Unit name: Duty of Care
Learning outcome: 1. Understand the implications of duty of care
Assessment criteria: 1.3 Describe how the duty of care affects own work role
As a care worker, your duty of care will affect many aspects of your job role because it is your responsibility to protect the individuals that you care for from harm and abuse as well as promote their rights and wellbeing.
Of course, it is not always possible to do this – you may be limited by the amount of time that you are assigned to work with the individual and they will have free will to make their own decisions, even if they are unwise. But if an individual is harmed or abused, you should be able to demonstrate what actions you took to prevent it from happening.
Any suspicions of abuse should be reported immediately according to your organisation’s agreed ways of working, as should anything that you judge to be hazardous to the individual. In addition, as part of your role, you should be promoting the individual’s health and wellbeing to help them to achieve positive outcomes.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, you also have a duty of care towards your colleagues, visitors and the general public, to ensure that they are not harmed due to work activities. For example, if you are mopping the floors, you should ensure that precautions are taken to prevent other people from slipping over. This will be covered further in the Health and Safety unit.