Health and Safety
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work Act is a primary legislation that came into law in 1974. It is designed to protect employees throughout the UK in their working environment. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) work along side local authorities and employer to enforce the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
It is a complex legislation but all employers should be aware of its contents and any amendments or additions that occur as it is the employer’s duty to ensure the health and safety of all employees.
When thinking about health and safety in the work place these following things should be considered;
Buildings - Any thing that can’t be removed
For example windows should be made of safety glass.
Walls should be secure and safe.
Flooring should be non-slip.
Radiators should be at a safe temperature.
Environment – The surroundings in the work place
For example Heating should be set at correct temperature.
There should be sufficient light to carry out duties.
Air should be clean.
Equipment – Anything that can be removed
For example all electrical items should be PAT tested.
Toys should be in good working order and also should be safety tested (CE, kite – marked, lion mark).
Self - (employers and employees)
Protection from any risks and dangers is of utmost importance.
Employers have a legal obligation to ensure a safe and healthy work place. (Welsh assembly government 2011accessed 17/03/2013).
For example Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should give given to all employees to reduce the exposure of any hazards they may come across. Employees should be qualified or trained in all work tasks where appropriate. When working with children or vulnerable adults staff should have an up to date Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.
Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations (2002)
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) (2002) are regulations that can help reduce exposure to hazardous substances and if exposed have in place an action plan of what to do related to the particular exposure. It is good practice to have a risk assessment in place when working with hazardous substances and procedures in place for when it has occurred.
Hazardous substances can either be bodily fluids (blood, mucus, urine, vomit or saliva), drugs or chemicals.
[pic]When working in your setting you regularly come into hazardous substances. It is the employer’s responsibility to insure any risks associated with certain substances are greatly reduced.
Everyone should be aware that hazardous substances related to not only the obvious such as cleaning materials medication and chemicals, but also natural substances like blood, bacteria and bodily fluids. Therefore whenever you run the risk of contamination of any substance be it bodily or chemical PPE should be available and worn.
All chemicals should be clearly marked and stored away preferably in a locked cupboard when not in use. Protective gloves should always be used when dealing with corrosive or irritant substances. Manufacturer’s instructions should be read and followed when using cleaning fluids.
You should be aware of any procedures if certain substances spill or come into contact with skin, cuts or eyes.
When dealing with bodily fluids you should always be aware of the risk of infections such as HIV, hepatitis, bacterial and viral, Protective gloves and aprons should always be worn to reduce this risk. Waste should be disposed safely in a designated bin to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
In a nursery setting it is sometimes a requirement to administer medication. All medication should be stored away from children preferably in a locked cupboard. Medication including any creams should never be given without written consent of the parents.
Always check that medication is in date and prescribed to that particular child. Medication should be stored appropriately and away from children. Always apply cream wearing protective gloves and always be aware of any requirements relating to the medication.
Once medication is administered you are required to log when and where it was given including witness’s signature and a copy should be given to the parents who should sign also.
If disposing of medical waste you should have a designated waste box for that specific purpose for example a sharps box for needles.
Example of a medication form
Manual handling is one of the most common causes of injury at work and causes over a third of all workplace injuries which include work related Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) such as upper and lower limb pain/disorders, joint and repetitive strain injuries of various parts of the body.www.hse.gov/msd/manualhandling.html (accessed 26/03/2013)
Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) is a legal duty for employers to ensure the safety of employees when it comes to lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling carrying and repetitive movements.
The Regulations require employers/employees to:
Avoid – any risky manual handling operations.
Access – the risks of manual handing operations
Reduce – the risk of injury that may result in manual handling operations.
In 2012 HSE introduced the assessment of repetitive tasks of the upper limbs (ART) to help reduce upper limb disorders (ULDs) in the work place. It also helps workers to identify bad posture in the work place and how to correct it as bad posture can cause significant damage to the lower back and neck.
When lifting children or equipment in your setting you should always consider the risk of injury. There is no legal amount that you can’t exceed recommendations are 5kg. Always keep in mind you should never attempt to lift anything that could cause you harm. When lifting children or equipment in the setting you should always consider the risk of injury, when lifting you should keep your back straight and bend only with your knees. Always avoid twisting when lifting and have a good grip of what or who you are lifting. If you think something is too heavy to lift alone as for help if no help is available do not lift. The most common complaint in nursery settings according to medical practitioners is back pain relating to sitting in children’s chairs; always try to sit in a chair that is ergonomically designed for adults.
R.I.D.D.O.R - Reporting of injuries diseases and dangerous occurrences regulation.
By law employers and persons responsible for health and safety need to notify the HSE of any accidents contagious diseases and occurrences that are considered dangerous.
Deaths occurring in the work place should be reported straight away. Injuries that occur in the workplace with the injured needing seven days off work should be reported within fifteen days. Contagious or work related illnesses that occur should be reported as soon as a doctor has given a diagnosis
As of 6 April 2012, RIDDOR’s over-three-day injury reporting requirement has changed. The trigger point has increased from over three days’ to over seven days’ incapacitation not counting the day on which the accident happened.(www.hse.gov.uk/riddor accessed 3/04.2013). Employers and other responsible persons should still keep records of 3 day incapacitation according to European Union laws.
In a nursery setting it is the manager’s responsibility to report any injuries, diseases and also any thing dangerous that happens in the setting to either adults or children. All accidents to adults should be logged in a separate accident book to the children, stating date, time what happened injuries occurred and any outcomes. Anything that results in hospital or time off from the setting should be sent to the HSE as well as any contagious illnesses.
In the UK the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is an independent government department responsible for food safety and hygiene.
If you are producing snacks or meals on a daily basis it is your responsibility to make sure the food you are serving is safe to eat. There are a number of guidelines you should follow to ensure no contamination/ cross contamination occurs. When preparing food all surfaces and equipment should be clean and ready for use. You should follow good personal hygiene and cover any cuts with a blue plaster. There should be a separate sink for the sole purpose of hand washing in the kitchen. Always ensure food is cooked through out before serving
It is good practice only persons with a valid food hygiene qualification should handle food. It is important to carry out good food hygiene for the safety of employees and children in your setting. All food should be stored correctly and at the correct temperature. All freezers should be set at minus eighteen degrees centigrade and all fridges between one degrees and five degrees centigrade. To reduce contamination all food should be suitably wrapped in a fridge or freezer raw meat should always be stored in the bottom and fresh food towards the top. When chopping or preparing food they should be laid on appropriate chopping boar...