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BTEC Health Sciences – Health and Safety Paper

Health and Safety- Potential Hazards in Health and Social Care Task 1: A hazard is something that is considered to be dangerous and has the potential to harm an individual or others around them. A risk has two separate explanations, how likely it is for something dangerous to hurt an individual, and the severity of harm that it can inflict upon someone.

Usually the severity and likelihood of a risk is dependent upon the age of the person as older people and younger people are the most vulnerable, for example it is very likely that a young child may insert their ingers into a plug socket, but the likelihood of an older child or adult taking that risk is very unlikely and the harm of being electrocuted has a very high severity. Task 2: An environmental hazard is something within the area an individual works that has the potential to harm them.

In a hospital, an environmental hazard could be the transfer of an infection which would cause ill health to people within that environment, and it also would have the potential to spread further than a hospital ward depending on how quickly it noticed and dealt with. This hazard can cause a lot f harm depending upon what type of infection is being spread, as something such as MRSA would need but there are procedures put into place that control the spread of infections such as contamination units and wards within the hospitals.

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This type of hazard could affect both the patients and the workers within the health care setting. Another example of an environmental hazard that could occur within a hospital is spilled substances, whether it be a knocked over drink, leaking intravenous fluids or even urine spillages from bedpans. A spillage is a common hazard within the orkplace, and it can cause a lot of harm though the severity would depend on how bad the fall or slip on the wet surface is.

This type of hazard would mainly affect staff but it could also be a potential threat to patients, especially if they have broken limbs and would not be able to support their falls properly. Task 3: An example of an equipment hazard is the use of needles within a hospital as they are sharp objects that carry risks when being used, especially when using them on other people. There is a chance that a member of staff could be harmed or injured by needle as it may accidently be inserted into their skin if for example a patient was being aggressive or fidgety, and this needle may have already been used on a patient.

The needle would be injected at the wrong angle which could potentially cause serious harm to blood vessels, the needle may have specific medicine in it which could have a severe effect, especially if the person is allergic to the medication. However, one of the major risks would be if the needle had been previously used on someone else, as infections could be spread and if the person are HIV positive, then hey would have exchanged bodily fluids with them causing them to develop the life- threatening illness.

A machinery hazard present within a hospital environment would be the wires on machines and the lines on the drips, this is because someone could trip over the wire which may cause harm to themselves and the person it is attached to. Loose and dangling wires cause trip hazards, and if this were to happen then a member of staff may fall over and become injured depending on the way they fall and if it was a drip line they tripped over, the drip would probably be ripped out of blood vessel gets torn when it’s pulled out.

Task 4: Within a health setting such as a hospital, there are a variety of ways in which people can cause harm to themselves and the people around them. One example of a hazard involving someone is to do with poor hygiene, and this is because within a hospital infections can be spread very easily, so if someone does not have good hygiene they are putting members of staff, patients and visitors at risk. MRSA is something that is commonly spread in hospitals, though procedures have been put nto place to deal with this matter.

The severity of the hazard is low as major illnesses would not usually be spread. Within hospitals, some patients tend to be very aggressive mainly because they are scared of the unusual environment they are in and they can be classified as hazards. If someone is acting aggressively, then they could harm the member of staff that is trying to treat them by using physical force, or they could even harm themselves -some people may get so frustrated that they pull out drips and act violently around equipment that could hurt them.

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