Control of substances hazardous to health

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COSHH (Control of substances hazardous to health) regulation 2002 provides a legal framework that protects all adults and children in the setting against substances that could be hazardous to their health. Substances such as bleach, glues, washing up liquid and any other materials that could be hazardous should be risk assessed and stored appropriately in line with COSHH regulations. “Things such as bleach or dishwasher powders, some solvent glues and other materials in your setting can be hazardous” Bruce. T et al, (2007) p266.

COSHH influences working practice by ensuring that all potentially hazards materials are properly stored and labelled in accordance with the COSHH guidelines. All cleaning equipment and materials used by the school are stored in a locked cupboard out of reach of all the children. All hazards products including knifes and dangerous items are placed in a cupboard with a child safety lock attached. By doing this and ensuring that all staff are aware of the standards set out by COSHH my placement are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of the children in their care. As a result of the COSHH regulations most settings make a list of materials that they have which could potentially by dangerous and show how they intend to make sure that any risks are minimised” Tassoni. P et al, (2008) p127. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005 means that it is now illegal for any setting not to make reasonable adjustments or changes to accommodate those children with a disability for their parents.

Disability is defined as “ disadvantages or restrictions of activity caused by society that takes little or no account of people who have physical or mental impairments and thus excludes them from the mainstream of social activities. According to the social model, disability is defined as “socially imposed restriction” (Oliver, 1981)” Beaver. M et al, (2008), p543. The setting should provide wheelchair access to help a parent or child access the provision or arrange something suitable for the child or parent.

As well as make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of a child so that they could participant with and alongside other children. www. hse. gov. uk/disabilitity/law. htm [Accessed 22. 05. 13] states that settings are required to make reasonable adjustments by either changing policy, providing alternative ways to access a provision, or by addressing physical features which make a service impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use. E. g. settings can make their provision more accessible by having downstairs toilets, wider doors and ramps to the front doors.

The main aim of the Fire Precautions Regulation 1997 is to “ensure that in the event of a fire, the occupants could evacuate the premises safely. The fire precautions (workplace) regulations required employers to identity risks and take steps to remove or reduce them”. http://www. rightaction. co. uk/downloads/pdf_files/fire_safety_fact_sheets/Fire%20Precautions%20Regulations. pdf [accessed 6. 5. 13]. All settings should have regular check-up of all equipment to ensure that it is still safe to use.

All electrical equipment in my placement has a sticker on it telling whoever is using it that it has passed its safety test and is safe to use up in till a certain date, when the equipment should be rechecked by a trained professional. “All adults should know the procedures for safe evacuation and these should be rehearsed regularly” Beaver. M et al, (2008) p84. Fire evacuations should be done randomly on different days and times so that the staff and children will be unaware and so makes it as real as possible.

Each setting should have an evacuate policy and procedure this helps safeguard the children by keeping the children safe and also teaches them what to do. All fire exits are kept clear and are clearly labelled. All fire extinguishers are checked regularly and are placed in safe location. Personal Protection Equipment At Work Regulation 1992 states that employers must “make sure that suitable protective equipment is provided for employees who are exposed to a risk to their health and safety while at work” Bruce.

T et al, (2007) p230. This is important in settings especially when dealing with body fluids e. g. sick, diarrhoea gloves and aprons should be provided and used when dealing with this. Protective gloves should be used when providing first aid treatment as well if blood or open wounds are present. “Gloves should also be provided for staff to use when they are cleaning” Beaver. M et al, (2008) p88. This regulation has influenced practice by making it compulsory to use and provide equipment when dealing with hazardous substances.

The Children Act 1989 came into force in the U. K. in 1990. Its purpose is to protect children in every situation. “The Children Act applies to children and young people in custody and the secure estate as well as to children and young people living in the community” Justice (2011). The children act 1989 influenced working practice in childcare settings by bringing together several sets of guidance into one universal act and providing the foundation for many of the standards practitioners sustain and maintain when working with children today.

It requires all settings to have policies and procedures in place to safeguard the children, e. g. a safety policy might state before any staff is employed or student / volunteer are accepted to work in any childcare setting a CRB (criminal record bureau) check should be done to ensure the safety of the children in the placement. The Criminal Records Bureau (C. R. B) checks provides criminal records information regarding potential employees in order to identify people who may be unsuitable to work with children.

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