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Applying policies and procedures

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NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.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 critically evaluate the application of health and safety policies and procedures in your workplace. There is a lot of overlap between health and safety and other organisational responsibilities – for example, in the previous section we looked at how safety concerns may need to be reported to different agencies.

You should analyse how health and safety relates to other aspects of your organisation, how this is reflected in your organisation’s policies and procedures and how agreed ways of working are applied in practice. Areas that you should consider are explored below.

Safeguarding

Crossover between safeguarding and health and safety may occur if, for example, a service user is harmed due to inhalation of paint fumes. The incident would need to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under COSHH regulations but it may also need to be reported to the safeguarding team of the local authority because the individual had not been adequately protected from harm by their care provider.

Staff training and development

Health and Safety is a core component of all levels of adult care diplomas as well as the Care Certificate (Standard 13). So, not only is health and safety training a legal requirement but it is also a necessary part of the continuing professional development (CPD) of all employees.

Person-centred care & safety

Care providers must ensure that service users are protected from harm as much as reasonably possible but this should be balanced against their rights of choice, control and independence. Person-centred care involves working in partnership with service users and others to ensure that they are able to participate in the activities and relationships that they wish as safely as possible.

Risk management practices

Similarly, risk management practices will ensure that individuals are empowered to take risks if they wish to, but are supported to do this as safely as possible (positive risk management).

Leadership and management practice

It is an employer’s responsibility (under the Management of Health and Safety Regulations) to carry out risk assessments to ensure that staff, service users and others are protected from harm in the workplace. The manager is also responsible for ensuring that staff, service users and other authorised individuals have access to risk assessments, policies and procedures and understand their responsibilities.

Future practice

Over time, there will be changes to legislation, regulation and best practices and, as a manager, you will need to ensure that these changes are reflected in organisational policies and procedures and that the changes are effectively communicated to team members and other individuals that they may affect.

Monitoring the application of policies and procedures to ensure that they are being followed correctly will form part of your organisation’s quality assurance processes and may lead to insights into how policies and procedures could be improved going forward. Asking for feedback from service users, staff and others can also inform reviews of these documents.

Assessment criteria

Learners critically evaluate the application of health and safety policies and procedures in their workplace in respect of:

  • Safeguarding
  • Staff training and development
  • Person-centred care
  • Safety
  • Risk management practices
  • Leadership and management practice
  • Future practice
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