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  7. Analyse own responsibilities with regard to legislation and...

Analyse own responsibilities with regard to legislation and policy for several areas of health and safety

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to analyse your own responsibilities in relation to health and safety, taking into account legislation and policy.

‘Legislation’ refers to the health and safety laws and regulations set out on this page. Policy refers to organisational policies and procedures or the agreed ways of working that you have with your employer.

A brief overview of each of the health and safety topics are provided below, however, your specific responsibilities will depend on your own particular job role. For example, if you are a qualified first-aider, you will have the responsibility to provide emergency first aid, but if you are not suitably qualified, this would be out of the scope of your role.

Emergency first aid

Only a qualified first-aider should perform first aid, however, as part of your Care Certificate, you may have undergone Basic Life Support training. This usually includes CPR and other life-saving techniques but would not include dealing with broken bones or other more serious wounds.

If you are in a management role, you may be required to carry out risk assessments and ensure that your organisation has the facilities, equipment and personnel to provide first aid. Further information can be found in this guidance from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Food safety

The preparation and cooking of food and drink should be carried out in a safe way and, ideally, you should have undergone food hygiene training. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) regulates food safety and an overview of related legislation and codes of practice can be found on their website.

Fire safety

All employees have a responsibility to ensure that they keep themselves and others in the work setting safe and should understand how to prevent fires from starting and spreading. Additionally, employees should know what they must do in the event of a fire, the evacuation routes and the importance of keeping evacuation routes clear. This information will be available in your organisation’s policies and procedures.

Risk to own safety

All employees have the responsibility to ensure that they do not do anything (or omit to do something) that could put their own safety in jeopardy. In addition, any concerns should always be reported to a manager as soon as possible. The HSE provides information about an employees responsibilities here.

Risk to safety of others

Similarly, employees must not do anything or omit to do something that could risk the safety of others, including co-workers, service users and the general public.

Prompting of administration of medication

Medication must only be administered after obtaining consent from an individual. It is illegal to force an individual to take medication or administer it to them covertly (such as by mixing it in their food) unless the individual has diminished mental capacity and a best interests meeting has been held. You will need to be aware of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the associated Code of Practice.

Infection prevention and control

High levels of hygiene and cleanliness must be maintained at all times to prevent the spread of germs.

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 state that all employers must perform risk assessments for any health and safety risks, which will include the possibility of infection. In addition, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) regulates the risk assessment and prevention/control of exposure to pathogens, such as germs. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) requires that certain diseases are reported to the HSE if an infection is deemed to have occurred through work-related activities.

All employees should follow their employer’s policies and procedures relating to infection prevention and control, undertake relevant training and use any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required and provided by their employer. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 explains that an employer must risk assess and provide PPE for free where necessary.

Hazardous substances

In the previous section, we referenced the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) in relation to pathogens. COSHH also covers other substances that could be hazardous to health including chemicals, medication, vapours and dust. Employers must assess the risk of the use of these substances and eliminate or reduce exposure, where possible.

The regulation includes the use, storage and disposal of hazardous substances. Employees have the responsibility of following their employer’s policies and procedures relating to hazardous substances.

Security

Employees must follow their employer’s policies and procedures relating to the security of both the work setting and work-related information. This will help to maintain the safety security of the employee and others and should have been risk assessed under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Secure storage of personal information comes under the Data Protection Act 2018 (including the General Data Protection Regulations – GDPR).

Security agreed ways of working will usually involve processes for checking someone’s identity before granting them access. It is also important to ensure that co-workers know your whereabouts at all times.

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