All employees are responsible for taking action to prevent the spread of infection, in accordance with legislation and local and organisational policies and procedures. They also have a personal and moral responsibility, as members of a caring society and profession. There are many roles where infection control is important, these include: · Employees who work in communal living environments · Employees who work with hazardous substances · Employees whose work activities may expose them to infection · Employees working with individuals who may be vulnerable to infection Employees have responsibilities to:
· Self · Colleagues · Employer · Clients/Customers · Visitors 1. 2 Employers’ responsibilities in relation to the prevention and control of infection Employers’ responsibilities arise from: · Legal responsibilities · Organisational responsibilities · Personal/moral responsibilities. Employers’ are responsible for: · Assessing risks · Putting procedures in place · Ensuring procedures are followed · Ensuring employees are appropriately trained in relation to infection control · Making sure employees are aware of the health and safety aspects of their work.
– Posting information on notice boards – Keeping an information file such as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) – Providing supervision · Keeping records · Ensuring that the relevant standards, policies and guidelines are available in the work place 1. 3 The prevention and control of infection is governed by many different pieces of legislation. It is a legal requirement that your employer ensures you have access to up to date policies, guidelines and procedures within your work place, in order to achieve a safe standard of infection control. Current legislation.
The main regulations and legislation relating to infection control is focused upon public health, environmental health, health and safety, risk assessment, reporting incidents and outbreaks of disease, safe disposal of waste and food hygiene. We have already established that there are many reasons why we must reduce the risk of the spread of infection and not least it is our legal responsibility to have a duty of care to our service users. The main legislation and regulations relating to infection control are: The Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984.
The Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1998 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 2002 Food Safety Act 1990 Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) 1995 The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 Health Protection Agency Act 2008 Other new/current legislation that affects infection control Hazardous waste regulations 2005 The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulation (Department of Health, 1995 The Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984.
This Act describes the legal requirements of reporting notifiable contagious or infectious diseases. 2. 2 The Act places a requirement on medical practitioners in England or Wales who are treating a person who is suffering from one of a number of reportable conditions to notify the local authority where the person lives. The local authority then informs the Health Protection Agency (HPA) Centre for Infections (CfI) on a weekly basis about all cases of each disease that has been notified. These weekly returns are used to analyse local and national trends.
The CfI is then able to investigate the cause of any national and uncommon outbreaks. All healthcare organisations should ensure that copies of the notification certificate or counterfoils from a notification book are held securely and retained for the recommended minimum period. Failure by the doctor to notify the local authority could result in disciplinary proceedings or prosecution under the 1984 Act. More importantly it could mean delays in investigating the source of an outbreak, leading to a more extensive spread of infection. The Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1998.
It is a legal requirement to report specific infectious diseases under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988. These regulations explain the reporting mechanism and the types of disease which have to be reported. The reportable diseases include: Acute encephalitis Acute poliomyelitis Anthrax Diphtheria Dysentery Leprosy Leptospirosis Malaria Measles Meningitis (bacterial or viral) Meningococcal septicaemia (without meningitis) Mumps Ophthalmia neonatorum Paratyphoid fever Tetanus 3. 1.