The unit ‘Develop health and safety and risk management policies procedures and practices in health and social care‘ explores the leadership and management of health, safety and risk-taking.
It begins with a look at the legislative framework and continues with the implementation and improvement of policies and procedures. It also examines supporting others with their responsibilities regarding health, safety and wellbeing.
Learning Outcome 1: Understand the current legislative framework and organisational health, safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices that are relevant to health, and social care or children and young people’s settings
1.1 Explain the legislative framework for health, safety and risk management in the work setting
- Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
- Also related legislation/regulation including Management of Health and Safety at Work, COSHH, RIDDOR, etc.
- Aims to minimise potential risk of harm to clients, employees and others in the workplace
- Health and Safety regulated and enforced by Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
- HSE works with Local Authorities (LAs)
- Care Quality Commission (CQC) also has powers to regulate and inspect care providers as specified in Health and Social Care Act 2012 and referenced in Care Act 2014
- Those not registered with CQC are regulated by HSE/LAs, however all three bodies work in partnership, where necessary.
1.2 Analyse how policies, procedures and practices in own setting meet health, safety and risk management requirements
- Care providers must have written health and safety policies procedures to fulfil their legal requirements
- Policies should set out both employer and employee roles and responsibilities
- Anything that could potentially cause harm should be risks assessed
- Does your organisation’s health and safety policies and procedures meet legal and regulatory requirements?
Learning Outcome 2: Be able to implement and monitor compliance with health, safety and risk management requirements in health and social care or children and young people’s settings
2.1 Demonstrate compliance with health, safety and risk management procedures
- Employer’s responsibility to ensure health and safety policies and procedures are documented, accessible and being used
- Can be demonstrated by ensuring written health and safety policies and procedures are in place and being used correctly by employees
- Should be regularly reviewed and audited for compliance
- Employees should be monitored to ensure that policies and procedures are being adhered to
2.2 Support others to comply with legislative and organisational health, safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices relevant to their work
- Managers should be able to answer employees questions about health and safety
- If answer is not immediately known, manager should find out and report back
- Health and safety should be discussed regularly in team meetings
- Employees should be inducted and trained in health and safety
- Manager should be a positive role model and consistently demonstrate compliance themselves
2.3 Explain the actions to take when health, safety and risk management, procedures and practices are not being complied with
- Staff should have the opportunity to understand their responsibilities with regards to health and safety and have access to training
- When employees do not adhere to health and safety agreed ways of working, the reason for their error should be identified and a solution developed collaboratively.
- Repeat offences can lead to disciplinary or legal action against the employee.
- CQC and HSE can inspect premises without notice (although notice is usually given)
- They can offer advice and guidance for improvement as well as written improvement notices, prohibition notices and prosecution of the employer in the most serious cases.
2.4 Complete records and reports on health, safety and risk management issues according to legislative and organisational requirements
- Record-keeping is essential because it maintains a paper trail of controls that were taken to minimise risk
- Records may be used to justify reasons behind decisions being made and evidence actions. They may also be used in court after serious incidents.
- Records should be legible, accurate, up-to-date and stored securely (as legislated by the Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR) to protect confidentiality
Learning Outcome 3: Be able to lead the implementation of policies, procedures and practices to manage risk to individuals and others in health and social care or children and young people’s settings
3.1 Contribute to development of policies, procedures and practices to identify, assess and manage risk to individuals and others
- To minimise (or remove) risk in a workplace, it is the manager’s responsibility to carry out risk assessments (as regulated by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations)
- Policies, procedures and practices should be written clearly and clinically.
- Risks should be assessed regularly and the policies and procedures updated accordingly.
- An employer may have a health and safety policy and other related policies detailing different areas such as fire safety, first aid, handling hazardous materials etc.
- To perform a risk assessment, a manager should take a common sense approach and identify areas where harm to self or others is possible, then assess the risk. Finally, measures should be put in place to remove the risks (or minimise them as much as possible).
- The risk assessment must be documented and reviewed regularly.
3.2 Work with individuals and others to assess potential risks and hazards
- When assessing risks for activities a service user wants to participate in or other risk assessments that directly affect the service user, the service user should have the opportunity to collaborate with the process.
- The discussion can help a service user to identify and understand the risks that are associated with the activity.
- Other persons such as the service user’s family and other professionals can assist with identifying risks and hazards.
- For example, a visit may be arranged with a representative from the local fire brigade to help identify any fire risks in a residence.
3.3 Work with individuals and others to manage potential risks and hazards
- As with the previous assessment criteria, service users, their loved ones and other professionals can provide input that can help to manage potential risks and hazards.
- For example, a service user’s parents may advise of a piece of music that soothes the service user when they get anxious, which can be used as an intervention before they become aggressive.
Learning Outcome 4: Be able to promote a culture where needs and risks are balanced with health and safety practice in health and social care or children and young people’s settings
4.1 Work with individuals to balance the management of risk with individual rights and the views of others
- Positive risk-taking should be practiced – the risks of an activity should be weighed against the potential benefits for the individual.
- Risk assessments should aim to enable rather than hinder
- Risk enablement panels can support positive risk-taking.
- Service users should not be denied their rights, however sometimes there will be conflicts between an individual’s rights and health and safety.
- Where there are dilemmas between duty of care and the rights of the service user, discussion and collaboration are key.
4.2 Work with individuals and others to develop a balanced approach to risk management that takes into account the benefits for individuals of risk taking
- See positive risk-taking above
- Should focus on what service users can do rather than what they cannot do
- ‘Safety first’ approach may not be the best approach and controlling or restricting a service user’s choices can actually be more detrimental than beneficial
4.3 Evaluate own practice in promoting a balanced approach to risk management
- Reflect on situations where you wrote risk assessments directly related to a service user.
- Did you work collaboratively with them? Did you focus on what they can do rather what they can’t do? Did you empower them to make their own decisions and help to minimise risks?
- Could you have done something better? What did you learn from the experience?
4.4 Analyse how helping others to understand the balance between risk and rights improves practice
- Supports working in a person-centred way
- Promotes positive risk taking
- Supports service to think about their choices
- Builds a bond of trust between care provider and care receiver
Learning Outcome 5: Be able to improve health, safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices in health and social care or children and young people’s settings
5.1 Obtain feedback on health, safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices from individuals and others
- Feedback can be obtained from service users, their loved ones, employees and other healthcare professionals
- CQC will also provide feedback following an inspection
- Complaints, comments and compliments can be useful for identifying areas of improvement
- Team meetings, supervision and appraisal can provide feedback from employees
5.2 Evaluate the health, safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices within the work setting
- Health and safety policies, procedures and practices should be reviewed at least one every twelve months or sooner if there have been identified shortfalls
- Audits can help to identify areas that need to be revised
- An audit trail of changes to policies, procedures and practices should be maintained
5.3 Identify areas of policies, procedures and practices that need improvement to ensure safety and protection in the work setting
- This could from reviews, feedback, audits, changes in legislation/regulation/best practice, or the result of a situation that wasn’t adequately covered by the policy,
5.4 Recommend changes to policies, procedures and practices that ensure safety and protection in the work setting
- Ensure that changes the policy are necessary – for example, could it be that employees are not following the policy correctly and require additional training?
- What is the rationale for making the changes? Can you justify your decision?
- “…risk is socially constructed and needs to be understood as involving both positive and negative consequences for the vulnerable individual…” (Titterton, 2005)
- HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT 1974. London: The Stationary Office.
- TITTERTON. M. (2005). Risk and Risk Taking in Health and Social Welfare. London: Jessica Kingsley