Health and Safety Legislation

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Health and Safety Legislation in Health and Social Care. The legal framework is an important part of health and social care, in all areas. Such as mental health, social work, care homes, nursery, hospital, counselling etc. It is there to protect all concerned, whether you work within this environment or are a user of the services within the health and social care. Common Law. The Common Law/statue Law, (Law of Tort). Under the common law, organisations and individuals’ volunteers have a duty of care to each other and others, whom may be affected by their activities. Where something goes wrong, individuals may, in some cases, sue for damages using the civil law if injury is caused as a result of another person’s negligence. Common law can be settled out of court with a mutual agreement between the concerned parties. Primary Legislation. Law which is made by Parliament, an enabling act such as Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Secondary Legislation. A law which is made from the ‘enabling act’, by government ministers. Examples of these would be; manual handling, health and safety etc. These are regulations of the primary legislation as explained above. An example for this in health and social care would be where a career has injured their back, from moving a patient without being equipped with the appropriate equipment or training. This may have resulted from turning a heavy patient un assisted from other staff or equipment not available. The company could be prosecuted for failing to comply with regulations. i.e. a breach of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Manual Handling Regulations. The company would also be found liable, as they had not taken steps to protect the safety of an employee. Compensation as well as a fine and notice to improve systems could be incurred. A failure to do so could lead to a prohibition notice

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