Induction Standards for Northern Ireland

Standard 3: Maintain safety at work: Health and safety

Everyone has a part to play. Your employer has a responsibility to see that your working environment is safe and to give you training to make sure you do your work in a safe way. You have a responsibility not only for your own health and safety, but also for that of your colleagues and the people you look after. Health and safety covers lots of topics such as handling hazardous substances, and food safety and hygiene. It is also important that you are able to assess risks to health and safety in your workplace.

Look at the following resources:

Check your understanding

  • Write a list of those people in your organisation who have responsibilities for health and safety. Check this with your supervisor.
  • If you work in other people’s homes, you need to be even more aware of health and safety. Why?

Did you know?

  • Health and safety is based on common sense and good practice.

Record what you have learned

  • Your organisation may have a Learning Record Form. If so, use that to write down what you have learned and any questions you might have. Otherwise you can use our Learning Record Form.

Handling hazardous substances

Sometimes your work will involve dealing with hazardous substances – especially cleaning materials, but also infected or dirty material of various types. It is important to know how to do this in a way that is safe both for yourself and for other people. There is a set of regulations which cover this issue, known as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).
Look at the following resources:

Check your understanding

  • Make a list of all the hazardous substances you have encountered this week. For each one, describe how you dealt with it.
  • Were you surprised at some of the things that came under the category of hazardous? How will you deal with them differently in future?

Did you know?

  • Your employer has to do a risk assessment for all the hazardous substances in your place of work.

Record what you have learned

  • Your organisation may have a Learning Record Form. If so, use that to write down what you have learned and any questions you might have. Otherwise you can use our Learning Record Form.

Food safety, nutrition and hydration

Good food and hydration are essential to good health, even more so in the case of frail and vulnerable people. It is very important that those involved in the preparation, handling and serving of food keep to the strictest standards of hygiene. Food poisoning can be fatal.

Look at the following resources:

Check your understanding

  • Do the food hygiene quiz devised by the Food Safety Agency.
  • Think about the people you care for and support. Do any of them have problems eating and drinking? Discuss with your supervisor any ideas you might have to improve things.

Did you know?

  • Between 19 and 30 per cent of all people admitted to hospitals, care homes or mental health units are at risk of malnutrition.

Record what you have learned

  • Your organisation may have a Learning Record Form. If so, use that to write down what you have learned and any questions you might have. Otherwise you can use our Learning Record Form.

Health and safety risk assessments

You need to assess the risk connected with tasks you are going to carry out. For example, if you are using a hoist, you need to know exactly how to use it and check that it is safe to use in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This applies to any form of moving and handling people. When you run a bath, you need to think about the risk of scalding.

Look at the following resources:

Check your understanding

  • Write a short piece for your supervisor explaining what is meant by a risk assessment. Then do a risk assessment for making a cup of tea for a person with Parkinson’s disease using the HSE five steps.

Did you know?

  • Every time you cross a busy road, you actually do a subconscious risk assessment.

Record what you have learned

  • Use the Learning Record Form to write down what you have learned and any questions you might have.