WHAT IS A HAZARD
Hazard goes for everyone; staffs, visitors, service providers. A hazard is known as something that can cause harm to an individual. There are many health and security hazards. A hazard can be a potential hazards or a very large hazards but all this can lead to a health risk which can result to other health issues. When working in health and social care, health professionals need to be able to understand and be aware of all the hazards that might come up when working with the patients and in a health environment. Working in different environments such as care homes, residential care, hospitals, nurseries also means working with different equipment’s. When it comes to hazards, there are many key terms that health providers need to know which are:
Risks : risk can come in highs and lows which can also cause harms and hazards which can affect health. That’s why in health and social care it is important that we try to avoid the risks so that health providers can be able to provide the right care. For example, when in a Day Care, health providers create risk assessments so that everyone is safe when they go on the trip. This is important so that the service users can feel comfortable on the trip and know they are safe.
Health Hazards: when it comes to hazards, it can also affect illness caused by accidents. That’s why it is important that an individual is fully protected when going out or where they stay to avoid risks which can lead to further health problems. Health hazards can be chemicals that can damage the eyes, lungs, they can also be toxic and irritant to an individual. For example, in a residential home, they are building new ramps for the wheelchair users, this could affect the other service users as they would be breathing in smoke and dust which can lead to breathing problems as it would have contaminated the air.
Safety hazards: safety is very important when comes to health. When it comes to safety hazards, it includes accidents leading to damage of equipment’s and personal injuries. That is why when health professionals work in health and social care, they need to be able to learn how to use all the equipment’s so that they would not injure themselves and those around them. For example, in a residential acre, a service user would lean how to use a Stand Aid Sling before using it. It is also sensible to have a support around in case anything does not go to plan.
Security Hazards: In health and social care, security is very important. That’s why confidentiality is taking as a very important action in the health and social care core values because when working in health, they need to be able to feel safe and know that they are protected. Many things include Security hazards such as property, personal or documented information, theft, leaving without consent or even being abducted. For example, in a residential care home, a staff member has left documents about a service user on the table unattended too. This be a security hazards as anyone can pick up the information and do something to it which can affect the service user
Health hazards in health and social care:
This booklet is going to go further into detail about the hazards found in health and social care, here are six with reference with related examples
Hazards in the physical environment
When it comes to physical environment it includes everything that is around the individual which include equipment, building, air, temperature. Where an individual stays, it can impact their health and wellbeing in a positive and negative way. In a health and social care setting an individual’s physically is very important. For example poor ventilation can cause problems like increased airborne infections, influenza and even increase colds. When it comes to temperature, being too cold or too hot have their own problems. For example, being too cold can stop someone from concentrating or listen to what is being said. It can also make the individual sick and unable to retain information. Too hot can also cause individual to sleep off and lose concentration as well. In a residential care home, temperature is very important because old people tend to find it difficult to maintain their body temperature.
When air is polluted with fumes and smoke, contaminated Air, there are many chemicals in the air that are very harmful. The air should be fresh and clean for an individual to be able to breathe normally and safely Ventilation should also be considered as it can remove stale air and provide air movement. It is important that service users are far from smoke, toxic air, extra perfumes because it can affect an individual and can lead to health problems such as asthma, chest infections, respiratory illnesses etc
When talking to a service user, some might be visually impaired, and some can see normally but however lighting can affect both. When it’s too dark or too light, individuals would not be able to communicate effectively, and this can lead to missed and unclear information. It is important that when a staff is talking to a service user, the service user needs to be able to see them. For example, a staff user talking to a service user in a dark room. The communication would be provided badly as the service user would not have a clear view of what is going on around them. Lighting in room, should be right and positioned at the right place so that it can enable the service user to do their activities and enjoy themselves. Poor lighting can also cause hazards especially to the visually impaired because when an individual cannot see what is going on around them, they tend to be in danger as they have poor vision. That’s why the environment has to be safe for the service users and harmful objects, equipment’s or unnecessary furniture should be put away to prevent injury.
In a residential care home. Miss Agnes who goes to oaks care home, has dementia. She is visually impaired slightly but it is preferred for her to wear her glasses. She has a meeting with her career in her room to sort out her care plan but however Miss Agnes wants it in the garden which is next to their neighbors who are currently smoking. The weather has changed drastically as it is now really cold. In Oaks care home, Mrs Agnes is currently in the social room, unfortunately a service user had poured his tea and because the floor is still wet a staff has placed a Yellow wet floor cone which is also near the way towards miss Agnes room.
First off all, the service user would have to wear her glasses as it is important she does so for her safety for example she would not barge into objects or furniture as they could be known as potential hazard which could result to her falling down and slipping on the tea that was spilt. A career would have to assists Miss Agnes to her destination. The career would have to explain to Miss Agnes that the garden would not be a good idea as it is too cold, and the air is contaminated with smoke from the neighbours next door which could affect her health and concentration therefore it is better to have it in her room. As Miss Agnes has dementia it is right for the service user to help to get to her room as she might have forgot the way there.
Hazards for equipment’s:
In health and social care, there are many equipment’s which are used by different professionals. These equipment’s that could cause hazards are:
• Equipment’s left untidy which can block doors and fire exits or to cause an individual to fall.
• Lack of awareness of hazards: this could be moving objects or surfaces with chemicals or harmful substances on them
• Unsafe practices: this could be unprotected wires or overloaded sockets.
• Poor maintenance: this be broken equipment’s, frayed wiring kept in unsafe places.
When it comes to equipment’s hazards, service providers need to be aware, anticipate and avoid it.
When working with equipment’s in health and social care, it is important that service providers check that they are fully working and functional. When working with equipment’s, it is important that they are checked regularly in a scheduled form and recorded. When equipment’s are found to be faulty, they should be kept away or fixed because when used, they could read false results or cause injury to health providers and users. Example of equipment’s which need to be checked could be Hoists, medical equipment’s, x- ray machines, fire and safety checks etc.
Plug and sockets should be kept away and out of sight so that no one can trip on them or even get shocked. All electrics should be checked regularly and recorded because if the equipment is not safe, it can cause harm and injuries to the individual who may use it.
Computers are one of the main equipment’s we use in health and social care. A computer can also cause harm to an individual for example being positioned too high which can cause repetitive neck and back pains. It can also be bad for sight is the light is too bright or two low.
In a residential care home. Miss Jason who goes to oaks care home, she is currently on a wheelchair would need help to get unto her bed as she has a meeting with her career. She is visually impaired slightly, but it is preferred for her to wear her glasses. She also has a side bed remote next to her with different directions. She has a meeting with a her career in her room to sort out her care plan. the career is now on her way to meet Miss Jason, unfortunately a service user had poured his tea next to the tv switches which is also the way towards miss Agnes room.
Solution: in this situation, Miss Jason carer would have to check if the host works properly and safety before use so that she would not harm herself and Miss Jason. Miss Jason is slightly physically impaired so that is why it is important that she understands the remote next to her and how to use it so that she does not put herself at danger when a carer is not there to help. Now the carer is on her way to Miss Jason’s room, she needs to be aware of the spilt tea and put up a wet cone so that no one can slip. She also needs to inform other carers that the plugs are wet and should not be used now until dry to avoid shock or harm.
Hazardous working practice:
It is important that in health and social care, staffs follow procedures, instructions correctly so that they do not put their selves and the service users in danger. A service providers safety is also as important as a service use safety. When procedures are not taking properly, it can lead to illnesses and infections. For example, in a care home, elderly individuals are found to be more vulnerable because their immune system is not as strong as their body gets older and fighting infection could take long as the body might not be able to act fast.
In a care home, there are many medical procedures which will take place. For example, the service users taking medication through a needle or through medication. It is important that when using a syringe, that it is a new one for each patient and it is thrown away after each use. Gloves need to be work as a service provider as they would be meeting with blood. Needles are very sharp a can cause many injuries if not disposed properly. Personal hygiene should also be considered straight away for example washing hands with water and soap as service providers would be touching different things when working with many and different clients.
Hazards working practice: when it comes to the way a service provider deals with his or her job, that is could be their working practice. They way the provide care, handle and treat patients, prepare foods, giving injections. It is important in health and social care, rules and regulations should be followed if not it can lead to harm and risks to a service provider and service user. When handling an individual, they may slip and trip or be in an uncomfortable position. Theses mistakes can lead to strain, fractures for both service user and provider.
Also, when it comes to fire emergencies, each staff members should also have a knowledge of what to do, where to go so that the service users and their selves are safe. Also, when working in health and social care, staff should go through their sets of training on what to do, how to use equipment’s, how to identify hazards etc. they should also be aware of the potential risk and hazards so that they can avoid them and be safe
In a residential care home, mobility gets slower for the service users and they are very vulnerable as they can be injured very easily. That’s is why every service user should be handled with care and protected from any harm.
Staff should be trained when it comes to helping the service users with personal care. When preparing their food, they should also wear a hair net and wash their hands before starting any job, so infection does not spread. Staffs members should also be aware of cross contamination from different things and places. These germs can spread and can lead to food poisoning because of poor hygiene.
Working conditions: working conditions is seen as the way an individual works, such as the amount of working hours you work, relations between the their other colleges, staffing levels.