The importance of safety in the workplace;Accidents at work killed over 137 and injured over 1 million people at work in 2016/17. For this reason, it is crucial that employees assess the health and safety risks that may occur from their work. The reason it is so vital is because they need to be able identify and control health and safety risks that may be present. This keeps both employees and animals safe by reducing risks and hazards and reduces number of casualties. The key objective is to prevent accidents and keep everyone safe in the veterinary surgery (both animals and employees)If hazards and risks aren’t controlled it can have consequences such as a prosecution.
Manual Handling In the veterinary surgery there are a number times where you will manually handle things. It could be lifting animals, stacking boxes, or moving food. It is the responsibility of your employer to control the manual handling risks. According to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 you should do the following to avoid manual handling risks;If possible, avoid any risky/hazardous manual handling operations If a manual handling task can not be avoided, assess the task before doing it. As far as possible, reduce risk of injury (see below correct techniques)TIP- if you cannot lift something, find a task to hard, or feel you are at risk of injury, speak to a supervisor. Handling animals in the Veterinary Surgery In the veterinary surgery, you are bound to be handling animals. Using these tips will reduce stress for the animals and keep both you, and the animal at a much lower risk of injury:Observe and assess the animal before handling it. You could discuss with the owner about it’s temperamentGet training. The appropriate handling techniques must be understood by all workers who handle animals If you are inexperienced, you should never handle an animal that could cause harm (biting, scratching, etc), until you know the appropriate method of handling.
Use PPE (e. g thick gloves) if the animal is aggressive or stressed and you need to handle them. TIP- if you are unsure about the behavior of an animal or how to handle it, leave it for a experienced worker or ask for help.
TIP: Safe lifting technique;
By following these steps, you can avoid back injury;
Instead of bending from your waist or your back, bend from your knees. This means your legs do all the lifting. Try and keep the load as close to your body as possible. (‘Hug’ the load). Don’t twist, it can cause serious spinal injury. Keep your head, body and feet all pointing the same way.
Hazardous substances;Be aware of hazardous substances as all times, and carry out risk assessments! This reduces risk of accidents. In the veterinary surgery, there are a lot of different hazardous substances- so this is something you need to be aware of. TIP: Watch out for these common hazardous substances in a veterinary surgery;Cleaning agents and medicines Waste fumes from anesthesia equipmentDust from littersBacteria and other microorganismsHealth and Safety at Work act 1974;The health and Safety at Work act is extensive and covers a vast amount. In short, this act makes sure that your health, safety and welfare are secure in the veterinary surgery. It protectsYou from any health or safety risks when at work. Under this act, employers have a duty to ensure the welfare of their employees, and visitors. Without the HSWA, we wouldn’t have many of the most important health and safety protection acts. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH);The COSHH regulations ensure that hazardous substances are managed and controlled. Ways in which hazardous substances can be controlled include;Identifying the health hazardsCarrying out a risk assessmentPut control measures in place and keep them workingGive instruction, information and training to employeesHave a plan for emergencies Make sure these are all in use
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences 1995;RIDDOR puts a responsibility on the employer to report serious accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences in the workplace. This is important so hazards can be identified, investigated and eliminated. IP: how to carry out a risk assessment;Recognise hazardsRecognise how a person may be harmed and who it affectsAssess risks then determine precautionsRecord notable findingsGo over assessment and, if necessary, update.
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