The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on owners and managers of health and social care settings to carry out workplace risk assessments for the setting.
Often workplace risk assessments are undertaken remotely away from the care setting or are generic assessments which are not location specific. As such the staff team is not involved in the process of workplace risk assessments and the documents produced are seldom used in practice. The aim of workplace risk assessments is to identify hazards, evaluate the degree of risk and to put into place control measures to minimise the risk. If the staff team is not involved in the process then they may have little awareness of the hazards and the actions required of them to minimise the risks. This is at odds with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Symmons Madge Associates have developed a process of developing workplace risk assessments for health and social care settings which involves the staff team and enables owners and managers to comply with their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
This takes the form of a facilitated workshop of approximately 4-6 hours duration to:-
- Introduce the legislation relating to Health and Safety and Workplace Risk Assessments.
- Detail the importance of this legislation in health and social care settings.
- Introduce a model for undertaking workplace risk assessments in line with health and safety best practice.
- Carry out workplace risk assessments for the health and social care setting. This will involve the staff team in identifying hazards, quantifying the degree of risk and developing control measures to minimise the risk. These can then be formatted and will then comprise the workplace risk assessments for the setting.
- Detail the procedures for future review and revision of the workplace risk assessments.
The advantages of this approach are:-
- The workplace risk assessments are done in one session and only require formatting and distribution to staff to meet the obligations under health and safety legislation.
- All staff are involved in the process, hence "buy-in" is greater and the control measures are devised by the staff team rather than imposed by managers.
- The workplace risk assessments can be easily reviewed in the same manner on an annual basis or when the degree of risk changes whichever is sooner.
- A form is provided which can be used to record and format the workplace risk assessments and the reviews.
The sessions are delivered at the care setting by tutors experienced in health and safety and the health and social care sector. All delegates will receive a certificate of attendance.