Come along to our last open day of the year. Friday 14th June 1-2pm. We have spaces available on Wednesday mornings and all day friday. Some afternoon spaces are also available.
Come along to our last open day of the year. Friday 14th June 1-2pm.We have spaces available on Wednesday mornings and all day friday. Some afternoon spaces are also available.                    

Health and Safety Policies 

01     Health and safety policy

Alongside associated procedures in 01.1 to 01.22 Health and safety, this policy was adopted by Woodlands Preschool on 14/09/2023.

Designated Health and Safety Officer is: Heidi Walford

Aim

Our provision is a suitable, clean and safe place for children to be cared for, where they can grow and learn. We meet all statutory requirements for health and safety and fulfil the criteria for meeting the Early Years Foundation Stage Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.

Objectives

  • We recognise that we have a corporate responsibility and duty of care towards those who work in and receive a service from our provision. Individual staff and service users also have responsibility for ensuring their own safety as well as that of others. Adherence to policies and procedures and risk assessment is the key means through which this is achieved.
  • Insurance is in place (including public liability) and an up-to-date certificate is always displayed.
  • Risk assessment is carried out to ensure the safety of children, staff, parents, and visitors. Legislation requires all those individuals in the given workplace to be responsible for the health and safety of premises, equipment and working practices.
  • Smoking is not allowed on the premises, both indoors and outdoors. If children use any public space that has been used for smoking, members of staff ensure that there is adequate ventilation to clear the atmosphere. Staff do not smoke in their work clothes and are requested not to smoke within at least one hour of working with children. The use of electronic cigarettes is not allowed on the premises.
  • Staff must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for children. If staff are taking medication that they believe may impair them, they seek further medical advice and only work directly with children if that advice is that the medication is unlikely to impair their ability to look after children. The setting manager must be informed.
  • Alcohol must not be bought onto the premises for consumption.
  • A risk assessment (01.1a Generic risk assessment) and access audit (01.1b Access audit form) are carried out for each area and the procedure is modified according to needs identified for the specific environment.
  • Risk assessments are monitored and reviewed by those responsible for health and safety.
Legal references

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005)

Electricity at Work Regulations (1989)

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the hygiene of foodstuffs

Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992) (Amended 2002)

Medicines Act (1968)

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2004

Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981

Childcare Act 2006

Further guidance

Dynamic Risk Management in the Early Years (Alliance 2017)

Health and Safety Executive www.hse.gov.uk/risk

Food Standards Agency www.food.gov.uk

Ministry or Housing, Communities & Local Government www.communities.gov.uk

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.1  Risk assessment

Risk assessments are carried out to ensure the safety of children, staff, parents and visitors. Legislation requires all individuals in the workplace to be responsible for the health and safety of premises, equipment and working practices. We have a ‘corporate responsibility’ towards a ‘duty of care’ for those who work in and receive a service from our provision. Individuals also have responsibility for ensuring their own and others safety.

  • 01.1a Generic risk assessment form is completed for each area of work, and the areas of the building that are identified in these procedures
  • 01.1b Access audit is completed to ensure inclusion and the health and safety of all visitors, staff, and children. The relevant procedure is modified if required to match the assessment.
  • 01.1c Prioritised place risk assessment is completed for offering prioritised places during a national pandemic (such as Covid–19). A separate form is completed for each child who is prioritised because they are vulnerable, or meet any other criteria stipulated by the Government at the time. Risk assessment is also completed for each individual group/room as appropriate. If the risk assessment indicates a high risk if the place is offered, that cannot be minimised, the offer of the place may be withdrawn at the discretion of the setting manager.

Risk assessment means: Taking note of aspects of your workplace and activities that that could cause harm, either to yourself or to others, and deciding what needs to be done to prevent that harm, making sure this is adhered to and is updated when necessary.

The law does not require that all risk be eliminated, but that ‘reasonable precaution’ is taken. This is particularly important when balancing the need for children to be able to take appropriate risks through physically challenging play. Children need the opportunity to work out what is not safe and what they should do when faced with a risk.

Daily safety sweeps and checks indoors and outdoors

  • Safety sweeps are conducted when setting up for the day prior to children arriving or closing in the evening. Sometimes a safety sweep will identify a risk that requires a formal risk assessment on form. For example, if a window latch is becoming stiff and an educator has to stand on a chair in order to reach it to ensure it has closed properly.

Health and safety risk assessments

Health and safety risk assessments inform procedures. Staff and parents should be involved in reviewing risk assessments and procedures, as they are the ones with first-hand knowledge as to whether the control measures are effective and they can give an informed view to help update procedures accordingly.

The setting manager undertakes training and ensures staff have adequate training in health and safety matters. The setting managers also ensures that checks/work to premises are carried out by the Hall Committee and records are kept.

  • Gas safety by a Gas Safe registered gas/heating engineer.
  • Electricity safety by a qualified electrician.
  • Fire precautions to check that all fire-fighting equipment and alarms are in working order.
  • Hot air heating systems/air conditioning systems cleaned and checked.
  • Deep clean is carried out in kitchen.

The setting manager ensures that staff members carry out risk assessments that include relevant aspects of fire safety, food safety, in each of the following areas of the premises:

  • Entrance and exits.
  • Outdoor areas.
  • Passageways, stairways and connecting areas.
  • Group rooms.
  • Sleep areas.
  • Main kitchen.
  • Staff/parent’s room.
  • Rooms used by others or for other purposes.

The setting manager ensures staff members carry out risk assessment for off-site activities, such as children’s outings (including use of public transport), including:

  • home visits
  • other duties off-site such as attending meetings, banking etc

The setting manager ensures staff members carry out risk assessment for work practice including:

  • changing babies, and the intimate care of young children and older children
  • arrivals and departures
  • children with allergies and special dietary needs or preferences
  • serving food in group rooms
  • cooking activities with children
  • supervising outdoor play and indoor/outdoor climbing equipment
  • settling babies/young children to sleep
  • assessment, use and storage of equipment for disabled children
  • visitors to the setting who are bringing equipment or animals as part of children’s learning experiences, for example ‘fire engines’
  • following any incidents involving threats against staff or volunteers
  • following any accident or incident involving staff or children

The setting manager liaises with Crime Prevention Officers as appropriate to ensure security arrangements for premises and personnel are appropriate.

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.1  Risk assessment

Risk assessments are carried out to ensure the safety of children, staff, parents and visitors. Legislation requires all individuals in the workplace to be responsible for the health and safety of premises, equipment and working practices. We have a ‘corporate responsibility’ towards a ‘duty of care’ for those who work in and receive a service from our provision. Individuals also have responsibility for ensuring their own and others safety.

  • 01.1a Generic risk assessment form is completed for each area of work, and the areas of the building that are identified in these procedures
  • 01.1b Access audit is completed to ensure inclusion and the health and safety of all visitors, staff, and children. The relevant procedure is modified if required to match the assessment.
  • 01.1c Prioritised place risk assessment is completed for offering prioritised places during a national pandemic (such as Covid–19). A separate form is completed for each child who is prioritised because they are vulnerable, or meet any other criteria stipulated by the Government at the time. Risk assessment is also completed for each individual group/room as appropriate. If the risk assessment indicates a high risk if the place is offered, that cannot be minimised, the offer of the place may be withdrawn at the discretion of the setting manager.

Risk assessment means: Taking note of aspects of your workplace and activities that that could cause harm, either to yourself or to others, and deciding what needs to be done to prevent that harm, making sure this is adhered to and is updated when necessary.

The law does not require that all risk be eliminated, but that ‘reasonable precaution’ is taken. This is particularly important when balancing the need for children to be able to take appropriate risks through physically challenging play. Children need the opportunity to work out what is not safe and what they should do when faced with a risk.

Daily safety sweeps and checks indoors and outdoors

  • Safety sweeps are conducted when setting up for the day prior to children arriving or closing in the evening. Sometimes a safety sweep will identify a risk that requires a formal risk assessment on form. For example, if a window latch is becoming stiff and an educator has to stand on a chair in order to reach it to ensure it has closed properly.

Health and safety risk assessments

Health and safety risk assessments inform procedures. Staff and parents should be involved in reviewing risk assessments and procedures, as they are the ones with first-hand knowledge as to whether the control measures are effective and they can give an informed view to help update procedures accordingly.

The setting manager undertakes training and ensures staff have adequate training in health and safety matters. The setting managers also ensures that checks/work to premises are carried out by the Hall Committee and records are kept.

  • Gas safety by a Gas Safe registered gas/heating engineer.
  • Electricity safety by a qualified electrician.
  • Fire precautions to check that all fire-fighting equipment and alarms are in working order.
  • Hot air heating systems/air conditioning systems cleaned and checked.
  • Deep clean is carried out in kitchen.

The setting manager ensures that staff members carry out risk assessments that include relevant aspects of fire safety, food safety, in each of the following areas of the premises:

  • Entrance and exits.
  • Outdoor areas.
  • Passageways, stairways and connecting areas.
  • Group rooms.
  • Sleep areas.
  • Main kitchen.
  • Staff/parent’s room.
  • Rooms used by others or for other purposes.

The setting manager ensures staff members carry out risk assessment for off-site activities, such as children’s outings (including use of public transport), including:

  • home visits
  • other duties off-site such as attending meetings, banking etc

The setting manager ensures staff members carry out risk assessment for work practice including:

  • changing babies, and the intimate care of young children and older children
  • arrivals and departures
  • children with allergies and special dietary needs or preferences
  • serving food in group rooms
  • cooking activities with children
  • supervising outdoor play and indoor/outdoor climbing equipment
  • settling babies/young children to sleep
  • assessment, use and storage of equipment for disabled children
  • visitors to the setting who are bringing equipment or animals as part of children’s learning experiences, for example ‘fire engines’
  • following any incidents involving threats against staff or volunteers
  • following any accident or incident involving staff or children

The setting manager liaises with Crime Prevention Officers as appropriate to ensure security arrangements for premises and personnel are appropriate.

 

0.1    Health and safety procedures

01.2    Group rooms, stair ways and corridors

  • Significant changes such as structural alterations or extensions are reported to Ofsted. A risk assessment is done to ensure the security of the building during building work.
  • Door handles are placed high or alternative safety measures are in place.
  • Chairs are stacked safely and not too high.
  • There are no trailing wires; all radiators are guarded.
  • Windows are opened regularly to ensure flow of air.
  • Floors are properly dried after mopping up spills.
  • Staff and visitors remove outdoor shoes in baby areas.
  • Children do not have unsupervised access to stairways and corridors.
  • Stair gates are in place at the foot and top of the stairs.
  • Floor covering on stairways and corridors is checked for signs of wear and tear.
  • There are child height stair rails as well as adult height in place.
  • Children are led walking upstairs one at a time and hold the rail.
  • Staff hold the hand of toddlers and children who require assistance.
  • Materials and equipment are not generally stored in corridors, but where this is the case, it does not block clear access or way out.
  • Walkways and stairs are uncluttered and adequately lit.
  • Stairways and corridors are checked to ensure that safety and security is maintained, especially in areas that are not often used, or where there is access to outdoors
  • Socket safety inserts are not used as there is no safety reason to do so, modern plug sockets are designed to remove risk of electrocution if something is poked into them. Socket covers (that cover the whole socket and switch) may be used, please note these are different to socket inserts.
  • The use of blinds with cords is avoided. Any blinds fitted with cords are always secured by cleats. There are no dangling cords.

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.3    Kitchen

General safety

  • Doors to the kitchen are kept always closed.
  • Shutters to hatches are kept closed when cooking is taking place.
  • Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.
  • Children are not taken to the kitchen when meal preparation is taking place.
  • Staff do not normally take tea breaks in the kitchen unless there is no alternative, in which case, tea-breaks are not taken in the kitchen when food is being prepared.
  • Wet spills are mopped immediately.
  • Mechanical ventilation is used when cooking.
  • A clearly marked and appropriately stocked First Aid box is kept in the kitchen.

Cleanliness and hygiene

Staff follow the recommended cleaning schedules in Safer Food Better Business (SFBB).

  • Floors are washed down at least daily.
  • All work surfaces are washed regularly with anti-bacterial agent.
  • Inside of cupboards are cleaned monthly.
  • Cupboard doors and handles are cleaned regularly.
  • Fridge and freezer doors are wiped down regularly
  • Ovens/cooker tops are wiped down daily after use; ovens are fully cleaned monthly.
  • Washing up done by hand is carried out in double sinks, where available, one to wash, one to rinse.
  • Where possible all crockery and cutlery are air dried.
  • Plates and cups are only put away when fully dry.
  • Tea towels, if used, are used once. They are laundered daily.
  • Any cleaning cloths used for surfaces are washed and replaced daily.
  • Any repairs needed are recorded and reported to the manager, who then reports to the Hall Committee.
  • Chip pans are not used.

Further guidance

Safer Food Better Business: Food safety management procedures and food hygiene regulations for small business: www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/safer-food-better-business

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.4    Children’s bathrooms/changing areas

  • Children are provided with baskets (or other storage) for spare clothing and nappies/pants
  • Older babies/toddlers are changed on the floor surfaces. Staff should not have to lift heavy toddlers on to waist high units.
  • Changing mats are cleaned and disinfected in baby change areas.
  • Disposable nappies/trainers are cleared of solid waste and placed in nappy sacks and placed in the outside bin.
  • Staff use single use gloves and aprons to change children and wash hands when leaving changing areas. Gloves are always worn by staff members when changing wet and soiled nappies.
  • Staff never turn their backs on or leave a child unattended whilst on a changing mat.
  • Changing areas or stands are provided for older (disabled) children, if required.
  • Changing mats are disinfected after each change.
  • Anti-bacterial spray is not used where residue may have direct contact with skin.
  • Anti-bacterial sprays used in nappy changing areas are not left within the reach of children.
  • Natural or mechanical ventilation is used; chemical air fresheners are not used.
  • All other surfaces are disinfected daily.

Children’s toilets and wash basins

  • Children’s toilets are cleaned twice daily using disinfectant cleaning agent for the bowls (inside and out), seat and lid, and whenever visibly soiled.
  • Toilet flush handles are disinfected daily.
  • Toilets not in use are checked to ensure the U-bend does not dry out and are flushed every week. Taps not in use are run for several minutes every two to three days to prevent infections such as Legionella.
  • There is a toilet brush available for children’s toilets. This is stored in the cleaning cupboard, along with a separate cleaning cloth.
  • Toilet door handles are washed daily.
  • Children’s hand basins are cleaned twice daily and whenever visibly soiled, inside, and out using disinfectant cleaning agent. Separate cloths are used to clean basins etc. and are not interchanged with those used for cleaning toilets. Colour coded cloths are used.
  • Mirrors and tiled splash backs are washed daily.
  • Paper towels and Hand driers are provided.
  • Bins are provided for disposal of paper towels and are emptied daily.
  • All bins are lined with plastic bags.
  • Staff who clean toilets wear rubber gloves.
  • Staff changing children wear gloves and aprons as appropriate.
  • Wet or soiled clothing is sluiced, rinsed, and put in a plastic bag for parents to collect.
  • Floors in children’s toilets are washed twice daily.
  • Spills of body fluids are cleared and mopped using disinfectant.
  • Mops are rinsed and wrung after use and stored upright, not stored head down in buckets.
  • Mops used to clean toilets or body fluids from other areas are designated for that purpose only and kept separate from mops used for other areas. Colour coding helps keep them separate.
  • Used water is discarded down the sluice or butler sink.

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.6  Short trips, outings and excursions

Planning and preparation

  • Outings have a purpose with specific learning and development outcomes.
  • The excursion does not go ahead if concerns are raised about its viability at any point.
  • Parents are informed of an outing and staff check that consent forms on children’s registration were signed.
  • A minimum of two staff accompany children on outings. Older children have a ratio of 1:4, depending on the risk assessment.
  • Children are specifically allocated to each member of staff/volunteer; they are responsible for supervising their designated children for the duration of the excursion.
  • Parents on outings are responsible for their own children only.
  • Parents who have undergone vetting as volunteers may be included in the ratio.
  • A mobile phone belonging to the setting, and small first aid kit is taken out.
  • Staff make sure they have water, plastic cups, spare nappies/change of clothes and wet wipes for the children going out appropriate to the length of time they are out for.
  • Sun cream is applied as needed and children are clothed appropriately
  • Children wear uniform with the name of the setting.
  • Staff have emergency contacts, medication and equipment needed for children.

Risk assessment

  • Risk assessment is completed prior to the outing and signed off by the setting manager and all staff taking part. Existing risk assessments are reviewed/amended as required.
  • Children with specific needs have a separate risk assessment if necessary.

Outing venue (larger outings)

  • Venues used regularly are ‘risk assessed’ and an initial pre-visit is made to look at the health and safety aspects. If pre-visits cannot be made, risk assessment is achieved by calling the venue and asking for their risk assessment.

Transport

  • If coach hire is required for an outing, only reputable companies are used.
  • The setting manager ensures that seat belts are provided on the coach and that booster seats and child safety seats are used as appropriate to the age of the children.
  • The maximum seating capacity of the coach or minibus is not exceeded.
  • Contracted drivers are not counted in ratios.
  • Public transport should always be ratio of 1-2 (unless agreed with the setting manager).

Where transport is provided by the setting

  • Records are kept including insurance details and a list of named drivers.
  • Drivers using their own transport should have adequate insurance cover.

Farm and zoo visits

Staff are aware of the risks posed by infections such as E.coli being contracted from animals. They are also aware of toxic substances used on farms that could be hazardous to health. Staff are vigilant of the natural dangers presented by a farm or zoo visit and conduct a risk assessment prior to the visit.

  • The venue is contacted in advance of the visit to ensure no recent outbreaks of E.coli or other infections. If there has been an outbreak the visit will be reviewed and may be postponed.
  • Hands are washed and dried thoroughly after touching an animal.
  • Nothing is consumed whilst going round the farm. Food is eaten away from animals, after thoroughly washing hands.
  • Children are prevented from putting their faces against animals or hands in their own mouths.
  • If animal droppings are touched, hands are washed and dried immediately.
  • Shoes are cleaned and hands washed thoroughly as soon as possible on departure.
  • Staff or volunteers who are or may be pregnant, should avoid contact with pregnant ewes and may want to consult their own GP before the visit.
  • Farmers have a responsibility to ensure that hand washing and drying facilities are available and are suitably located, that picnic areas are separate and clean, and that all other health and safety laws are fully observed.

For further guidance, refer to the insurance provider.

Larger outings checklist

There is an identified lead person for the outing.

  • The outing has an educational purpose and has been agreed with the setting manager.
  • Risk assessments completed/updated and shared with every staff, student/volunteer accompanying the children.
  • Staff understand the potential risks when they are out with children and takes all reasonable measures to remove/minimise risks.
  • Bouncy castles and similar attractions are not accessed by children on an excursion.
  • The designated lead educator is the last to leave the venue, or transport being used.
  • The designated lead conducts a ‘safety sweep’ before, during and after the outing.

Further guidance

Daily Register and Outings Record (Alliance 2021)

Good Practice in Early Years Infection Control (Alliance 2009)

Introducing Forest School in the Early Years (Alliance 2022)

Not on my Watch! (Alliance 2018)

Preventing Accidents to Children on Farms (Health and Safety Executive 2013)

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.7  Outdoors

  • All gates and fences are childproof, safe, and secure.
  • Areas are checked daily to make sure animal droppings, litter, glass etc. is removed. Staff wear rubber gloves to do this.
  • Bushes or overhanging trees are checked to ensure they do not bear poisonous berries.
  • Stinging nettles and brambles are removed.
  • Safety mats are provided under climbing equipment, even when on grass
  • Wooden equipment is maintained safely, put away daily and not used if broken.
  • Wooden equipment is sanded and varnished as required.
  • Broken climbing equipment or outdoor toys are removed and reported to the setting manager.
  • Children are always supervised within ratios outside.
  • Children are suitably attired for the weather conditions and type of outdoor activities.
  • Sun cream (if parents have given permission) is applied and hats are worn during the summer months. Outdoor play is avoided in extreme heat between noon and 3pm.
  • Children who have no adequate means of sun protection, such as a hat, long sleeves and trousers or sun cream, will not be able to play outdoors in un-shaded areas.
  • Children are supervised on climbing equipment, especially younger children.
  • Water play is not left out but is cleared, cleaned and stored after each use.
  • Receptacles are left upturned to prevent collection of rainwater, this is important in areas where there are vermin to prevent urine/faeces contaminating the water.
  • Sightings of vermin are recorded and reported to the manager who reports to the Environmental Health’s Pest Control Department.
  • Outdoor areas that have flooded are not used until cleaned down and restored. Grassed areas are not played on for at least one week after the floodwater has gone.
  • If paddling pools are used, a risk assessment is conducted, and consideration given to the needs of disabled children or those less ambulant.

Drones

If there are concerns about a ‘drone’ being flown over the outdoor area, that may compromise children’s safety or privacy, the setting manager will contact the police on 101.

  • Children will be bought inside immediately.

                                                            

  • Parents will be informed that a Drone has been spotted flying over the outdoor area and will be advised fully of the actions taken by the setting.
  • The police will have their own procedures to follow and will act accordingly.
  • If at any point following the incident, photographs taken by a drone emerge on social media that could identify the nursery or individual children, these are reported to the police.
  • A record is completed in the Notifiable Incident Record unless there is reason to believe that the incident might have safeguarding implications, for example:
  • the drone has hovered specifically over the outdoor area for any length of time
  • there is a likelihood that images of the children have been recorded
  • is spotted on more than one occasion
  • if the Police believe there is cause for concern

Where this is the case, 06 Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults procedures are followed.

Further guidance

Reportable Incident Record (Alliance 2015)

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.8    Staff cloakrooms

  • All areas are kept tidy and always uncluttered.
  • Doors to staff/visitor toilets and cloakrooms are kept always shut.
  • Staff are provided with lockers or a secure area for storing personal belongings, including any medication they are taking. Lockers are emptied each evening.
  • Toilet areas are not used for storage due to the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Staff/visitor toilets are cleaned daily using disinfectant.
  • Toilet flush handles are disinfected daily.
  • There is a toilet brush provided per toilet and separate cleaning cloth.
  • Toilets that are not in use are checked to ensure that the U-bend is not drying out and are flushed every week. Taps that are not in use are run for several minutes every two to three days to minimise the risk of infections such as legionella.
  • Cubicle doors and handles are washed weekly.
  • Staff hand basins are cleaned daily using disinfectant. Separate cloths are used to clean basins etc. and are not interchanged with those used for cleaning toilets.
  • Floors in staff toilets are washed daily.
  • Mirrors and tiled splash backs are washed daily.
  • Paper towels or hot air dryers are provided for hand drying.
  • Bins are provided for sanitary wear and cleared daily (or as per contract agreement).
  • Bins are provided for disposal of paper towels and are cleared daily.
  • All bins are lined with plastic bags.
  • Members of staff who are cleaning toilets wear rubber gloves that are kept specifically for this purpose to prevent cross contamination.

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.9    Maintenance and repairs

Any faulty equipment or building fault is recorded, including:

  • date fault noted
  • item or area faulty
  • nature of the fault and priority
  • who the fault reported to for action
  • action taken and when
  • if no action taken by the agreed date, when and by whom the omission is followed up
  • date action completed

Any area that is unsafe because repair is needed, such as a broken window, should be made safe and separated off from general use.

  • Any broken or unsafe item is taken out of use and labelled ‘out of use’.
  • Any specialist equipment (e g; corner seat for a disabled child) which is broken or unsafe should be returned to the manufacturer or relevant professional.
  • Any item that is beyond repair is condemned. This action is recorded as the action taken and the item is removed from the setting’s inventory.
  • Condemning items is done in agreement with the setting manager. Condemned items are then disposed of appropriately and not stored indefinitely on site.
  • Where maintenance and repairs involve a change of access to the building whilst repairs are taking place, then a risk assessment is conducted to ensure the safety and security of the building is maintained.

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.11 Staff personal safety

General

  • Members of staff who are in the building early in the morning or late in the evening, ensure that doors and windows are locked.
  • Where possible, the last two members of staff in the building leave together after dark and arrange to arrive together in the morning.
  • Visitors are allowed access only with prior appointments and once identifications are verified.
  • When taking cash to the bank, members of staff are aware of personal safety.
  • Staff make a note in the shared diary of meetings they are attending and when they are expected back.
  • The setting managers liaises with local police for advice on any issues or concerns.

Home visits

Home visits are done at the setting manager’s discretion under the following health and safety considerations:

  • Staff normally do home visits in pairs; usually manager or deputy and key person.
  • Each home visit is recorded in the diary with the name and address of the family being visited, prior to the visit taking place.
  • Staff alert a contact person in the setting when they are leaving to do the home visit and what time they are expected to return
  • If there is reason for staff to feel concerned about entering premises on a visit, they do not do so, for example, if a parent appears drunk or under the influence of drugs.
  • Members of staff carry work issued mobile phone when going out on a home visit.
  • If staff do not return from the home visit at the expected time the contact person attempts to phone them and continues to do so until they make contact

If no contact is made after a reasonable amount of time has passed, the contact person rings the police.

Dealing with agitated parents/visitors in the setting

  • If a parent or visitor appears to be angry, mentally agitated, or possibly hostile, two members of staff will lead them away from the children to an area less open but will not shut the door behind them.
  • If the person is standing, staff will remain standing.
  • Staff will try to empathise, for example: ‘I can see that you are feeling angry at this time’.
  • Staff offer to discuss the issue of concern and show they recognise the concern.
  • Staff will ensure that the language they use can be easily understood
  • Staff will make it clear that they want to hear issues and seek solutions.
  • If the person makes threats and continues to be angry, members of staff make it clear that they will be unable to discuss the issue until the person stops shouting or being abusive, avoiding expressions like ‘calm down’ or ‘be reasonable’.
  • If threats continue, members of staff will explain that the police will be called and emphasise the inappropriateness of such behaviour in front of the children.
  • Procedure 01.12 Threats and abuse towards staff and volunteers is implemented where staff feel threatened or intimidated.
  • After the event, it is recorded in the child’s file together with any decisions made with the parents to rectify the situation.
  • Any situation involving threats to members of staff are reported to the line manager, following procedure 01.12 Threats and abuse towards staff and volunteers.

Copies of correspondence regarding the incident will be kept in the relevant child’s file.

01     Health and safety procedures

01.12 Threats and abuse towards staff and volunteers

The setting is responsible for protecting the health and safety of all staff and volunteers in its services and has a duty of care in relation to their physical and emotional well-being. We believe that violence, threatening behaviour and abuse against staff are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Where such behaviour occurs, we will take all reasonable and appropriate action in support of our staff and volunteers.

  • Staff and volunteers have a right to expect that their workplace is a safe environment, and that prompt and appropriate action will be taken on their behalf if they are subjected to abuse, threats, violence or harassment by parents, service users and other adults as they carry out their duties.
  • The most common example of unreasonable behaviour is abusive or intimidating and aggressive language. If this occurs, the ultimate sanction, where informal action is not considered to be appropriate or has proved to be ineffective, is the withdrawal of permission to be on the premises.
  • Where a person recklessly or intentionally applies unlawful force on another or puts another in fear of an immediate attack, it is an offence in law which constitutes an assault. We would normally expect the police to be contacted immediately.

There are three categories of assault, based on the severity of the injury to the victim.

  1. Common Assault - involving the threat of immediate violence or causing minor injury (such as a graze, reddening of the skin or minor bruise).
  2. Actual Bodily Harm - causing an injury which interferes with the health or comfort of the victim (such as multiple bruising, broken tooth or temporary sensory loss).
  3. Grievous Bodily Harm - causing serious injury (such as a broken bone or an injury requiring lengthy treatment).

There is also an aggravated form of assault based upon the victim’s race, religion, disability or sexual orientation and other protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 which carries higher maximum penalties.

It is important to note that no physical attack or injury needs to have occurred for a common assault to have taken place. It is sufficient for a person to have been threatened with immediate violence and put in fear of a physical attack for an offence to have been committed.

Any staff member or volunteer who feels under threat or has been threatened, assaulted, or intimidated in the course of their work must report this immediately to their manager who will follow the setting manager’s procedures and guidance for responding.

999 should always be used when the immediate attendance of a police officer is required. The police support the use of 999 in all cases where:

  • there is danger to life
  • there is a likelihood of violence
  • an assault is, or is believed to be, in progress
  • the offender is on the premises
  • the offence has just occurred, and an early arrest is likely

If it is not possible to speak when making a 999 call because it alerts an offender, cough quietly or make a noise on the line, then follow the prompts to dial 55 (mobiles only) for a silent call. Police may be able to trace the call and attend the premises.

Harassment and intimidation

Staff may find themselves subject to a pattern of persistent unreasonable behaviour from individual parents or service users. This behaviour may not be abusive or overtly aggressive but could be perceived as intimidating and oppressive. In these circumstances staff may face a barrage of constant demands or criticisms on an almost daily basis, in a variety of formats for instance, email or telephone. They may not be particularly taxing or serious when viewed in isolation but can have a cumulative effect over a period of undermining their confidence, well-being, and health. In extreme cases, the behaviour of the parent or other service user may constitute an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, whereby:

A person must not pursue a course of conduct:

(a) which amounts to harassment of another, and

(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.

If so, the police have powers to act against the offender. Such situations are rare but, when they do arise, they can have a damaging effect on staff and be very difficult to resolve. If the actions of a parent appear to be heading in this direction, staff should speak to their manager who will take appropriate action to support. This may include the manager sending a letter to the aggressor, warning them that their behaviour is unacceptable and may result in further action being taken against them. All incidents must be recorded and reported to the setting’s line manager.

Banning parents and other visitors from the premises

  • Parents and some other visitors normally have implied permission to be on the premises at certain times and for certain purposes, and they will not therefore be trespassers unless the implied permission is withdrawn.
  • If a parent or other person continues to behave unreasonably on the premises a letter will be sent to them from the owners/trustees, withdrawing the implied permission for them to be there.
  • Further breaches may lead to prosecution of the person concerned by the police and they are treated as a trespasser.
  • Full records are kept of each incident, in the Reportable Incident Record, including details of any person(s) who witnessed the behaviour of the trespasser(s), since evidence will need to be provided to the Court.

Dealing with an incident

  • We would normally expect all cases of assault, and all but the most minor of other incidents, to be regarded as serious matters which should be reported to the setting manager and/or the police and followed up with due care and attention.
  • A record of the incident must be made whether the police are involved or not.
  • Whilst acknowledging that service users i.e. parents and families, may themselves be under severe stress, it is never acceptable for them to behave aggressively towards staff and volunteers. Individual circumstances along with the nature of the threat are considered before further action is taken.
  • All parties involved should consider the needs, views, feelings and wishes of the victim at every stage. We will ensure sympathetic and practical help, support and counselling is available to the victim both at the time of the incident and subsequently.
  • A range of support can be obtained:
  • from the setting manager, owners/trustees and/or a staff colleague
  • from Victim Support on giving evidence in court
  • In non-urgent cases, where the incident is not thought to be an emergency, but police involvement is required, all staff and volunteers are aware of the non-emergency police contact number for the area.
  • 999 calls receive an immediate response. Unless agreed at the time, non-emergency calls are normally attended within 8 hours (24 hours at the latest).
  • When they attend the setting or service, the police will take written statements from the victim (including a ‘Victim Personal Statement’) and obtain evidence to investigate the offence in the most appropriate and effective manner.
  • The police will also consider any views expressed by the setting manager and owner/directors/trustees as to the action they would like to see taken. The manager should speak to the victim and be aware of his or her views before confirming with the police how they wish them to proceed.
  • In some cases, the victim may be asked by the police if he/she wishes to make a complaint or allegation against the alleged offender. It is important to ensure that the victim can discuss the matter with their line manager, a colleague or friend before deciding on their response. It is helpful for the victim to be assured that, if there is a need subsequently to give evidence in court, support can be provided if it is not already available from Victim Support.
  • The decision regarding whether an individual is prosecuted is made by the police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) based on the evidence and with due regard to other factors.
  • After the incident has been dealt with, a risk assessment is done to identify preventative measures that can be put in place to minimise or prevent the incident occurring again.

Harassment or intimidation of staff by parents/visitors

  • The setting manager should contact their line manager for advice and support.
  • Where the parent’s behaviour merits it, the setting manager, with another member of staff present, should inform the parent clearly but sensitively that staff feel unduly harassed or intimidated and are considering making a complaint to the police if the behaviour does not desist or improve. The parent should be left in no doubt about the gravity of the situation and that this will be followed up with a letter drafted by the setting manager but sent to their line manager for approval before being issued.
  • The setting manager and/or their line manager might wish to consider advising the parent to make a formal complaint. Information about how to complain is clearly displayed for parents and service users.
  • If the investigation concludes that the parent’s expectations and demands are unreasonable, and that they are having a detrimental effect on staff, the findings can strengthen the setting manager’s position in further discussions with the parent and subsequently, if necessary, with the police.

Complaints relating to potential breaches of the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare requirements will be managed according to the 10.2 Complaints procedure for parents and service users.

Further guidance

Complaint Investigation Record (Alliance 2021)

Reportable Incident Record (Alliance 2015)

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.13 Entrances and approach to the building

  • Entrances and approaches are kept tidy and always uncluttered.
  • Outdoor steps are painted white to make them more visible to prevent trips or falls
  • All gates and external fences are childproof and safe
  • Front doors are always kept locked and shut.
  • The identity of a person not known to members of staff is checked before they enter the building.
  • All staff and visitors to the setting sign in and out of the building.
  • A member of staff is available to open and close the door and to greet arrivals, say goodbye to parents and to make sure that doors and gates are shut.
  • Back doors are always kept locked and shut if they may lead to a public or unsupervised area, unless this breaches fire safety regulations or other expectations.
  •  Where building works or repairs mean that normal entrances/exits or approaches to the building are not in use, a risk assessment is conducted to maintain safety and security whilst the changes are in place.
  • Whilst social distancing restrictions are in place a risk assessment identifies measures required to keep parents two metres apart and to reduce risk of parents gathering in entrance areas during peak times.

 

01     Standard Health and Safety Procedures

01.14 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

  • Staff implement the current guidelines of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as rubber gloves, latex free/vinyl gloves, aprons etc., is available to all staff as needed and stocks are regularly replenished.  Poster available to staff to show the correct order in which to put on and take off PPE.
  • Hazardous substances are stored safely away from the children.
  • Chemicals used in the setting should be kept to the minimum to ensure health and hygiene is maintained.
  • Risk assessment is done for all chemicals used in the setting.
  • Environmental factors are considered when purchasing, using and disposing of chemicals.
  • All members of staff are vigilant and use chemicals safely.
  • Bleach is not used in the setting.
  • Anti-bacterial soap/hand wash is not normally used, unless specifically advised during an infection outbreak, such as Pandemic flu or Coronavirus.
  • Anti-bacterial cleaning agents are restricted to toilets, nappy changing areas and food preparation areas and are not used when children are nearby.
  • Members of staff wear rubber gloves when using cleaning chemicals.

01     Health and safety procedures

01.15 Manual handling

  • All staff comply with risk assessment and have a personal responsibility to ensure they do not lift objects likely to cause injury. Failure to do so may invalidate an insurance claim.
  • Members of staff bring the setting manager’s attention to any new risk, or situations where the control measures are not working.
  • Risk assessments may need to be changed for some individuals, such as a pregnant woman, or staff with an existing or previous injury or impairment that may affect their capacity to lift.
  • Risk assessment is carried out of the environment in which the lifting is done. Features such as uneven floor surfaces, stairs, etc. add to the general risk and need to be taken into consideration.
  • The setting manager ensures that they and their staff are trained to lift and move heavy objects and unstable loads correctly. Babies and young children are also heavy and need to be lifted and carried carefully and correctly.

Guidelines:

  • Do not lift heavy objects alone. Seek help from a colleague.
  • Bend from the knees rather than the back.
  • Do not lift very heavy objects, even with others, that are beyond your strength.
  • Use trolleys for heavy items that must be carried or moved on a regular basis.
  • Items should not be lifted onto, or from, storage areas above head height.
  • Do not stand on objects, other than proper height steps, to reach high objects and never try to over-reach.
  • Push rather than pull heavy objects.
  • Use ramp at entrance of the garage to enable trolleys to roll in and out.
  • Do not carry heavy objects up or down stairs; or carry large objects that may block your view of the stairs.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Managers are responsible for carrying out risk assessment for manual handling operations, which includes lifting/carrying children and lifting/carrying furniture or equipment.

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.16 Festival (and other) decorations

General

  • Basic safety precautions apply equally to decorations put up for any festival as well as to general decorations in the setting. Children are informed of dangers and safe behaviour, relative to their level of understanding.

Decorations

  • Only fire-retardant decorations and fire-retardant artificial Christmas trees are used.

Electrical equipment.

  • Electrical equipment (a light, extension leads etc) must be electrically tested before use.
  • If using tree lights, place the tree close to an electrical socket and avoid using extension leads. Always fully uncoil any wound extension lead, to avoid overheating.
  • Remember to unplug the lights at the end of the day.
  • Electrical leads are arranged in such a way that they do not create a trip hazard.

Location

  • Trees and decorations must never obstruct walkways or fire exits.
  • Do not place decorations on or close to electrical equipment (e g: computers); they are a fire hazard.
  • Decorations must be clear of the ceiling fire detectors, sprinklers, and lights.

Children’s areas

  • Christmas trees are placed where children cannot pull them over.
  • Glass decorations are not used.

 

  01   Health and safety procedures

01.17 Jewellery and hair accessories

Children, staff members, volunteers and students do not attend the setting wearing jewellery or fashion accessories that may pose a potential hazard to other children or themselves.

  • Health and safety take precedence over respect for culture, religion or fashion.
  • Members of staff do not wear jewellery or fashion accessories, such as belts or high heels, that may pose a danger to them or to young children. These include large rings with sharp edges, earrings - other than studs, chain necklaces, or bracelets with attachments that can be pulled off, or belts with large buckles.
  • All children and staff must wear closed in shoes at all times.
  • Parents must ensure that any jewellery worn by children poses no risk, for example, earrings which may get pulled, bracelets which can get caught when climbing, or necklaces that may pose a risk of strangulation.
  • Children may wear small, smooth stud earrings.
  • Children, staff, and volunteers do not wear anything with sharp edges that could scratch children, or jewellery with small elements that could become detached and swallowed.
  • Hair accessories that may come loose pose a choking hazard are removed before children sleep or rest.
  • If staff see hair beads that are coming loose, they will remove them.
  • Hair accessories that may pose a choking hazard to other children should they become detached, should be removed if members of staff consider this to be a possibility.
  • Amber beads for teething pain relief are not to be worn due to the risk of choking posed to the infant and other children who may remove them.

 

01     Health and safety procedures

01.20 Notifiable incident, non- child protection

Staff respond swiftly, appropriately and effectively in the case of an incident within the setting. Notifiable incidents in this procedure are those not involving child protection.

A ‘notifiable’ incident’ could include:

  • fire or suspected arson
  • electric or Gas fault
  • burst pipe, severe leak or flooding
  • severe weather that has caused an incident or damage to property
  • break-in with vandalism or theft
  • staff, parent or visitor mugged or assaulted on site or in vicinity on the way to or from the setting
  • outbreak of a notifiable disease
  • staff or parent threatened/assaulted on the premises by a parent or visitor
  • accidents due to any other faults (that are reportable under RIDDOR)
  • lost child
  • any event or information that becomes known, that may have implications for the setting or the wider organisation in the future use

The designated health and safety officer:

  • has all emergency services numbers immediately to hand
  • has a list of contacts for maintenance and repair
  • ensure that members of staff know what to do in an emergency
  • risk assess the situation and decides, with the owners/trustees/directors, if the premises are safe to receive children before any children are arrive or to offer a limited service

Emergency evacuation

In most instances, children will not be evacuated from the premises unless there is an immediate risk or unless they are advised to do so by the emergency services.

  • There is an emergency evacuation procedure in place which is unique to the setting and based upon risk assessment in line with others using the building.
  • Emergency evacuation procedures are practised regularly and are reviewed according to risk assessment (as above).
  • Staff evacuate children to a pre-designated area (as per the fire drill), unless advised by the emergency services that the designated area is not suitable at that time.
  • Once evacuated, nobody enters the premises, until the emergency services say so.
  • Members of staff will act upon the advice of the emergency services at all times.

Insert emergency procedures i.e. route, responsibilities, designated assembly point and other emergency procedures unique to the setting e.g. nuclear power station alert.

Emergency Closure

The circumstances under which the setting may be closed due to an incident include:

  • The owners/directors/trustees make the decision to close – thereby withdrawing the service.
  • A third party makes the decision to close for example:
  • a school, where the setting is on a school site
  • the children’s centre (if on a children’s centre site)
  • the emergency services
  • A parent makes the decision for their child not to attend.
  • If a parent makes the decision for their child not to attend due to a critical incident, the child’s fees are due as normal.
  • Further consideration of individual incidences must be done in consultation with the owners/trustees/directors.

Recording and reporting

  • On discovery of the notifiable incident, the member of staff reports to the appropriate emergency service, fire, police, ambulance, if those services are needed.
  • The member of staff ensures that the setting manager and/or deputy are informed (if not on the premises at the time) and that the owners/trustees/directors are informed.
  • The setting manager completes and sends an incident record to the owners/trustees/directors, who, according to the severity of the incident notifies Ofsted or RIDDOR.
  • If the incident indicates that a crime may have been committed, all staff witness to the incident should make a written statement.
  • Staff do not discuss the incident with the press.

RIDDOR reportable events include:

  • Specified injuries at work, as detailed at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg453.pdf
  • Fatal accidents to staff, children and visitors (parents).
  • Accidents resulting in the incapacitation of staff for more than seven days.
  • Injuries to members of the public, including parents’ and children, where they are taken to hospital.
  • Dangerous ‘specified’ occurrences, where no-one is injured but they could have been. (these are usually industrial incidents).

This may include:

  • a member of staff injures back at work through lifting and is off for two weeks
  • a parent slips on a wet floor near the water tray and is taken to hospital
  • a child falls from a climbing frame and is taken to hospital
  • the ceiling collapses
  • an outbreak of Legionella

The setting manager informs the owners/trustees/directors and completes an accident and/or incident record; witness statements are taken as previously detailed.

  • If the incident is RIDDOR reportable, the setting manager telephones HSE Contact Centre on 0345 300 9923 or reports online at www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/report.htm
  • RIDDOR Reportable events require reporting to RIDDOR within 15 days of the event occurring.

The local authority investigates all reported injuries, diseases or dangerous occurrences. They will decide if there has been a breach in health and safety regulations and will decide what measures will be taken.

The owners/trustees/directors review how the situation was managed, as above, to ensure that investigations were rigorous and that policies and procedures were followed.

If an insurance claim is likely:

  • incidents such as fire, theft or flood are notified to the insurance provider immediately
  • the setting does not admit liability
  • if broken or faulty equipment is involved, it must not be repaired, destroyed or disposed of, in case it is needed during the investigation
  • if communication from a solicitor is received on behalf of the injured party, this is sent directly to the insurance provider; the setting manager will then write to the solicitor to confirm that the letter has been passed on
  • the incident is not discussed with any outside persons, or other parents, no matter what questions they may ask about their own child’s safety in relation to the incident, as it is regarded as confidential under the Data Protection Act.

 

01     Health and Safety Procedures

01.21 Terrorist threat/attack and lock-down

Most procedures for handling an emergency are focussed on an event happening in the building. However, in some situations you will be advised to stay put (lock-down) rather than evacuate. ‘Lock-down’ of a building/group of buildings is intended to secure and protect occupants in the proximity of an immediate threat. By controlling movement in an area, emergency services can contain and handle the situation more effectively.

  • The setting manager assesses the likelihood of an incident happening based on their location.
  • The setting manager will check our police website for advice and guidance.
  • Local police contact numbers are clearly displayed for staff to refer to.
  • The setting manager is aware of the current terrorist alert level, as available at www.mi5.gov.uk/threat-levels.
  • We follow any additional advice issued by the local authority.
  • Emergency procedures are reviewed and added to if needed.
  • Information about this procedure is shared with parents and all staff are aware of their role during ‘lockdown’.
  • A text/phone message is issued to parents when lockdown is confirmed.

Suggested wording for parent message

Due to an incident we have been advised by the emergency services to secure the premises and stay put until we are given the ‘all clear’. Please do not attempt to collect your child until it is safe to do so. We will let you know as soon as we are able to, when that is likely to be. In the meantime we need to keep our telephone lines clear and would appreciate your cooperation in not calling unless it is vital that you speak to us.

Lock-down procedures

If an incident happens the setting manager acts quickly to assess the likelihood of immediate danger. In most cases the assumption will be that it is safer to stay put and place the setting into ‘lockdown’ until the emergency services arrive. As soon as the emergency services arrive at the scene staff comply with their instructions.

During ‘lock-down’

·Staff and children stay in their designated areas if it is safe to do so.

·Doors and windows are secured until further instruction is received.

·Curtains and blinds are closed where possible.

·Staff and children stay away from windows and doors.

·Children are encouraged to stay low and keep calm.

·Staff tune into a local TV or radio station for more information.

·Staff do NOT make non-essential calls on mobile phones or landlines.

·If the fire alarm is activated, staff and children remain in their designated area and await further instructions from emergency services, unless the fire is in their area. In which case, they will move to the next room/area, following usual fire procedures.

The door will not be opened once it has been secured until the manager is officially advised “all clear” or is certain it is emergency services at the door.

During lockdown staff do NOT:

·travel down long corridors

·assemble in large open areas

·call 999 again unless there is immediate concern for their safety, the safety of others, or they feel they have critical information that must be passed on

Following lockdown:

·Staff will cooperate with emergency services to assist in an orderly evacuation.

·Staff will ensure that they have the register and children’s details.

·Staff or children who have witnessed an incident will need to tell the police what they saw. The police may require other individuals to remain available for questioning.

  • In the event of an incident it is inevitable that parents will want to come to the setting and collect their children immediately. They will be discouraged from doing so, until the emergency services give the ‘all clear’. Staff will be always acting on the advice of the emergency services.

Recording and reporting

  • The setting manager reports the lockdown to their line manager as soon as possible. In some situations, this may not be until after the event.
  • A record is completed as soon as possible.

Further guidance

Members of the public should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and report any suspicious activity to the police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline: 0800 789 321.

For non-emergency, call the police on 101.

We are located at:

Woodlands Pre-School

Netley Marsh Community Hall

Woodlands Road

Woodlands, Southampton

SO40 7GE

 

Tel: 07880 921627

Enquiries

To check if spaces are available or for further information and registration, please email;

 

Lisa Shaw (Manager)
woodlands507964@hotmail.com

 

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Charity Number: 1031863, Ofsted Number: 507964