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Most employers have a health and safety policy which sets out how they will protect everyone who is affected by their business, e.g. employees, visitors, contractors and individuals who access services. Even if your role involves working in the private homes of individuals your employer should be aware of Health and Safety legislation. Ask your manager about policies that are in place to support your health, safety and wellbeing.

What all policies and procedures have in common is to tell everyone how to do something or what must be in place to make sure all people are safe. A policy is a formal course of action that everyone must follow. A procedure is a way in which a task must be completed or carried out.

Examples of procedures can include:

  • How to store and give out medication
  • How to provide personal care
  • How to lift and carry loads
  • What to do in the event of a fire
  • What to do to provide first aid
  • How to handle soiled bed linen

Policies must give clear instructions so that everyone is kept safe and no one is harmed through the work that is being carried out. You must familiarise yourself with your own workplace health and safety policy and procedures.