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The Principles of the Prevention & Control of Infection

The Principles of the Prevention & Control of Infection

1.1 Describe employees’ responsibilities & roles in the infection prevention & control

The workforces of an organisation can play a significant role in preventing and controlling infection in the workplace. Every organisation has some strategies and procedures to counteract and control infectious diseases in the workplace. Employees’ responsibility is to stick with these policies and functions correctly. If employees notice any contagious diseases within the workplace, they must inform the appropriate authority of the organisation. If any employee feels a discrepancy in the management of infectious diseases, he/she should communicate with the project/line manager and get professional guidance. All the employees of an organisation need to understand and maintain the required precaution to perform a particular task in the workplace (Weston, 2013).

1.2 Describe the responsibilities of employers on infection prevention & control.

An organisation’s employer must deliver the policies and procedures of infection prevention and control to the employees. The company should arrange appropriate training to ensure employees’ proper adhesiveness to the policies and procedures of the origination. The employers should also provide required PPE (personal protective equipment) to the employees of the organisation (Perry, 2007). Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 2 (1-7) states details about employers’ responsibilities.

 

2.1 Outline existing controlling body standards legislation which is appropriate to infection prevention and control.

In the UK workplace, some regulatory body standards and legislations are active to ensure the prevention & control of infectious diseases. Below are the illustrations of this law & regulatory body standard:  

  1. The Health & Social Care Act (2008): The health and social care act 2008 includes the code of methods and direction related to adult social support and health on infectious diseases prevention and control. It facilitates a provider of adult social support and healthcare and the other stakeholders in planning & implementation infectious diseases prevention & control. The “health & social care act” 2008 also states the criteria for CQC to consider the evaluation of fulfilment with the registration necessities infection control and cleanliness.
  2. Health & Safety at Work Act (1974): The different clause of the “health and safety at work act” describe the responsibilities of employees of an organisation to ensure a healthily, and practicable, safe workplace (Howes, 2009) 

    The other legislations and regulatory bodies in the UK are:

    1. The Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulation 1988
    2. Health and Safety at Work Act (amended 1994)
    3. Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005
    4. COSHH 2002
    5. Food Safety Act 1990
    6. RIDDOR 1995: Health Protection Agency Bill
    7. Food Safety Regulation 1995
    8. The Environmental Protection Regulation 1991
    9. Public Health-Control of Diseases Act 1984
    10. N.I.C.E. Guideline 2003: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
2.2 Illustrate administrative and local policies that apply to infection prevention and control.

The local and administrative policies are fundamental to preventing and constraining infectious diseases in the workplace. Some of these local and organisational policies are pointed out below:

  1. The “Public Health (control of diseases) Act” (1984)
  2. Social Support Act
  3. NICE guidelines
  4. Policies and procedures of a particular company to prevent and control infection

For instance, an organisation influences its employees suffering from contagious or infectious diseases to ask for line managers’ assistance or get clearance from a personal doctor.

 

3.1 Illustrate systems & procedures appropriate to infection prevention and control.

Compliance with systems & procedures of infection prevention and control of an organisation is essential to control and prevent infectious diseases in the workplace. These policies and procedures include (Wagner, Rounds, and Spurgin, 1998):

  1. Washing hand with correct procedures
  2. Wearing PPE correctly ( aprons, gloves, protective clothing)
  3. Disposing waste appropriately
  4. Using cleaning equipment correctly
3.2 Elucidate the potential influence of an epidemic of infection on the organisation and individual.

The epidemic of any infectious or contagious diseases can be very destructive for the individual and organisation. So it is very crucial to take proper steps to obstruct the outbreak of infectious and contagious diseases. For example, the epidemic of MRSA can be fatal to the individual and organisation because it can resist most antibiotics. The outbreak of infectious diseases has several aftereffects for individuals and employees of an organisation. Along with the ill health of the individuals and the employees of an organisation, contagious diseases can emotionally affect them. Employees who suffer from infection need to be detached from others for a period from the workplace (Wagner, Rounds, and Spurgin, 1998). 

As a result, the organisation’s cost can increase because more employees become sick; the company has to employ more staff. In addition to that, the organisation can face legal consequences if found non-compliance with the law. The authorities can find the organisation and reputation can be damaged.

 

4.1 Define the term risk

The probability of any potential loss or injury in the future is termed as a risk. Risk can be related to physical and mental health, financial wealth and social status, etc.  For example, an organisation’s employees can be affected by contagious diseases from any other workplace. However, primary prevention measures reduce the risk but can not eliminate the threat.

4.2 Outline possible dangers of infectious diseases within the workplace

There is some probable risk of infectious and contagious diseases in the workplace. The sharing facilities and supporting staff with personal care activities increase the chance of contact with body fluids. Since body fluids contain pathogens (microorganism, bacterium, and virus), they can initiate infection. The cleaning areas in the workplace, i.e. bathrooms, are full of dirty elements and body fluids. 

So the chance of adulteration with body fluids that contain pathogens is more likely here. Another potential risk is handling laundry because there can be dirty elements and pathogens. Cleaning waste containers and disposing of clinical waste also have the chance of contamination with pathogens. Personal care activities can also enhance the likelihood of spreading infection and contagious diseases because it involves getting close to individuals’ body fluids (Gould, Brooker, and Gould, 2008).

4.3 Explain the method of conduct a risk assessment

We can understand the risks involved with any tasks and activities in the workplace using the risk assessment process. Since we are aware of the risks through the risk assessment process, risk minimisation is achievable. An organisation can intact its’ reputation using risk assessment procedures. The organisation points out all possible threats within the workplace and can establish better control to remove or minimise the risks from the workplace. The prevention and control of infection and other contagious diseases are possible through risk assessment (Risk assessment for infection prevention & control, 2010). 

Below are the illustrations of The five main stages of conducting risk assessment: 

  1. Recognising the hazard: The risk assessment process starts with understanding the related hazard and identifying all possible threats. We can find out these hazards by observing and conversing with individuals and employees of an organisation. 
  2. Assessing the risks: In the second stage of the risk assessment process, we have to determine what might be affected by the risk and how the risk might be initiated.
  3. Taking precaution: After assessing the risk, we have to find out the procedures or precautions to minimise the hazard, i.e. wearing the right PPE reduces some hazard ultimately. 
  4. Reviewing the risk: The effectiveness of the risk minimisation procedures or precautions should frequently be examined to confirm that they are working well.

5. Reporting and recording consequence: All the findings of the risk assessment process should be recorded. Explanation and information on risk minimisation procedures can be given to the concerned party about the risk assessment.

4.4 Justify the significance of carrying out a risk assessment

Risk measurement is essential because it reduces the likelihood of different kinds of hazards in the workplace. Different types of threats might ruin employees’ lives; the machinery of a business can be damaged. So the insurance and other costs of the business may increase, and output might be decreased significantly. The company also might have to handle legal consequences. Therefore, carrying out a risk assessment is very important in planning and executing a safety statement in the organisation. The safety statement will not reduce ill health and accidents ultimately but reduce the likelihood of these hazards from the workplace (Risk assessment for infection prevention and control, 2010). 

The managers, supervisors, and employees of the organisation must ensure that the risk assessment and safety statement will be reflected in the workplace practices. The organisation also should test whether the aims and objectives are being realised effectively and efficiently. If any discrepancy is found, the organisation should take corrective action quickly. In addition to that, if other people use the organisation’s workplace, the organisation should include safe work practices for these workers (Gould, Brooker, and Gould, 2008). 

 

5.1 Illustrate the various types of PPE

There is various personal protective equipment to prevent and control infection and contagious diseases within the workplace. PPE minimises the chance of contact with pathogens among co-workers in a workplace (Cornwell-Smith, 1992). It works as practical barriers to spreading infection by reducing contact with pathogens. Below are the illustrations of different types of PPE used in the workplace:

  1. Aprons: We can wear disposable plastic aprons over the uniform of an organisation. The benefit of wearing a disposable plastic apron is that it prevents the uniform from dirty materials when performing different workplace activities. Typically, the white apron is used for personal care, and the blue apron is used for food handling. 
  2. Gloves: Gloves are the most popular types of PPE. Disposable gloves are categorised according to their usage.  Standard latex is white and used for personal care activities. Vinyl gloves are blue and used for preparing food. On the other hand nitrile, gloves are used for cleaning activities.
  3. Uniform & Hats: The Different organisation has unique uniforms which are worn in the workplace only. Uniforms are washed regularly to avoid infection. Another PPE is hats which are used in food preparation and serving.
5.2 Describe the motives for the use of PPE

PPE protects its users from different types of health and safety risks within the workplace. Other categories of PPE have additional features. The purposes for wearing different types of PPE are illustrated below:

  1. Gloves: Gloves are the type of PPE used to cover the whole hand of the person who performs a specific task. Gloves are recommended to perform some tasks. For example, a hospital worker has a greater risk of contact with pathogens (Cornwell-Smith, 1992).
  2. Mask & Respirators: Mask and respirators guard the respiratory tract of an employee from airborne infectious agents.
  3. Aprons & Gowns: Aprons and gowns are used to protect a worker’s skin from the contact of pathogens. These PPE also protect the uniform from being affected by dirty materials.
  4. Goggles: This PPE protects the worker’s eye from the exposure of different dangerous materials and body fluids filled with pathogens.
  5. Face Shields: Face Shield protects different parts of a worker’s face, i.e. mouth, eyes, nose, etc., from contact with pathogens and airborne infectious diseases.
5.3 Illustrate the existing appropriate regulations & legislation related to PPE

There are several regulations and legislations related to the selection and usage of PPE in the place of work. PPE at work regulations dictate that if other methods cannot reduce workplace hazards, PPE must be selected and used accordingly. Additional rules regarding PPE are  

  1. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) (2002)
  2. Construction Regulations (Protection of head)  (1989)
  3. Ionising radiations regulations 1999 
  4. Regulation of noise at work regulations 2005 

These regulations incorporate the directions of assessing and selecting PPE, suitability of PPE in different conditions, storage and maintenance of PPE, Training and instruction required to use PPE, the responsibility of employee and employer regarding the various aspects of using PPE (Cornwell-Smith, 1992). For example, PPE must have a “CE” mark which indicates that the PPE meets particular safety prerequisites.

5.4 Illustrate the responsibilities of employees regarding the use of PPE

The worker has to perform some accountabilities concerning the use of PPE according to some regulations and legislations. The personal protective equipment at work regulation 1992 imposed some duties on employees to use the provided PPE correctly.  Below are the duties to be followed when using PPE according to the current regulations: 

  • Employees must follow the instructions provided with PPE and wear the PPE accordingly.
  • If the employee is not permitted to take away the PPE from the workplace, he/ she must confirm that the PPE is returned to the appropriate place.
  • Employees should recheck the PPE before each use.
  • If employees find any defect in the PPE or feel uncomfortable using the PPE, he/she must inform their supervisor.
  • Employees must take care of the PPE and not deliberately damage the PPE
  • The employee should participate in the training session related to the PPE
5.5 Illustrate the responsibilities of employers regarding the usage of PPE

The employer has the primary responsibility to provide the correct PPE for a particular activity to the employees. The PPE must be provided to the employees free of charge. Below are some of the responsibilities of the employer regarding the use of PPE in the workplace (Ford et al., 2014):

  • Assessing and selecting the right PPE:  The employer must follow the existing regulations and legislation in the UK to conduct a risk assessment and select the right PPE.
  • Checking the Suitability of PPE: The employee’s health and the hazard involved with the task must be appropriately considered to check the suitability of PPE.
  • Fit-testing of PPE: The employer should check whether the PPE correctly fits with the wearer.
  • Usage of information, instruction & training of PPE: The employer should provide adequate information and education about the use of a particular PPE to the employees. The employer should also arrange a training session to handle the complex usage of PPE.
  • Maintenance of PPE: The employer should maintain personal protective equipment properly, so the PPE effectively minimises risk over a long period and has the same degree of protection capacity. 
  • Storage of PPE: The employer should facilitate proper and adequate storage of PPE so that PPE is safe from loss, dampness, damage, contamination, and sunlight.
  • Replacement of PPE: When a particular PPE is needed to be replaced, the specific task should be terminated before obtaining a new PPE for the job.
5.6 Illustrate the suitable practice in the appliance and removal of PPE

A user of the PPE should follow the correct practices and procedures in the application and removal of PPE as described in the instructions. The accepted guidelines are illustrated below:

Application/Wearing of PPE: The user must hand his/her hand following correct procedures and wait until the hand becomes dry before the application of PPE. When wearing an apron, the employee must position the apron’s neck strap over his/her head. Then the user has to tighten the back strap of the apron properly.  Other PPE should be worn according to the instructions of the particular PPE (Ford et al., 2014). 

Removal of PPE:  After the completion of the task, employees must follow the correct procedures to remove the PPE. When employees remove the apron, he/she should touch the surface of the apron carefully to avoid cross-infection. The waist strap should be loosened and pulled at the neck strap. The apron must not be connected to the ground and should be properly disposed of in the yellow bin.

In the clinical context, PPE must be changed before treating every new patient and recycle the whole application and removal process of PPE. Since the clinical waste has a high possibility of risk, the used PPE should be disposed of properly. 

5.7 Explain the suitable system for the disposal of used PPE

There are some procedures for the disposal of personal protective equipment. The maintain of this procedure minimises the risk of cross-infection and another hazard; below are the illustrations of the disposal procedures of PPE (Griffith and Tengnah, 2010):

  • Before the disposal of PPE, we should wear medical gloves. Then we should place the used PPE in a plastic garbage bin.
  • We should adequately tie the garbage to avoid dripping. In case dripping takes place and the skin or clothes of the user get in contact with the trash, we should clean and wash the skin and clothes properly to avoid cross-infection. Then we should put the disposed of PPE in the specified container. 
  • We should clean the waste receptacles regularly. We must wash our hands using the shop and warm water after processing the disposal of PPE and waste containers.

 

6.1 Illustrate the fundamental principles of good individual hygiene

Employees should maintain good personal hygiene in the workplace. There are some key principles of good personal hygiene, i.e. washing hands properly before and after completing tasks, taking a bath regularly to avoid the spread of cross-infection and body smell, regularly clean and tied back hair, always wearing clean clothing and uniform, washing them regularly, etc. The uniform should not be used outside the workplace to prevent the spread of infection. The employees also should trim their nails regularly (Who. int, 2016). The jewellery and ornaments should not be worn in the workplace because these items can spread pathogens.

6.2 Elucidate the correct progression of  hand-washing

Hand-washing is essential to inhibit the spread of infection because the usage of PPE may not prevent cross-infection if the hand is not washed correctly. The correct sequence of hand washing is also necessary to properly wash our hands. These sequences of handwashing are illustrated below (Who. int, 2016):

  1. Remove the jewellery from the hand completely
  2. Switch on the water tap and adjust the temperature at comfortable
  3. Place both hands under the water
  4. Wet the entire surface skin of both hands
  5. Utilise appropriate soap on the palm of both hands
  6. Rub both hands with one another 
  7. Rub and interlock the finger of both hands
  8. Rub thumb properly
  9. Wash the residue of the shop properly
  10. Use an air dryer or paper towel to dry both hands.
6.3 Elucidate when & why hand-washing should be carried out

Through proper and regular hand washing, we can efficiently protect and control the spread of infection. We must wash our hands and wear clean uniforms & PPE before starting our work. We must rewash our hands after putting off PPE after completing certain activities and tasks, i.e. treating a patient, preparing and serving foods, cleaning and handling waste, works that need interaction and contacts of body fluids of others, etc. (Nhs. UK, 2014).

6.4 Illustrate the categories of products that can be used for handwashing

We should hand-wash commodities carefully to ensure proper and risk-free cleanness of our hands. There are different types and qualities of products available for handwashing, i.e. soap, alcohol-based hand rubs, antiseptic gels, etc. Liquid soap is more suitable than bar soap in communal areas and avoids contact with pathogens (Infection prevention and you, 2014).

If a particular task involves a high risk of infection, antiseptic gels are preferable because they can annihilate pathogens. On the other hand, alcohol-based hand rubs should be used to supplement handwashing soap and antiseptic gels to ensure extra care against pathogens (Nhs. UK, 2014).

6.5 Illustrate correct processes that related to skincare

Some procedures & precautions should be maintained to protect the skin from infection and damage. The employees should wash their hands before and after the task. The employees should care about the other part of the body skin to avoid dryness and crack because pathogens can easily affect these areas. So we should use suitable skin moisturiser and cream to prevent these risks (Infection prevention and you, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References & Bibliography

Weston, D. (2013). Fundamentals of infection prevention and control. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Perry, C. (2007). Infection prevention and control. Oxford: Blackwell.

Risk assessment for infection prevention and control. (2010). Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.: Joint Commission Resources.

Howes, V. (2009). Duties & Liabilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: A Step Forward?. Industrial Law Journal, 38(3), pp.306-317.

Wagner, K., Rounds, C. and Spurgin, R. (1998). Environmental management in healthcare facilities. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.

Griffith, R. and Tengnah, C. (2010). The Health and Social Care Act 2008. British Journal of Community Nursing, 15(12), pp.598-602.

Gould, D., Brooker, C. and Gould, D. (2008). Infection prevention and control. Basingstoke [England]: Palgrave Macmillan.

Infection prevention and you. (2014). Journal of Infection Control, 42(10), p.1027.

Cornwell-Smith, N. (1992). Personal protective equipment for employees. BMJ, 305(6851), pp.474-475.

Ford, S., Ford, S., Ford, S. and Ford, S. (2014). How to use personal protective equipment. [online] Nursing Times. Available at: https://www.nursingtimes.net/how-to-use-personal-protective-equipment/5077659.article [Accessed 26 Sep. 2016].

Who.int. (2016). WHO | Infection prevention and control in healthcare. [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/csr/bioriskreduction/infection_control/en/ [Accessed 26 Sep. 2016].

Nhs.uk. (2014). NICE highlights of how hand washing can save lives – Health News – NHS Choices. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/news/2014/04April/Pages/NICE-highlights-how-hand-washing-saves-lives.aspx [Accessed 26 Sep. 2016].

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