There is a risk assessment policy that exists as part of the policies & procedures for the Trust, although the trust has to meet the legislations that is already in place for risk Assessment, current practice system does not reflect this. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that manager must provide a safe working environment. As a manager there are certain legal responsibilities that I am accountable for within my unit. New guidance on using computers and preventing Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) at work and musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), such as backaches was last published by the Health and Safety Executives (February 2003).
There are about 1.1 million people in Great Britain suffering from MSDs caused or made worse by work, in 2001/2002. I identified a gap for the need of Risk assessment to be performed within my unit as staffs have been complaining of neck pain and back pain, which as a result have taken sickness leave. Although Risk Management is on the agenda of each level of the trust, it is not systematic and consistent across all the departments. I believe that by taking a preventative action in the workplace can reduce the Trust as an organisation from disrepute. Indeed it is likely to be far more expensive for Trust and their insurers to ignore RSI, which may lead not only to compensation claims, but also to costs arising from sickness absences and reduced productivity.
I have carried out a Risk Assessment according to the Trust Policy and the assessment tool designed by the Trust; the findings are (Please see results in Appendix 5) The Trust Policy and procedures in relation to Risk Management is in (Appendix 6.) In light of the above, I am going to try and ascertain which direction to take. There are Government White Papers such as Clinical Governance, Department of Health (DOH) modernisation agenda, Commission for Health Improvement (CHI), that are in place to direct the organisation to meet its goals and targets.
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There are also legal responsibilities on organisation to provide a safe effective working environment for staff. However there is always the question of resources, and how can a working environment become safe in the most efficient way without spending. The strength and weakness of my organisation can be evaluated through the 7Es. I will now use 7Es for feedback and evaluation; they can be described as the following (Jumaa1999b) (see appendix 4 for further details) Rituals and Routines: Staff who are resistant to change due to lack of knowledge, would continue to work in a way that may harm their health. Good ergonomic design of workplaces and behavioural practices can create a working environment, which will protect employees against many debilitating effects of computer related injury.
Organisational Structures: An annual risk assessment programme for all wards and departments would enable the Trust to be proactive in trying to identify and prevent potential incidents. A reporting system should be in place so that we can successfully react to things that occasionally go wrong and learn lessons from them, as staffs are aware of reporting protocols. Organisational Culture: There needs to be an open culture where staffs feel confident in reporting incidents. This should be done on the basis that The Trust is eager to be informed about such incidents in order to deal and improve and not looking to apportion blame.
Appendix 4 The 7Es Economic: The contribution that team working can make to the effective delivery of quality. Efficient use of resources and staff satisfaction and well-being can make a substantial contribution to improvements in quality of patient care. Additional resources such as time, money, experienced staff, training facilities, equipment can demonstrate the added value of result of financial support.
Efficiency: This will reflect in the changes taking place in the delivery of care as a result of change in working practices as a direct result of risk assessment and management. The quality of and benefits to stakeholders can be monitored in terms of their satisfaction with the service provided. Empowerment: This will allow staff to become more informed regarding their working practices and aware of their health and safety.
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