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Applications of Risk Assessments for Social Workers

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is an important part of health and safety as it used to assess and reduce the potential hazards within a workplace setting to protect the individuals using the service, staff and others who are on the premises. For this you need to be able to identify a risk that would include you and others.

Risk assessment is about weighing up the benefits of an activity against the likelihood of harm and putting control measures in place to prevent harm. In managing these risks, we enable individual to live a full life. Risk is a part of everyday life and you are not expected to remove all risks. What you must do is make sure you know about the main risks and the things you need to do to manage them responsibly. Generally, you need to do everything reasonably practicable to protect individuals from harm.

Why do we do risk assessments?

-We are responsible for the care and protection of the patients and employees by ethically.

-Practically you need to identify ways to reduce harm occurring.

Legally by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 says that if there are 5 or more employees you must do a risk assessment on every activity, as well as people and it must be recorded.  There’re numerous responsibilities under this act for instance to put protections in place to decrease the chances of a risk, arrange emergency procedures to deal with any dangers and ensure all employees are properly trained in the way to carry out a risk assessment.

-By training and communicating with our staff we can keep them updated by doings risk assessments, so that they work safely with people.

A hazard that would be in a health care setting would be if the bed was too high or too low because the patients would need to get into and out of their bed and if it is too high then they could fall out of it and if it is too low then they would need to bend down to sit on it which will be sore on their knees and back if they have any knees and back problems. It also hurts the career because they must try and help the patient out of the bed and they could have back problems as well. This falls under the legislation of Manual Handling as this legislation covers a range of actions such as lowering, pulling, lifting, pushing and carrying. If any of these tasks aren’t filled out properly then there is a risk of injury. To prevent any injury from this then you will need to:

-Don’t a lot of twisting, reaching and stooping

-Try to not to lifting from floor level or directly above shoulder height, particularly if it’s heavy loads

-Regulate storage areas to reduce the need to do such movements

-Think about ways you can shorten down your carrying distances

-Judge the weight that will be carried and whether an employee will be able to move the load safety or will need help, perhaps it can be broken down to less easier parts

Another hazard would be is if cleaning products were lying out as a patient could walk by and pick it up and drink it as they might think it is a bottle of water and therefore it would end up harming them or killing them. This would be part of the legislation of COSHH which is Control of Substances Hazardous to Health as this is the law that requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. You can stop or decrease employee’s exposure to hazardous substances by:            -discovering what the health hazards are,

-determining a way to avoid harm to health, for example a risk assessment

– providing control measures to lower harm to health,

-ensuring that they are used,

-keeping everything in good working order,

-giving information, orders and training for workers and others,

-providing monitoring and health surveillance in appropriate cases,

-planning for emergencies.

All these cause harm to an employee and a patient and others. They are mostly recognised as harmful. Common substances such as paint, bleach or dust former natural materials may also be harmful.

Needles is a big hazard in a care setting as if there are any needles lying around they could end up either being contaminated or a patient could hurt themselves by touching it skin that’s why they need to be locked up safe and put away from any distance that a patient can see it. This is part of RIDDOR which is Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations as this part of an employer’s responsibility to report certain serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases occurrences. A reportable injury would be if someone died, had specified injuries for instance if someone had broken a leg then you would need to report that so that it is written down for people to know what has happened and to be careful.

To help with my assignment I found information from the NISCC website to find out the codes of conduct for a social care worker. I found out that there are six main standards of conduct. This is to do with the behaviour of a social care worker towards service users, carers and the people they work with.

A social worker must:

-Earn and keep the trust of service users and carers

  • Be truthful and reliable
  • Listen properly and talk clearly
  • Keep service user’s information safe
  • Follow all care agreements and plans

-A social care worker should make sure that they do a good job and keep learning new skills to do a good job

  • Be responsible for their work and the decisions they make
  • Keep good records let their manager know if there are problems that could make working difficult
  • Help service users and carers to make a complaint if they need to
  • Take any training or learning needed to do their job properly

– Protect the rights and support the safety and well-being of service users and carers

  • Treat people as an individual and respect and kindness
  • Listen well and talk clearly to service users
  • Respect the views, privacy and wishes of service users and carers

-A social worker should respect service users’ rights and keep them safe from hurting themselves or other people

  • Understand that service users have the right to take positive risks
  • Reduce any risks of harm or danger to service users
  • Follow the rules of risk assessment

-A social worker should support service users to be independent and safe

-Support service users to be independent and safe

  • Make sure service users understand their rights and also keep themselves safe
  • Report all problems and risky things to the manager
  • Follow health and safety rules

-A social care worker should behave well so that the public trust and respect social care services

  • Discriminate – treat people differently and wrongly
  • Put themselves or other people at danger
  • Behave inappropriately outside of the care setting or on social networking sites such as Facebook or Instagram

Conclusion

In this I talk about what a risk assessment is which is a crucial part of health and safety to prevent any potential hazards. Then I go on to say that what type of hazards that would occur in a health care setting such as a bed being too high and such and what legislation falls under and how it is linked to the hazard. The last thing I did was find a source to help back up my point and therefore I found something on the NISCC website and found out what a social worker must do.

Bibliography

http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/manual.htm

http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/basics.htm

http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/key-definitions.htm

http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/

https://niscc.info/storage/resources/sociacarestandards_easyread.pdf

DLE


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