Legislations for Health & Safety

Key Legislations relating to health and safety in the care setting:

Safe practice is very important to promote dignity in the care setting.
There are a number of key legislations and regulations to support health and safety at work. These are intended to protect people in work, those using services, working within the care setting and the wider public. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local authority Trading Standards and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) can all bring prosecutions against care providers who breach health and safety standards.

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Act covers a wide range of issues relating to workplace health, safety and welfare across different sectors. Statutory instruments have developed to support the implementation of the Act and provide an interface with European regulations. The HSE holds enforcement powers which can result in unlimited fines and prison sentences. Employees have a general obligation under the Act to take care of others and cooperate with employers’ health and safety requirements.

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (amended 2002)

Manual handling is a major issue for care providers as people with limited mobility need to be assisted safely to move and transfer. It is important this is done in a way that respects the dignity of the individual. While employers are required to ensure that they comply with the regulatory framework, this does not mean that an individual's human rights can be disregarded. What is required is a balanced approach that reduces risks for workers while at the same time maintaining the dignity, privacy and autonomy of those they are caring for. The problem of lifting an overweight person, for example, must be solved not ignored. For example, a county council, concerned for the health of its employees, imposed a blanket ban on manual lifting of people using services. Unfortunately this resulted in certain people not receiving the community care to which...