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Nowadays, young people are highly concern about their health and safety so that they can maintain a safe and secure environment for themselves and for their children (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014). However, people for their living work in different situations by carrying out dangerous activities. Thus, it is the duty of the care taker and nurses to make sure that they are given with appropriate and proper home care environment so that risks and uncertainties that are associated with the activities can be reduced and children and young people get best health care services in a safe and secure environment. Present report focuses on the “home child care organization of UK” that provides environment services that supports children and young people's health and safety. Thereafter, researcher recognises the risks to health and safety of people at home care services and accordingly, illustrating the methods to support children and young people risks and manage it suitably. Lastly, report highlights the response to accidents, incidents emergencies and illness in child home care and off site visits. The main purpose of researcher behind conducting this study is to enhance the knowledge and skills regarding all the risks and tools to overcome the risks for children and young people at different work settings.
Many factors are required to be taken into account while planning for health and safety in indoor/outdoor environment. These include:
Age: It is a specific parameter as children in the age of 0 to 3 years have more concern related to safety. In the same way, children above 3 years tend to interact with outdoor environment to carry out the playful activities. Their safety concerns are different and lot more complex due to presence of outdoor environment. So, child home care organizations have to take care of this entire factor for the safety of children.
Individual needs: Some children or young people may have special needs. For example, a young person suffering from motor disabilities may require safety conditions such as proper staircases, good lightning etc. In the same way, children suffering from obesity would require a playground or a walking area nearby so, as to keep him fit.
Health and safety can be monitored and maintained by understanding the specific needs and requirement of children and young people. In this regard personal care taker can be appointed so as to ensure that health and safety requirements for children are being met in the best possible manner.
It is important to make the home health care worker aware of the risks and hazards so that they can work in a safe manner. Awareness can be increased by training the home care practitioners about the on-going hazards. The training session can include calling an expert in risk management who can deliver a speech on various risks and hazards present in children home care premises. For example, the safety needs of the child from pets, and other health care equipment. So, that chances of risk can be avoided to some extent and provide best home care services to the child. A leaflet can also be distributed to the child's family, so as to increase their understanding about on-going hazards, risk and there subsequent prevention.
Other than that, one on one meeting should also be held with home care practitioner so as to identify the risks and hazards that are likely to be faced by them. The technique will assist the home health care worker to decide over the measures that are to be taken for protecting the children from risks.
Health and Safety executive: The UK based organization has released Guidance on health and safety for the home care services, so as to protect the children and young people from risks to health and safety that arise while they are taking the home health care services (Guidance, 2015). It further provides advice on accident reporting, assessment of risk, manual handling of equipment’s, control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) etc.
Child accident prevention trust: This organization is there to bring reduction in number of children and young people that die and get seriously injured or get disabled due to accidents. It has brought a series of guidelines to prevent the children from any hazards (CAPT, 2015). They achieve the prevention by providing safety information about common types of injuries, accident locations as well as present safety equipment and standards.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents: The organization is based on mission to save lives and reduce injuries. It further promotes the accidents in home care services by carrying out a safety education (ROSA, 2015).
The Department of Education: This is further responsible for areas that are related to education and providing children services. It thus offers advice to children and young people about their health and well-being (Department of Education, 2015).
There is always a potential for injury in case of young people while they are taking the home health care services. This is because; there are various types of equipment used in home care services and children and his family are not aware of it. These parameters make it very important to implement the safety legislation, policies and procedures. Various parameters are adhered so as to ensure that there is a proper implementation of the legislation in home care services. These include:
Looking at the present hectic schedule of an individual, there are several potential hazards that are associated with his or her health and safety. However, it is good for the children and young people to get the home care services so they get appropriate working environment as well as appropriate gears to provide the services in a safe and secure manner (Hasselhorn and et.al., 2014). However, there are different types of potential hazards that can take place at home care services at the school of the children. So, home child care organization also needs to talk with the authority of kids school regarding the safety issue. So as to keep the children safe from any kind of physical hazards. These are considered as the most common risks that could happen at school while children are playing. Therefore, observing things around children can help in minimizing such risks (Singh, Hanna and Kjellstrom, 2015). Along with this, fire risk is also associated with it, so to control over it fire extinguisher is to be fixes at school so in case if it happens school management can handle the situation appropriately. For identifying such hazard, concern staff of the pantry needs to make routine inspection of pantry. So that risk of fire can be avoided to some extent (Halpern, 2014).
There are various ways of dealing with hazards in a work setting and it is the responsibility of home care taker to make sure that the best possible environment is given to the children and visitors so that they can conduct their part of work in a suitable manner. Following are the methods of controlling risks which are ranked from the highest level of protection and reliability to the lowest. This is also known as hierarchy of risk control.
Eliminate: This is considered as the most effective control measures and must be considered before doing anything (Blaikie and et.al., 2014). For instance, duty of the care taker is to remove trip hazards on the floor or disposing of unwanted healthcare equipments likes needle, injection etc. So that there will be a less chance of spreading infection.
Substitute: It is also an appropriate method of dealing with hazards, as health care worker should replace or substitute the hazard with less hazardous practices. For instance, replacing old equipments with latest.
Isolate: In this approach, employer or manager at the workplace should separate the hazard or hazardous work practice from children and young people by keeping some barriers (Hemingway and Priestley, 2014). For example, placing sign boards around hazardous areas etc.
Administrative controls: This is the control which focuses on providing guidance to the health care worker regarding how to operate the equipment as well as putting sign boards at each level so that children and his family and other visitors can be made aware about the risks.
Personal protective equipments (PPE): This is the last but most common method of dealing with expected risks or hazards (Bahr, 2014). Providing appropriate gears to the employees will help then in minimizing the risks while providing health care services.
For managing the health and safety of people that are associated with business, employer must undertake the risk assessment guidelines to control the risks at home care services and schools (López-Arquillos and et.al., 2014). However, risk assessment is not about preparing lots of paper work, but moreover, it is a process of identifying sensible measures to control the risks at workplace of visit sites. There are five steps of preparing health and safety risk assessment which are as follows:
Identify Risks or Hazards: In order to execute the health and safety risk assessment, health care specialist needs to take visit around the home place of patient to visit him and observe the potential hazards. However, this can be done through identifying the proper checking of the instruments and equipments used in giving treatment at children home place (Farsalinos and Polosa, 2014).
Who might be harmed: After identifying all the potential hazards, care taker must identify the people who might be harmed through those hazards. However, some employees require specific gears; think about the people like visitors, workers and the family of the child who are also available at the home place.
Evaluate the risk: Once the risk is identified and whom it will harm, the next step for home health care worker is to evaluate the level of its likelihood (Risk Assessment Matrix, 2015).
Record Findings: In this step of risk assessment, care taker needs to record all the findings so as to develop appropriate and suitable measures for the situations and people and their children can be given safe and secure environment.
Review risk assessment: After implementing the risk assessment, it is important to review the appropriateness of measures so that risks and uncertainties can be minimized.
(Source: Risk Assessment Matrix, 2015)
Through the help of above risk assessment plane, care taker can easily evaluate and identify the risks and rate it so that potential measures can be undertaken. The likelihood table illustrates the level of harm that risks can possess to people or business (Arghami and et.al., 2014). Therefore, on the basis of severity of harm, care taker can easily implement the strategy or control measures to provide safe and secure environment to the patient at chid home care.
By operating in such a competitive environment, there is very few home health care organization which remains the same. However, sooner or later in order to sustain or match the industry, it has to bring changes and modifications like new technology, equipment etc. that could easily lead to new hazards. Therefore, it is the duty of senior health care practitioner to review implemented control measures so that in case if required, potential measures can be undertaken and risks and uncertainties can be minimized for the people that are associated with him (Meeks and et.al., 2014). Following are some of the questions that need to be evaluated for reviewing the health and safety risk assessment:
This is the first step of reviewing or monitoring the health and safety risk assessment. However, it is essential before making any decision that care taker should identify that whether there have been any significant changes required or not. In case, if there are any changes required then care taker and nurses should identify its potential risks and people who can be harmed and need to take the measures to reduce the effect of those hazards.
While assessing the new risk, it is also essential for the employer to evaluate the implemented measures of performance and to assess whether there is need of further improvements, if required then smart and reliable steps need to be taken (Tweedy and CHSP, 2014).
This is the most important aspect of monitoring health and safety risk assessment. However, health care worker can identify the gap and then it is the first priority of him to fill that gap so that health care safety standards can be managed and controlled.
It is the worst aspect of identifying issue or problem in risk assessment. However, manager has the responsibility of evaluating the past incidents so that appropriate strategies and control measures can be implemented and the level of risk in the near future can be reduced (Health and Safety Executives, 2015).
Indulging risk management assist in managing risks and not eliminating it, thus, taking balanced approach to risk management assists the care taker to identify various aspects that are related to the abilities and skills of individual. The main purpose of balanced approach in managing risks is that it takes into account the age factor of child or young person and ensures that they are given the tasks or responsibility as per the ability and age. This will assist in minimizing certain level of risk while doing the task. Furthermore, balanced approach focuses on providing individuals appropriate guidance so that they can avoid taking excessive risks and perform task in best suitable manner. Most importantly, this method helps the care taker in recognising the significance of risk and challenge to child or young person development so that if it is affecting severely proper guidance and measures need to be taken and it is required to develop appropriate working environment for the individual.
Young People: Health and safety could be a major dilemma for the young people at child home care services is that they do not understand the risk properly. This is because; they have not developed the skills to evaluate the risks which come with experience. In general, young people learn from experiencing the risks and accordingly, they develop skills to understand the results of their choices (Identifying Hazards And Controlling Risks, 2014). Problems occur when they put themselves into danger with knowing the likelihood of the harm. Therefore, health care workers and social worker can organise regular key working sessions with young people and assist them in enhancing their understanding so that they can make informed choices.
Children: Children on the other hand learn by trying new experiences and then make choices. Sometimes, they do not possess required skills and capabilities which create obstacles in making always a sound choice. However, it is the responsibility of parents or guardian to identify the potential hazards in any situation and the judge whether the activity is safe for the child or not (Healthy Working Life, 2014). For instance, disable child might be restricted by his or her parents at home but in a well-controlled environment, they should be motivated or encouraged to explore and try out new things for developing new skills.
However, I allow the child to assess and manager risk according to his or her development stage which helps them in developing their own judgement as well as provide them the platform to manage their own risks which can enhance their confidence. Furthermore, my purpose is to allow children to assess risk for themselves with appropriate guidance so that they form a sense of danger. It is because; children who understand danger for themselves can make good choices. I do this by using language as per the age of child. However, it can be said that world is full of dangers and children must learn the way to deal with these situations. Therefore, in controlled environment, child should be taught about the dangerous in crossing the roads and the way to stay safe. Furthermore, teaching them the manner to use the scissors will assist them in reducing the risk of cutting themselves or others.
There are several accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness that could take place to the young people while taking the home care services-
Therefore, in order to manage the safe and secure environment in such adverse situations, it is important for the care taker and other home care service provider to frame appropriate policies or procedures regarding health and safety settings.
Sickness policy: It is the document which is concerned with the well-being and safety of all individuals present at the home care services and at workplace. Furthermore, proper guidelines need to be given to the young people and children so that in sickness situation they can be vulnerable to infection. The main purpose of this policy is to make sure that safe and appropriate administration of medication is carried out in accordance with legislative requirements (Farsalinos and Polosa, 2014). However, the committee is responsible for providing and maintaining the suitable equipped First Aid Kit. Moreover, proper record of medication, accident, injury and illness will help in maintaining healthy environment at the home place. So that proper treatment can be provided to the children and young people.
Recording and reporting of accidents, incidents and illness cases at the home care services is compulsory or is a legal requirement under the act of RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrence Regulations 2013). However, this act places various legal duties on people such as: care workers, self-employed people and people in control of premises (Tweedy and CHSP, 2014). It is the duty of these entire individual to must follow the regulations and record and report certain incidents, injuries and diseases and dangerous occurrences consisting care takers, self-employed people and members of the public. The main purpose of recording and reporting the information is that, through the help of these information enforcing authority such as either Health and Safety Executives (HSE) or local authority of Environmental Health can easily identify where and how the risks arises so that accordingly investigation can be made on serious accidents (Identifying Hazards And Controlling Risks, 2014). Furthermore, these authorities can take appropriate actions of accidents and make sure that injured individual is treated in right manner. As well as provide appropriate guidelines to the other staff to reduce the risks of injuries and ill health at the child home care services.
Summing up the above report, it can be analysed that health and safety is considered as one of the major aspects for young people at work and for children at home. Furthermore, it is the duty of health care workers at home to provide appropriate guidance to the individuals regarding activities that he or she going to take so that they can carry out those activities without facing much of obstacles as well as minimizing the risks and hazards. There are potential hazards which can affect the learning of an individual. But through the help of health and safety risk assessment, potential hazards can be overcome. Thereafter, report illustrates the dilemma that children faces in making right choices and the policies and procedures that care taker and nurses has to follow for reducing the accidents and incidents for young people at work.
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