the report will be sent to the employer. 4. 3 The tasks relating to first aid you are not allowed to carry out at your current stage of training It is important you know your capabilities in an emergency.
If you are unsure of what is expected of you, or are unsure of first aid procedures, discuss this with your manager immediately The aims of First Aid are to: Preserve life Prevent deterioration Promote recovery. It is very important that you understand the aims of first aid in order that you are aware of why it is vital that emergency first aid tasks are only carried out by qualified first aiders. Failure to administer first aid immediately and effectively can lead to poor recovery, deterioration, or even death. Others involved may be exposed to unnecessary risk if procedures are carried out incorrectly or mistakes or omissions occur. A care worker may also find themselves the subject of a complaint and/or legal proceedings.
It is important that only qualified first aiders carry out first aid because: It will comply with Health and Safety regulations and will meet organisational policies and procedures By treating illness and injuries effectively will reduce the consequences and preserve life. Main area Agreed ways of working regarding medication and healthcare tasks Outcome: 5. 1 Understand the main points of agreed ways of working about medication agreed with your employer 5. 2 Understand the main points of agreed ways of working about healthcare tasks agreed with your employer 5. 3 Be aware of tasks relating to medication and healthcare procedures that you are not allowed to carry out at the current stage of training 5. 1 The main points of agreed ways of working about medication Medicines and COSHH Some medicines may cause a hazard to staff if they are not administered stored or handled in the appropriate manner.
It is therefore essential to know how the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 relates to ? Not to be copied or reproduced 19 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 medication in order that precautions can be taken to minimise any risks or harm from occurring. All medicines should be recorded on receipt, administration and disposal. Ordering and receiving of medicines Care Homes may have different mechanisms for obtaining supplies of medicines; these will be identified and explained in your organisation’s policies and procedures. The supply of Medicines to Care Homes is governed by the Medicines Act 1968. This Act categorises medicines into three groups.
General Sales List (GSL) – Medicines, which can be purchased from any shop Pharmacy Only (PO) – may be purchased from a pharmacy Prescription Only Medicines (POM) – Medicines that can only be obtained with a prescription. Supply The supply of all medication to all care organisations within the United Kingdom is governed by the Medicines Act (1968). Your organisational policy relating to the supply of medicines will have been written in line with this piece of legislation. and should clearly indicate the following information. Details of the supplying Pharmacy and contact name of the Pharmacist in charge Details of arrangements for regular supplies of routine prescriptions, including ordering and receiving Details of how to obtain Medicines out-of-hours Details of emergency supply procedures.
Individuals who are cared for in their own homes are generally responsible for receiving, storing and administering their own medication. They may receive medication by collecting it themselves from the pharmacy or the medicines being delivered to their home. Alternatively, a relative or friend may collect their medicine for them. Any care worker working in an individual’s home who, as part of their role, collects medicines from the pharmacy should be clear about their and the care organisation’s responsibilities. All Medicines arriving into the Care Home, either from the individual’s home, Pharmacy or other health care setting, must be fully documented.
The records must clearly state the following: The date of receipt The name and strength of the medication The quantity received The individual for whom the medication is prescribed The signature of the care worker receiving the drug. These records must be kept available for inspection and stored for 8 years. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 20 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Verbal Orders Verbal orders really should be avoided wherever possible, but occasionally prescribing officers may give verbal instructions to Care Homes regarding changes in prescription, for example to increase the dose of a medication that an individual is already taking.
Where a verbal order such as this has been given by the prescribing officer, written confirmation of the change must be requested, and that confirmation should be given by fax as quickly as possible. However, due to legal restrictions you must never accept a verbal order with regards to starting prescription only medicines where a prescription does not exist. It is essential that all verbal orders are documented in order to protect individuals and care staff and to provide evidence for verification at a later date. This should be covered in your organisational policy. Storage of Medicines Guidelines for the storage of medicines are well documented.
You will find reference in: The Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations (1973) Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) Care Standards Act (2000) The Administration and Control of Medicines in Care Homes and Children’s Services (June 2003) The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (1999), as amended 2002 Hazardous Waste Regulations (2005) The National Minimum Care Standards Guidelines for Administration of Medicines, Nursing and Midwifery Council Health and Social Care Act 2008. (This list is not exhaustive) However, your organisation should have Policies and procedures relating to the Safe Storage of Medicines, and it should have taken all the legislation and guidelines into account. It is the Registered Persons responsibility to ensure that there is a policy covering the storage of medicines and it is your responsibility to access that policy and comply with it. General Considerations The care organisation must have designated secure and temperature controlled areas to store medicines.
There must also be space to store nutritional supplements, prescribed dressings and ostomy products, complying with the manufacturer’s storage advice. No medicinal item should be stored on the floor. These areas should be locked rooms preferably without external access via windows. If it is not practicable then the window should be secured with bars or other securing devices. The store should never have access via an external door. If this is not practicable to have a secure room to store medicines then a secure cupboard can be used. This should be of a size suitable for storing all medicinal items needed. This cupboard should be used to store medicinal items only and nothing else. It is not acceptable practice for items such as money and jewellery to be kept in a medicines storage area.
It must be fitted with a quality lock and access restricted to authorised persons only. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 21 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Mobile Storage If a trolley is used to store medicines it should have the capacity to lock away all medicines, including those not currently in use for that medicine round. It must be locked and secured to a wall when not in use. This area should not be accessible or readily visible. Ideally the trolley should be secured in a locked, suitably designated room. Lockable trolleys or lockable secure containers should be used when conveying medicines to Service Users situated in other areas of the care environment.
All mobile storage containers must be under the observation of the designated person at all times when administering medicines and must be locked and secured to a wall by an approved device, and preferably locked out of sight when not in use. The keys and access The keys and access to all areas and containers for the storage of medicines must be kept safely with the designated responsible person at all times. Access to these areas should be restricted to authorised personnel only. Careful consideration should be given to how the medicines have been dispensed e. g. M. D. S. cassettes. Adequate storage must be provided at all times, including storage of replacement cassettes during return and delivery receipt. The temperature for medicines without special storage instructions should be stored in temperatures of between 16 and 25 degrees centigrade and out of direct sunlight.
Cold Storage Some medicines need to be stored in a refrigerator in order to prevent them from deteriorating. The recommended storage temperature will be indicated on the packaging or a label applied by the dispensing pharmacist. If these medicines are not stored at the correct temperature they may develop harmful bacteria, become ineffective or may go out of date more quickly, all of which may result in harm to the service user. A separate lockable refrigerator should be used for storing these medicines and should not be used for storing any other items. The temperature should be monitored daily and recorded using a minimum/ maximum thermometer.
The normal range for the temperature should be minimum 2 degrees centigrade and maximum 8 degrees centigrade. Always report if temperatures are outside of this range. Medicines and prescriptions Medicine must only ever be administered in conjunction with a written prescription unless the prescribing practitioner administers it personally. The only exception would be the areas where agreed ‘homely remedies’ have been agreed; this exception will be covered in detail in your organisational policy. Remember: Medicines should be kept in their original bottles, containers, or blister systems in which they were dispensed by the pharmacy until the actual time of administration. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 22 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512
Immediately after administration bottles and containers should be returned to safe storage Individuals have the legal right to information, regarding the medicine that has been prescribed for them according to The National Minimum Standards for Care Homes, for Older Adults, Care Homes for Adults (18-65) and Adult Placement in England. Information on a medicines action, side effects and how to administer the medicine should be provided by the doctor or pharmacist. Storage of Controlled Drugs Unless Service Users are self-medicating, Controlled Drugs must be stored in cupboards which meet the requirements set out in the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973.
These regulations specify the quality, construction method of fixing and the lockage of Controlled Drug cupboards. Controlled Drug cupboards are locked metal cupboards, which are securely wall mounted. These cupboards must be rag bolted to an internal wall. Only staff with authorised access are permitted to hold the Controlled Drug cupboard keys, this means you should never give the keys to a member of staff who is not permitted access to Controlled Drugs. You must only store Controlled Drugs in the Controlled Drug cupboard; items of value such as money/jewellery or other non-controlled drugs should not be stored in the Controlled Drug cupboard.
For Service Users who self- administer their own Controlled Drugs, they should be stored in their own individual lockable cupboard, to which the Service User has his/her own key. Controlled Drugs should only be taken out of the Controlled Drug cupboard whilst they are being dispensed or counted for stock control purposes. Administration of medicines Administration of medicine is the giving of medicines by introduction into the body either by direct contact with the body or not, for example by mouth or injection, or by applying an impregnated dressing. In line with adhering to guidelines on accountability and in the best interests of service users, it is important that you: • • • • •
Know what the medicines you are administering are normally used for, including normal dosage, side effects, precautions and contra indications Be certain of the identity of the individual to whom you are administering the medication Be aware of the individual’s care plan and any allergies that he or she may have Check that the prescription or the label on the medicines are clearly written and all information is correct Check the expiry date of the medicine to be administered ? Not to be copied or reproduced 23 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 • Contact the prescriber, without delay, where contra indications to the prescribed medication are discovered or if the individual refuses to take their medication Medicine should never be dispensed and given to another care worker, to administer to the individual at a later time. • Guidelines for Administration Before you begin administering medicines you must wash your hands thoroughly. The medicine trolley must be prepared with all the items you will need.
You will need to ensure that you have collected the MAR sheets, any medicines from the drugs fridge, have a sufficient supply of clean graduated medicine pots, medicine spoons, water, glasses, drinking straws, tissues or paper towels, disposable gloves for applying creams. You will also need a suitable container for the collection of used equipment. You may require an oral syringe for the measurement of small amounts of liquid medicines, if so ensure you have them with you. To establish the individual’s identity you can ask personal details such as name and date of birth where appropriate, to check against the MAR sheet and name band if worn. It is also accepted as good practice to use a current photograph of the individual. The correct medicine should be chosen, remembering the FIVE R’s. Right medicine Right individual Right dose Right time Right route.
Administration of controlled drugs The administration of Controlled Drugs will be covered by organisational and local policies. The following must be included in the safe administration of Controlled Drugs. The designated worker takes the Controlled Drug from the Controlled Drug cupboard and check against the MAR sheet, at the same time the stock amount of the Controlled Drug must be checked with the Controlled Drug Register. Another designated worker must check this process at the same time The two designated workers then check the Controlled Drug and its dosage at the same time The remaining stock of Controlled Drug is then returned to the Controlled Drug cupboard, which is securely locked The two designated
workers will administer the Controlled Drug to the individual using the usual administration process The Controlled Drug Register is then completed, as policy and the remaining stock balance documented ? Not to be copied or reproduced 24 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Stock balances will be checked at each administration and also on a regular basis as defined by organisational and local policies. Disposal of medicines All surplus, unwanted, contaminated, discontinued or those medicines past their expiry date must be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Care Homes (personal care only) According to the Hazardous Waste Regulations (2005) any surplus medication within a care home that offers only personal care is classed as household waste.
This means that if a medicine is no longer required or has passed its expiry date, it can be returned to the homes contracted pharmacist for disposal. Care Homes (nursing) Any medication that is no longer needed within a care home that provides nursing care is classed as industrial waste under the Hazardous Waste Regulations (2005) and so is subject to the Special Waste Regulations (1996). Any person who has a responsibility for destroying industrial waste must hold a license which can be obtained from the Environmental agency. This means that if medication is no longer required or has passed its expiry date, it will need to be disposed of through a licensed waste disposal company.
Some Pharmacists may hold a Waste Management Licence, and can also be used for the safe disposal of medication. All medicines prescribed and dispensed for a person are the property of that individual. Medicines should be given to the individual unless they give consent for their disposal. It is the responsibility of the staff within the care home to ensure that a complete record of medicines going out of the Home is recorded. This record must be kept safe for eight years. This record must be able to provide a full audit trail (an audit is a review, inspection or check of what happens by whom, where and when). This record must include: Date of disposal/return to pharmacy/disposal Company
Name and strength of medicine Quantity removed The name of the service user for whom medicine was prescribed or purchased Signature of the member of staff who arranges the safe return of the medicines to the pharmacist. Disposal of controlled drugs The new legislation for the disposal of medication does not make any differentiation between the types of medication being disposed of and within this piece of legislation, controlled drugs are considered no different from any other prescribed medication. However, CQC do acknowledge on-going discussions following the ? Not to be copied or reproduced 25 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Shipman enquiry have led to strong recommendations that controlled drugs are denatured before being handed to the waste disposal company.
(This is simply a process that disables the active ingredient and ensures that it cannot be recovered or re-used) It is strongly recommended that a registered nurse and an appropriate witness sign the record of disposal and the controlled drugs register. The care workers role in handling medication The handling and administration of medication is an extremely important aspect of your role, it is also one that should be approached with extreme care and caution, and should never be undertaken lightly. It is not just a physical task that is carried out in strict compliance with a written prescription or on the instruction of a medical practitioner. It requires careful and professional thought and judgement to be applied.
The basic principles that underpin the safe handling of medication within any establishment are the same whatever the nature of the care that is offered and whether staff have a nursing qualification or not. All care staff have a duty of care that requires medication to be handled safely. Any handling of medication can have the potential to produce harmful reactions with possible fatal consequences. At present, the role of the social care worker in England & Wales is unregulated, although this may change in the future. Scotland is currently piloting a system where care workers become licensed. It is therefore important that your role within your workplace is very clearly defined and that appropriate training and continuing professional development are made available to you in order that you can undertake your daily duties. 5.
2 The main points of agreed ways of working about healthcare tasks Healthcare tasks include any medical procedures carried out as part of a plan of care, including those relating to colostomy, catheter and injections. It is important that any healthcare tasks you carry out are within the limits of your work role and are only undertaken after specialist training and adequate supervision. Organised policies and procedures, with regard to healthcare tasks should be followed at all times. 5. 3 The tasks relating to medication and healthcare procedures that you are not allowed to carry out You should only carry out tasks you are permitted to do and have received training for.
If, at any time, you are asked to carry out a task that is outside the limits of your role, or that you have not carried out regularly and recently, you should inform your manager and not carry out the task until you have been appropriately trained and supervised. Appropriate training All staff involved with medicines have a duty to ensure safe and secure handling of medicines through compliance with relevant legislation and national and local policies. It is imperative that you are aware of this and apply these requirements at all times. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 26 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Minimum Care Standards 9. 7 states that: “In Residential Care Homes (i. e.
Care Homes with personal care only) all medicines, including controlled drugs (except those for self-administration) are administered by designated and appropriately trained staff. Another designated appropriately trained member of staff witnesses the administration of controlled drugs”. Any training that you undertake must be accredited, and must include: Basic knowledge of how medicines are used and how to recognise and deal with problems in use The principles behind all aspects of the Home’s policy on medicines handling and records. The General Social Care Council (GSCC) Code of Practice for Social Care Workers Standard 6 states: ‘As a social care worker you must be accountable for the quality of work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving you knowledge and skills’. This includes standard 6.
8 which states that social care workers must; ‘Undertake relevant training to maintain and improve your knowledge and skills and contribute to the learning and development of others’. Reflecting on your role and identifying exactly what your responsibilities are within that role can help you to assess your learning and developmental needs. It can also help you to identify future needs. Continuing professional development Requirements for the safe and secure handling of medicines may change from time to time. It is therefore essential that all practitioners keep themselves up to date with current practice guidelines. Continuing professional development is an essential element in improving the quality of the service provided.
Health care professionals have a duty to keep their practice, knowledge and skills up to date, and the public have a right to expect this. Your employer should also encourage you to develop yourself within your working environment and should support you in your role by providing adequate induction, training and development opportunities. The role of the General Practitioner (GP) In relation to handling medication the GP would be responsible for the clinical assessment of the clients, establishing a diagnosis and clinically managing the client’s condition. This will include the prescribing of medication and the review of pre-existing medications. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 27 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512
The role of the prescriber/GP A prescription can be defined as a written instruction to a pharmacist, by an authorised prescribing officer to dispense medication to a particular person. Prescriptions may be hand written or computer generated, but must always be completed in indelible ink. This is in order to ensure that the prescription cannot be altered in any way. If an alteration needs to be made to a prescription it must be fully re-written by the prescribing officer. People who are authorised to write a prescription include doctors, dentists, some registered nurses who have undertaken extended training in prescribing and some registered pharmacists who have met the requirements to become independent prescribers. Prescriptions requested for continuous treatment are usually written for 28 days or multiples of.
All prescriptions must contain the following information: The date that the prescription was written The name of the medicine that has been prescribed The dose of the medication and how many times per day it must be taken The route by which the medication must be taken The formulation of the medication, e. g. liquid, tablet etc. The individual’s full name and address The individual’s date of birth Signature of the prescriber. Contact details of the prescriber including their name, address and telephone number. If any of this information is missing the prescription will not be regarded as valid and the pharmacist will not be authorised to dispense the medication. In these circumstances the pharmacist will either contact the prescribing officer or the prescription will need to be re written.
It is recommended that all individuals over the age of 75 years should have their medications reviewed every twelve months at least. Those taking four or more medicines should be reviewed every six months. Individuals should have their Medicines reviewed every 3 months and/or as the need arises by the prescribing officer, in conjunction with the Pharmacist and the care home. The prescription is the only document that is signed by the prescriber and in order to ensure a complete audit trail is recommended that the care home keeps a record of prescriptions issued and dispensed for each Service User. It is considered good practice to photocopy prescriptions.
Role of the Pharmacist The law requires that the pharmacist can supply prescription only medications only in accordance with a valid prescription. The role of the pharmacist however is more complex than simply dispensing medication. Pharmacists also have a responsibility to ensure that processes are in ? Not to be copied or reproduced 28 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 place so that medicines are prescribed, supplied, stored, prepared, administered and disposed of correctly. Pharmacists also have a central role in an inspection and advisory capacity. As part of annual inspection visits, a pharmacist will review all of your organisation’s policies and procedures in respect of handling medication.
Pharmacists’ prime concern, irrespective of their sphere of work, must be for the wellbeing and safety of individual and the public, and it is the responsibility of the pharmacist to inspect your care home’s records regarding medication. This will include looking very closely at documents such as: • • • • • • Medication policies and procedures Records for ordering medication Records for the receipt of medication MAR sheets Medications that have been transferred into and out of the home Records of medications which have been returned to pharmacy for disposal. The pharmacist will also check: • • Medication storage systems Methods of drug administration Service users who self-administer their medication.
Pharmacists have the responsibility of making recommendations on any aspect of handling medication should problems be evident. The pharmacist will then be responsible for ensuring that recommendations are followed up within a specified period. Role of the care home manager The registered person/care home manager must ensure that there are policies in place for the receipt, recording, storage, handling, administration and disposal of medicines. They must also ensure that all staff adhere to the procedures laid out in these policies. The purpose of these policies is to promote the safety and well-being of the individual and to enhance safe practices within the care home.
If the care home manager chooses to appoint a designated person to look after the medicines, then the designated person and any members of staff should be appropriately trained and assessed as competent to undertake this role. It is essential that policies and procedures are in line with current legislation and in order to comply with this, it is essential that the care home manager is up to date with current legislation and the standards required for the safe running of the home. The registered person is legally responsible for ensuring that records are maintained and that they are properly completed, clear and legible and current. These records should provide a complete audit trail right through from receiving the prescription to disposal of medications.
? Not to be copied or reproduced 29 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 The manager or the designated person within the home should be the one to initiate the order for prescriptions. This is the only document that is signed by the prescriber and it is good practice to take a copy of this document for future reference. Role of the designated person in administering medication Whatever medication is being administered, all care staff have a duty of care that requires medication to be handled safely. It is essential that any staff involved in the administration of medication have been appropriately trained and assessed to do so and that policies are adhered to at all times.
The person who is administering also has a legal duty to acknowledge his or her own limitations and should take personal responsibility for maintaining and updating their knowledge and practice in relation to handling and administering medication. This should be within the guidelines of the ‘National Minimum Care Standards’ and also within the realms of the ‘Code of Conduct for Social Care Workers’. The authorisation to administer a medicine is the signed prescription of the authorising prescriber; the designated person is also authorised to administer medication through the manager, in accordance with the prescriber’s instructions. The administration of medicine also requires the authorisation of the service user, in the form of consent. Main area Handling hazardous substances Outcome: 6. 1 Be aware of hazardous substances in your workplace 6.
2 Be aware of safe practices for: Storing hazardous substances Using hazardous substances Disposing of hazardous substances. 6. 1 Hazardous substances that may be found in your workplace Hazardous substances are used in many workplaces and may lead to a range of conditions including dermatitis, asthma and infections. Visitors and members of the public can also be placed at risk from their use, not just the person using the substance. Hazardous substances come in many forms including: Liquids, such as cleaning chemicals Dusts, such as lead or asbestos Fumes, such as soldering fumes Gases, such as carbon monoxide Living organisms, such as fungal spores ? Not to be copied or reproduced 30 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Bodily fluids Medication.
It is important that you know what types of substances you may come into contact with or are already using. The supplier of the substance should provide a hazard data sheet (Material Safety Data Sheet – MSDS), which contains all relevant information for that substance. It will indicate if it has any hazards. You can also check the container or packaging for warning labels. 1. 2 Safe practices for storing and using hazardous substances The legislation covering chemicals is the Control of Substances Hazardous Health regs 2004, called COSHH and pronounced ‘cosh’. It states that every chemical must have advice on safe storage, use, and what to do in the event of an emergency.
Chemicals and cleaning fluids often come in large bottles, and must not be transferred to other containers as information on the use, safe storage and emergency procedures are clearly written on these bottles and are paramount to the health and safety of the individual. All hazardous substances must be locked away in a cupboard designated for this purpose. Access to these substances should be restricted to authorised personnel. Material Safety Data Sheets MSDS are documents describing the known hazards associated with a material, indicating safe handling procedures and recommending responses to accidents and thus are invaluable sources of safety information. They are prepared by the Chemical Suppliers and by UK law must be sent to you if you buy a chemical, but can be requested even if you are only thinking of buying.
If you already have the chemical but the MSDS is lost or the material is so old that none came with it, most manufacturers are happy to fax a relevant MSDS on request. Many even make compilations of their data sheets available free of charge. Hazard symbols The following are the symbols that appear on hazardous substances such as cleaning fluids and other chemicals. Explosive Corrosive Oxidising Flammable Toxic Irritant Harmful Biohazard Storage and safe use of substances The following checklist is provided to help you use or handle substances safely. You must always remember to follow your employers’ advice or procedure and to report if any problems arise. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 31 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512
Never mix different chemicals together Never decant chemicals into unmarked or incorrectly labelled containers Never use chemicals you are not trained or authorised to use Always follow the correct procedures Always store chemicals in their designated areas Always report and problems or health effects immediately Allow access only to authorised personnel Always use any PPE indicated. Disposal of Hazardous substances Wear gloves and apron. Use only once and change between service users Dispose of in accordance with COSHH recommendations and manufacturer’s instructions Dispose of contaminated waste properly. This should be disposed of in bags used for this purpose and collected by approved companies for disposal Contaminated clothing and linen should be boil-washed separately.
This is often done after linen is placed into bags which dissolve in hot water Waste containers should be stored in the appropriate area The environment and waste containers should be clean/hygienic, at all times, consistent with COSHH and policies and procedures Spillages should be cleaned/removed using appropriate materials. There will be a policy and procedure set down by your organisation. You must make sure you are aware of this. Any spillage must be reported immediately and a warning sign put in place. Bags for the disposal of waste are coded using the following colours: BLACK BLUE RED Non-hazardous waste Unbroken bottles and cans Contaminated linen (bags which dissolve when placed in a hot wash)
YELLOW – Contaminated/hazardous refuse Main area Preventing the spread of infection Outcome: 7. 1 Know the main routes by which an infection can get into the body 7. 2 Understand the principles of effective hand hygiene 7. 3 Understand ways in which your own health or hygiene might pose a risk to the individuals you support or to other people at work ? Not to be copied or reproduced 32 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 7. 4 Be aware of common types of personal protective clothing, equipment and procedures and how and when to use them 7. 5 Be aware of principles of safe handling of infected or soiled linen and clinical waste 7. 1 Routes by which infection can get into the body
There are 5 ways in which infection can get into the body and they are: Direct Contact – physical contact with an infected person, a carrier, hand to hand, oral or sexual contact Indirect Contact – some infections are airborne and can enter the body by someone coughing and sneezing In Blood – needle stick injuries, animals or insect bites, injection or inoculation, sexual contact and mother to unborn baby Urine, Saliva and body fluids – directly via contact with an individual and indirectly via contaminated equipment Faecal-oral route – via unwashed or inadequately washed hands, ingesting contaminated food or water and using contaminated equipment 7. 2 The most thorough method for hand washing The single most important and neglected aspect of the control of infection is attention to the basic rule of frequent and thorough hand washing. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 33 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Correct hand washing sequence ? Not to be copied or reproduced 34 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 7.
3 Ways in which own health or hygiene might pose a risk to an individual or others at work Care worker health and hygiene When working in a health care environment, it is essential thay you are fit to perform your role safely and effectively without risk to your own or other people’s health and safety. Therefore, it is important that workplace policies and guidelines on staff infection and work restrictions are adhered to. Should you or your family be suffering from any kind of infection, advice should be sought from your GP and/or manager with regard to returning to work. Many employers recommend that you stay away from work for a further 48 hours after illness has ended to ensure tht you are free from infection. Some employers will ask for further health checks before allowing you back to work in areas where your illness could put patients at increased risk.
It is important to remember that infection can be carried in the body for weeks after symptoms disappear and it is important that these infections are not passed to vulnerable people. Care workers who have pain or injury to the back and joints, infection or are pregnant must seek the advice of their manager, as their health and safety and that of others may be affected. Frail, ill individuals are particularly vulnerable to infections transmitted by poor hygiene and contagious diseases. Colleagues and others may also transmit infections following exposure to a care worker’s poor health and hygiene. You, as a care worker, will be handling and disposing of waste contaminated with bodily fluids during the course of your work.
It is important that you protect yourself, your clients and colleagues from transmitting infection this way. 7. 4 When to use different types of personal protective equipment Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) means all equipment or clothing which is to be worn at work and which affords protection against one or more risks to health and safety. It also includes clothing designed to protect against adverse weather conditions. Personal Protective Equipment should not be confused with a works uniform, e. g. nurses uniform or shop assistants overalls. That is provided as part of the company’s ‘image’ and is not covered under the PPE regulations.
The use of PPE to protect people is the last line of defence and other measures to control the hazards and risks involved should be considered first. All too often there is not enough effort put into reducing or eliminating hazards and too much reliance is placed on the use of Personal Protection to prevent the hazards causing injury or ill health. The employer has a duty to ensure that if PPE is provided for protection against a known hazard that the ‘user’ actually wears this. Regular supervision is important and if necessary a disciplinary procedure should be introduced for people who refuse to wear the agreed protection. As individuals have a duty to comply with the employer’s health
and safety arrangements, it would be considered a breach of health and safety law if the employee refused to wear specified PPE. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 35 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Apron – protect the wearer from being contaminated, for example, waster matter. Also protects individual from contaminants present in uniforms and clothes Gloves – prevent the wearer from contaminating sterile areas or protect wearer and others from contamination Masks protect the wearer and others from airborne pathogens or splashes from contaminated matter Hairnets – prevents hair, dandruff and grease from contaminating food and open wounds. 7.
5 The principles of safe handling of infected or soiled linen and clinical waste Safe Handling of Body Fluids Precautions are needed when anyone is in direct contact with body fluids or when handling contaminated articles because all of these may be a source of infection if not handled appropriately. The term “body fluids” includes blood, mucous, urine, vomit, faeces, semen, respiratory secretions and saliva. How can we take precautions? By ensuring that staff have adequate training By the appropriate use of protection such as gloves, aprons etc. By cleaning up spillages safely in accordance with procedures By safe disposal of contaminated items. All cuts and abrasions should be covered with waterproof dressings.
Staff with skin lesions or broken skin from eczema, psoriasis etc. should seek advice from their GP as they may pose a risk of contamination both to themselves and to residents. Unanticipated skin/eye/mouth contact with body fluids may occur in situations where protective clothing is not readily available e. g. applying pressure to serious bleeding, unexpected vomiting or discharge from nose/lungs. In these instances, skin or all areas of exposure should be washed thoroughly with running water then cleaned appropriately. Eyes should be thoroughly rinsed in clean running water. Your supervisor must be informed immediately and actions following local procedures should be taken. Waste Management Duty of
care requirements demands the proper management of waste materials to ensure that potentially infectious or hazardous waste does not affect any individuals’ health or environment. Staff handling waste must: Check that waste bags and sharps boxes are correctly filled, sealed and identified Handle bags with due care, in line with procedures covering manual handling risks Correctly use all protective equipment issued as well as reporting any defects in these Correctly follow relevant procedures in case of incident or accident ? Not to be copied or reproduced 36 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 • Ensure that waste is not left in unsecure public areas. Identification of Waste It is important that waste is properly identified so that it can be efficiently managed.
Clinical Waste The Control of Waste Regulations 1992 (S. I. 588) define clinical waste as: a) “Any waste which consists wholly or partially of human or animal tissue, blood or any other body fluids, excretions, drugs or other pharmaceutical products, swabs or dressings, syringes, needles or other sharp instruments, being waste which unless rendered safe may prove hazardous to any person coming into contact with it”. “Any other waste arising from medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, pharmaceutical or similar practice, investigation, treatment, care, teaching or research or the collection of blood transfusion being waste which may cause infection to any person coming in contact with it. ” b)
Categories of Clinical Waste The categorisation of clinical waste used below is based on that quoted in the Health and Safety Commission publication “Safe Disposal of Clinical Waste”. GROUP A All human tissue including blood (whether infected or not), animal carcasses, tissue from hospitals and laboratories and all related swabs and dressings. Waste materials, where the risk assessment indicates a potential hazard to staff handling them, for example from infectious disease cases. Soiled surgical dressing, swabs or other soiled waste from treatment areas. GROUP B Discarded syringes, needles, cartridges, broken glass and other contaminated disposable sharp instruments or items such as broken ampoules. Efficient and effective waste segregation is an essential part of infection control.
Waste disposal through an inappropriate channel could create risk to human life and/or the environment and could also lead to prosecution. Main area Promoting fire safety in the work setting Outcome: 8. 1 Understand practices that prevent fires from: Starting Spreading. 8. 2 Be aware of emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a fire in the work setting ? Not to be copied or reproduced 37 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 8. 1 Practices that prevent fires for starting or spreading Fire prevention Most fire safety legislation comes under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which gives those with responsibility for premises a duty to: • Take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire • Make sure that people can escape safely if there is a fire.
To do this, employers must: • • • • • • Carry out risk assessments Provide detection and warning systems to alert people to fire Provide fire fighting equipment Provide emergency routes and a means of escape Develop procedures to be followed in case of danger Provide fire safety information and training. Training for all Staff Staff should receive training in fire safety and the agreed procedure for evacuation as soon as possible after commencing work (i. e. at Induction) and this should be ideally updated on an annual basis. Fire Prevention Checklist Ensure all escape routes and exit doors are free of obstructions and doors are easy to open Extinguishers should preferably be wall mounted and form part of a fire point. They should not be used to wedge open doors or used as a coat stand!
Extinguishers should be inspected by fire wardens on a regular basis, ideally weekly, but no greater than monthly. Findings should be recorded in the fire logbook and any discrepancies brought to the attention of the manager Fire resisting self-closing doors should never be held in the open position, unless fitted with an automatic release mechanism linked to the fire alarm system Fire alarm call points should be readily available for use, tested on a weekly basis, from a different call point each time (not the main fire panel). All testing should be recorded in the fire logbook If you have smoke alarms fitted, these should be regularly checked. Some smoke alarms are linked to the fire alarm systems whilst others are battery operated.
If your smoke alarms are battery operated the batteries should be checked regularly and changed when necessary It is particularly important to have smoke alarms fitted where people may work in various parts of a building, so that they can be alerted to a fire before it spreads Consider fitting smoke alarms in areas where items are stored but not regularly inspected or visited, e. g. basement store rooms A competent person should test all electrical appliances ? Not to be copied or reproduced 38 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 All staff should be aware of fire risks such as smoking, faulty electrical equipment appliances, careless waste disposal and failure to follow fire prevention guidelines and activities. 8.
2 Emergency procedures in the event of a fire In the event of a fire you should: Raise the alarm Dial 999 Go to assembly point Move self and others from danger area if safe to do so Inform manager/fire safety officer Do not use lifts. Disabled Procedure Every building should have arrangements for evacuating the disabled and less able occupants. Arrangements should also be made for staff, visitors, members of the public, etc. Disabled persons should not slow down or hinder other persons evacuating the building. They should be escorted immediately to an agreed (with the fire and rescue authorities) safe refuge (e. g. staircase enclosure) or a dedicated fire lift. After other occupants have vacated that area, the disabled person should then be assisted to safety. 9.
1 Measures to protect security of self and others The security of all those in the care setting should be of the utmost importance. This applies to healthcare workers, those they support and others on the premises. Security should be assured, especially at night and for those clients who have rooms on the ground floor. Access to individual’s rooms should be restricted to those who have permission to enter e. g. their relatives and friends, their care workers and other healthcare professionals. Any visitor should be challenged if they do not have permission to enter an individual’s room or if they are seen entering staff only areas. Lone and night working Workers who work alone or at night are at particular risk.
Systems should be in place to ensure that security is adequate and that the person has means of accessing assistance if they feel their safety is at risk. Lone workers’ whereabouts should be recorded and actions implemented if there are concerns that the worker’s safety is at risk. Property should be protected, and key codes limited to a need to know basis. Access to the premises and areas within it should be restricted. Valuables should be locked away and access limited. Records should be kept. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 39 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 9. 2 Checking the identity of those requesting access to premises or information. All visitors should politely be asked for identification (name, photographic identification) and the purpose of the visit checked.
If you are unsure ask the advice of your manager. Those who appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs should not be allowed entry. Do not tackle these situations alone. If you feel threatened, call for assistance immediately. Always maintain a calm and polite manner. Anyone who requests information (about individuals, staff members, or the organisation) should be asked for identification to verify that they are entitled to the information requested. If you are unsure about the validity of their request, or you do not know what information they are permitted to access, you should seek advice from your manager immediately before divulging any information.
Intruder/security breach action In the event of an intruder/security breach you should Dial 999, you should report any intruders or those trespassing in the workplace or grounds, immediately to the Police. Remove yourself and others to a safe area Report to your manager/safety officer Record the incident. Main area Managing stress Outcome: 10. 1 Recognise common signs and indicators of stress in yourself and others 10. 2 Be aware of circumstances that tend to trigger stress in yourself and others 10. 3 Know ways to manage stress 10. 1 Common signs and indicators of stress At some point in our lives we may all have complained about feeling ‘stressed’. Stress arises when we feel that there are too many demands placed upon us and we feel unable to meet these demands, so we feel unable to cope.
The Health and Safety Executive (2004) defines stress as ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them’ Signs and symptoms include: Feelings of anxiety, apprehension, tension, nervousness, helplessness, feelings of being alienated Physical feelings of tiredness and lacking enthusiasm Mood swings Tendency to worry more ? Not to be copied or reproduced 40 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Irritability Loss of confidence and low self esteem Inability to concentrate, daydreaming Become more withdrawn. When we are under excessive or prolonged stress the range of effects may include: Physical Effects – such as increased heart rate which may cause palpitations, aches and pains caused by tense muscles (including headaches), difficulty breathing, numbness or tingling sensations due to over-breathing, frequent visits to
the toilet, ‘butterflies’ or even indigestion, sleep disturbance Emotional and Behavioural Effects – such as feeling tearful, tense, guilty, moody, worried, low self-esteem, weighed down by demands, agitated, angry, more likely to smoke or drink, more likely to take sick leave from work or make mistakes in daily tasks Mental and Organisational Effects – such as difficulty in concentrating, being more critical of yourself or others, poor decision making and poor time management, feeling more sensitive to other people’s behaviour and comments Health Effects – prolonged stress may trigger health problems or make existing health concerns worse. This can include asthma and hay fever/allergies, rashes and skin conditions such as eczema, headaches and migraines, stomach ulcers and diarrhoea. Heart disease is a possible effect of long-term stress.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common physical health effects of stress. Existing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure may become less well controlled with the effects of stress. Although this may sound worrying these health effects can be managed, and some may be reversed, with appropriate advice from your GP about managing stress. 10. 2 Circumstances that tend to trigger stress The source of stress may be different for each of us as we are all individual. Stress can affect any person at any time in their life, and is not limited to people in demanding jobs, or those with busy lives. Each of us may be able to identify areas of our life that we find personally stressful.
These can include: Relationship concerns – Family demands, juggling a job and childcare, problems in relationships, disagreements with spouse or partner, in-laws, parents, friends or neighbours The role that we have in life – other people have expectations of what we will do. If we feel that we must meet always these expectations this can lead to feelings of stress Financial worries Health worries – for our own health or those around us ? Not to be copied or reproduced 41 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Work problems – unemployment, demands at work, problems with a colleague or Manager, threat of redundancy, an excessive workload Housing problems – threat of homelessness, stress of buying a house or moving home, demands of maintaining a home Feeling isolated or lonely Experiencing abuse or harassment.
Within the workplace there may be factors such as: Feeling undervalued by other team members Inadequate training Lack of job satisfaction Inadequate staffing levels and/or skill mix Threat of unemployment/redundancy Conflict Inadequate management systems Inadequate communication within the workplace Long working hours and demanding shift patterns Inexperience Excessive workload. Demands may be internal, coming from the person themselves and may include: The person’s own personality – perfectionist who makes excessive demands on themselves Self-critical High expectations of self and others Unachievable or unrealistic goal setting Guilt feelings either reasonable or unreasonable. 10.
3 Ways to manage stress One of the first steps is to recognise that you are experiencing stress symptoms, and then to try and organise a manageable way of dealing with the demands in your life We need to accept that we cannot control everything in our lives. Getting a balance is important; knowing what stressful situations we can change and accepting those we cannot. Internal demands: You can start by being less demanding of yourself if your life is busy and causing feelings of stress Set reasonable time scales to complete all the things you want to do. Are there any things that can reasonably be put off for a day or two? Which things are most important?
There may be situations where stress is on-going, but it may help for you to reduce stress in another area of your life. This might be through listening to some music, enjoying the company of friends or family, or just a relaxing bath and an early night at the end of a hard day ? Not to be copied or reproduced 42 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Take some time for yourself to redress the balance Don’t feel guilty for taking some time off to manage the demands effectively. External demands: This is any stress that comes to us from someone or somewhere else, such as needs of family or work demands. Not all demands made of you will be reasonable.
Consider ways that you may be able to address the demands that are placed upon you Learn to say ‘no’ when you feel too much is being expected of you Don’t feel guilty for refusing requests from others sometimes. This will help you to continue to manage everyday demands more effectively in the long run Getting Help Communicate you feelings and concerns to your manager. They have a responsibility to support you and assist you to access additional support if this is necessary. Many people seek advice from their General Practitioner (GP) who will probably ask you some questions about your general health and offer health advice and may prescribe a short course of medication. Physical tests may be carried out (such as blood pressure checks) to rule out other health problems. Your GP may refer you/or advise you to speak to a counsellor.
Family and friends can be supportive in your efforts to manage your stress, by learning to be reasonable with their demands on your time. You will also need to make your needs known, and if you feel unable to manage a request then say so. Main area Food safely, nutrition and hydration Outcome: 11. 1 Understand the importance of food safety, including hygiene, in the preparation and handling of food 11. 2 Understand importance of good nutrition and hydration in maintaining wellbeing 11. 3 Recognise signs and symptoms of poor nutrition and hydration 11. 4 Be aware of ways in which to promote adequate nutrition and hydration ? Not to be copied or reproduced 43 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 11. 1
The importance of food safety and hygiene in the preparation and handling of food Legislation Laws have been put in place to protect people from eating contaminated food which might cause them harm. The main piece of law on this subject is the Food Safety Act 1990. This allows Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) enforcing these laws to: Enter food premises at any reasonable time Close food premises if they are a serious health hazard Instruct businesses to make improvements if defects are found Inspect documents e. g. cleaning schedules, temperature records Take food samples for laboratory testing Prevent selling of suspected food Remove foodstuffs unfit for human consumption.
Food Safety (Temperature Control) Regulations 1995 In general, these regulations state that high-risk foods must either be kept below 8oC or above 63oC, known as the Danger Zone. Some foods must be kept even colder (there are a few specific exceptions). Although the law states 8° C – 63° C, many businesses in the food industry work on a range of 5° C – 63° C. Operationally this is viewed as best practice. Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 This requires hygienic construction of food premises including adequate toilet and hand washing facilities, and protection from pests. Food hygiene In many health care environments there may be infection control responsibilities under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Safety Act (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995.
Under this legislation, workers who handle food must: Keep themselves and their workplace clean Wear suitable clean, washable or disposable, protective clothing Protect food from any possible contamination Abide by regulations setting out safe temperature controls for storage, preparation and display of food Inform their employer of any illness which may affect their safe handling of food. N. B: These regulations also require that employees who handle food as part of their normal duties should also undertake specific food hygiene training. The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations (1995) deal with the safe preparation of food for human consumption. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 44 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 It is concerned with: Food premises and storage Food handlers Food safety assessments Training. Everyone involved in any aspect of food preparation or handling must undergo training.
Hazard Analysis This is a major new requirement used for identifying potential hazards and measures to be taken to prevent them occurring. The law states that every food business: Must look at the steps involved in storing, preparing, displaying and selling food Identify what hazards could happen at each step Identify the steps critical to food safety (these are sometimes called Critical Control Points) Control the hazards at these critical steps and monitor to ensure this is being done Review their hazard analysis periodically. In most businesses, there is no statutory requirement to keep records but they are helpful in proving that you are trying to do things properly. Explain how to store food, hygienically handle food and dispose of food.
Food Storage There is a huge variety of food products available today, each having their own special storage requirements to keep them in good condition. Therefore, it is important to handle and store food in the best possible way – in the right conditions, at the correct temperature and for a safe length of time. Deliveries Most organisations which handle food have guidelines for checking food deliveries, but the key points are to ensure that food is fresh, at the correct temperature and contained in clean undamaged packaging. Dry Storage Dry storage is the long and short-term storage of canned and bottled goods, cereals, grains, tea, coffee and spices.
These must be stored in cool, dry, well ventilated conditions, off the ground, with enough space left between to allow for a flow of fresh air. When storing or displaying food the stock with the shortest shelf life should be placed at the front. This makes stock rotation much easier as stock with the shortest shelf life will be used first. Always check the date mark, packaging and condition of food before use. ? Not to be copied or reproduced 45 Common Induction Standards V1. 0512 Refrigerated Storage High risk and perishable foods must be kept in a fridge because this reduces the risk of fast reproduction of pathogenic or spoilage bacteria. If possible, use separate fridges for raw foods such as meat and poultry and for high-risk foods as discussed previously.
Where a fridge is multipurpose, always store raw meat and poultry on the bottom shelf so that blood and juices do not contaminate foods below. Stack shelves to allow for a good circulation of air and ensure that the fridge handle is cleaned and disinfected regularly. Keep doors closed and try to arrange your work so as not to constantly open and close the door as this allows temperature to rise. Refrigerated temperatures should be kept 0oC – 5oC and checked regularly. Freezer Storage Although bacteria are usually dormant at temperatures of –18oC or below, they often survive freezing and will start to reproduce as soon as food reaches the danger zone.
As with fridges, separate freezers should be used when possible for raw foods and high-risk foods. Where this is not possible raw foods must be stacked below high-risk foods. Those with a short shelf life should be easy to access as in dry storage stacking. Always make sure that all food is labelled and easy to read. Freezer temperatures should be kept to below –18oC and checked regularly. Maximising hygiene when handling food What is Food Hygiene? We all need to eat and drink to stay alive, so it is important that this food does not harm us in any way. Food hygiene incorporates the measures and good practices needed to ensure that food is safe, wholesome and fit to eat.
While high standards enable everyone to enjoy their food without illness, injury or other problems, poor standards can lead to all kinds of harm – even death! As food handlers we have legal obligations for keeping food safe to eat. Symptoms of food poisoning: Vomiting – being sick Diarrhoea Nausea – feeling sick Abdominal pain Fever – a raised temperature Headache – with some types. Hand washing Hand washing is an essential part of good food hygiene, and should be carried out frequently and effectively throughout the working day. Hands, especially under and around the nails, can harbour dirt and bacteria which can cross-contaminate foodstuffs handled. However, there are regulations laid down that state when hands must be washed: Before: Starting work Touching raw or high-risk foods.