1. Outline the health and safety policies and procedures of the work setting. All businesses are required to comply with health and safety laws. All businesses with 5 or more employees must have a written health and safety policy. Those with fewer than 5 employees do not need a written policy but general health and safety laws need to be adhered to and understood by all those necessary. The laws are there to protect everybody who is associated with the business, which could include the business owners, employees, the public, and in the case of school or nurseries, the children, parents/carers and any visitors including those from outside agencies. An employer can appoint a health and safety officer who will be responsible for ensuring all current laws are complied with and in many cases will be responsible for risk assessments, training and all relevant duties as they occur. Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This act states that it is the duty of an employer to conduct their business, as far as is possible, to ensure that all who come into contact with that business are not affected by risk to health or safety. In a school environment this includes pupils, staff and any others persons who may occasionally come to the school. A school can best operate where accidents, injuries or losses are prevented, and effectively provides a better learning establishment for pupils. To quote the governing body of Plymouth City Council: Department for Lifelong Learning, their aim is “To provide a safe and healthy working and learning environment for staff, pupils and visitors.”
Although some accidents and incidents are unavoidable, where all possible steps are taken to identify and reduce hazards, actions of individual staff and pupils will impact on levels of such occasions. Therefore, good conduct and vigilance should be practised to reduce hazards to a minimum. Risk assessments should be carried out on a regular basis and details recorded. Where risks are higher, those responsible should ensure that any actions required to lessen or alleviate the risks are carried out adhered to. Correct training should be given where identified as necessary along with appropriate instruction in health and safety. Supervisory staff have a daily duty to ensure the following: That safe methods of working exist.
Health and Safety regulations are being applied and adhered to. All persons are instructed in safe and correct working practices. New employees are given relevant instruction and training. Regular safety inspections are carried out or when deemed necessary. All machinery and equipment is in good and safe working order. Fire appliances, first aid supplies and protective clothing are suitable and available. All hazardous substances are used, labelled and stored correctly. Regular monitoring of standards to help maintain a good health and safety routine. At least one First Aider is available at the workplace (although from 2016 new regulations that all childcare practitioners should be adequately trained) and a first aid kit should be up to date and well stocked. The Childcare Act 2006
This act was introduced to be solely concerned with transforming early years and childcare. It was designed to formalise the role that local authorities and other agencies play in safeguarding and educating young children. Leading on from the Governments green paper, Every Child Matters, in 2003 which highlighted a necessity to build on measures already in place to further protect children from harm (reviewing past failings) and to support them to develop their full potential. The Childcare Act outlines a set of duties:
To further improve on the finding and suggestions of the Every Child Matters paper. To provide sufficient, safe childcare for working parents. To provide better information on services available to parents. To simplify and reform regulations and inspections, including the introduction of the new Ofsted Childcare Register.
Part 1 of the Childcare Act concentrates on the duties on local authorities in England. Plymouth City Council, has set out its’ duties in relation to the Act. To improve the outcomes of all children, from all backgrounds, providing support to achieve its’ main aims: – Good health, children’s safety, that children enjoy their time at their childcare placement and achieve goals set, that they make a positive contribution and to achieve economic well-being. To assess the needs of the community and provide sufficient childcare provision. This assessment is carried out every 3 years and is called a Childcare Sufficiency Assessment. It ensures that there is enough childcare in all areas, including pre-schools, nurseries, school clubs and holiday clubs, and this care must suit all families, with choice and quality being key. The local authority must also provide children’s centres to work with local families. To provide early learning and childcare to all 3-4 year olds.
Thus, all children are entitled to 15 hours per week, starting from the first full-term after their third birthday, and until they start at school. To provide information to parents and prospective parents, working together with Plymouth Family Information Service and Plymouth Parent Partnership, so that they know what is available to them. This can include a range of information from childcare, to support services, and activities and benefits. To introduce the Early Years Foundation Stage. They aim to support, advise and train practitioners to achieve the outcomes set out in the Every Child Matters paper.
The EYFS is concentrated on the ages birth to 5 years. To ensure proper registration of Early Years and Childcare providers. Apart from certain exemptions, all providers must be registered with Ofsted on the Childcare Register. All provides must register on the compulsory part of the Register where they provide care to children 5-8 years. Some providers (such as nannies and short-term crèches) can register on the voluntary part of the register so long as they care they provide does not need to be formally registered with Ofsted. The Childcare Act allows for collection of information from different agencies so that local authorities can provide the best possible care and support and to receive relevant funding for these services.
Part 2 of the Childcare Act concentrates on the duties on local authorities in Wales. The definitions for ‘childcare’ differ for England and Wales. In Wales, ‘childcare’ is defined as set out in the Children Act 1989. There are subtle differences to services provided such as the requirement of local authorities to cater for Welsh speaking families.
Part 3 concerns the Regulation of Provision of Childcare in England. This part explains the functions of the Chief Inspector, who must report back to the Secretary of State for Education. It is the duty of the Chief Inspector to monitor the Early Years provision and later years provision with regards to the quality and standards provided and includes how well this is managed. They will give advice to the Secretary of State where necessary to improve on all aspects of childcare. They are responsible for the maintenance of the registers as set out in the previous section. The Chief Inspector has the power to refuse any application under the regulations set out and if a provider is found to be in contravention of the regulations, the power to serve notice to improve or be removed from the register. It is the Chief Inspector’s duty to ensure that providers implement the Early Years Foundation Stage, and that learning, development and welfare requirements are being met. Inspections will be carried out when required and a written report may be sent to the secretary of State if requested.
Part 4 covers Miscellaneous and General provisions.
This part contains the provision of information about children. It also include amendments and appeals as required. It also includes arrangement for disqualification from the childcare registers under the Children Act 1989.
This act also covers health and safety as well as education as set out in the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’. The framework covers all early years providers including registered childminders. It covers learning and development requirements, assessments, and safeguarding and welfare requirements. Learning and development includes communication and language, physical, personal, social and emotional development. It must also include maths and literacy skills. Learning through play and exploring are very important factors in this area. Ongoing assessment is very important at this stage to be able to tailor the needs of an individual child. There will be a progress check at the age of 2, which along with identifying a child’s strengths can pinpoint any special requirements from outside agencies. An EYFS profile will be completed at the age of 5 which will indicate a child’s levels of progress before they move to Year 1. This will inform the teaching staff of any learning needs required.
The EYFS profiles must be available to the Local Authority on request. Safeguarding and welfare requirements are important so that the child has a safe, secure and healthy environment in which to learn. Schools are required to have written policies which cover these aspects such as a Foundation Stage Policy, a Child Protection Policy, an Intimate Care Policy and an Inclusion Policy. A criminal records check will be carried out to ensure that staff are suitable to work in a school environment. Staff should be trained appropriately and have a clear understanding of their responsibilities. Staff to child ratios must be adhered to ensure children’s safety. The EYFS also sets out requirements for illnesses and accidents, medicines policies, food and drink safety and behaviour management.
There are also premises requirements to include health and safety general requirements and indoor and outdoor space requirements. Risk assessments must carried out regularly. Special Education Needs provision must be in place as and when required and a SENCO appointed. Providers must maintain records which are available to parents and other agencies, whilst maintaining privacy of the individual child. A complaints procedure must be in place to deal with concerns from parents which must be investigated as per the EYFS requirements. COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)
COSHH Regulation 2002 applies to the way in which hazardous substances are controlled and how they may be worked with. Employers are responsible for taking measures to control exposure and therefore to protect the health of employees and others who may enter the work environment. Accidents and diseases caused by improper use of these substances can have a massive impact on the costs incurred notwithstanding the health of those coming into contact with them. Many substances can be harmful, dusty or fume-filled areas can lead to lung cancer, some plants can cause dermatitis, as well as things such as cleaning and catering products, fluids where fungi has grown, and wet cement. Many substances can be harmful, paint, glue, and oils to name just a few. There are many different ways a substance can be harmful. Some from skin contact, either damaging the skin itself or by passing through skin and damaging inside the body. Others can cause damage by being breathed in, damaging the lungs, liver and other internal parts of the body.
Chemicals are often harmful if swallowed. This can easily happen by transference when basic hygiene procedures are not followed. The eyes can also be damaged by fluid splashes or from vapours and dust. Some professions, such as butchery, policing and medical professions can have an increased risk of injury and disease from skin puncture. Many products have hazard labels on the container. Everyday products will show these such as bleach and paint. Products marked as ‘dangerous for supply’ will also be supplied with a safety data sheet. This information will explain what the dangers are and how to handle and store the product correctly. A risk assessment should be carried out wherever hazardous substances are used. Only by fully understanding the risk of a particular substance can employers adequately control and reduce these risks. Generally, the larger the amount of a certain product used, the higher the risk. Although cleaning up or disposal of any product may increase its risk as the substance could be breathed in come into contact with skin.
One very obvious example of this is asbestos, which, once in place is a low-risk product but has been shown to be extremely poisonous when damaged during removal. Exposure control measures are a combination of correct usage of equipment and ways of working. Proper training should be given so that the ‘standard operating procedure’ is constantly followed thus minimising risks as much as possible. An example of this would be when using solvent for cleaning. The use of a rag holder and a bin with a lid would protect the solvent coming into contact with the skin and reduce vapours. Procedures should be checked regularly and updated where necessary. There are various ways a risk can be lessened. For example, could the same job be done with a substance which is safer? Is the product available or be turned into a paste from a powder, which would reduce the risk of inhalation? Is the use of personal protective equipment such as gloves, aprons or a respirator necessary? Control equipment can be used to minimise risk. Extractor fans are often used in kitchens and other areas where fumes are present. Water sprays are often used to lessen dust.
All equipment should be maintained and checked regularly to ensure they are providing the best protection possible. There are certain regulations in place to check that as an employer, you, or a designated person is ensuring that control equipment is in place and working correctly. Where a Local Exhaust Ventilation system is used, this should be thoroughly checked and tested at least every 14 months. Personal protective equipment should also be regularly checked to ensure that it is suitable for purpose and that it is being used correctly. Those persons checking equipment should be competent in that particular task and may also require qualifications in order to carry out the checks. Workers should also be trained and instructed not only to be able to use the equipment but also to check that they are working correctly.
RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) All workplaces are required to report certain incidents to RIDDOR, part of the Health and Safety Executive. The purpose of these reports is so that in large part, the safety of the workplace can be improved. Only incidents that incapacitate a person for more than 7 days need to be reported. This has been changed recently from the previous 3 days. All incidents should however be recorded in a works accident book. Generally, the workplace should have a nominated person who is responsible for reporting of incidents to RIDDOR which should be set out in the health and safety policy of that workplace. Outside contractors should have their own employers report any incidents they are involved with. All records should be kept for at least 3 years.
Some regulations are specific to a school setting (RIDDOR 2013). These are split into 3 specific sections. Section 1: Injuries and ill health to people at work. Some incidents involving staff must be reported immediately. These include accidents which result in death, fractures (not to include extremities), amputations, damage to sight, brain or internal organs, serious burns (more than 10%) and other serious injuries. Less serious injuries which may need reporting (under the incapacitation rule) must be reported within 15 days of the incident. The same specifics should be applied where injury or death is caused by physical violence (either by a pupil, staff member or member of the public, and on school premises) but should not include psychological affects arising from an attack. Certain diseases directly resulting from the workplace should be reported.
A written diagnosis should be obtained as evidence that the disease is work based. Some such disease include occupational dermatitis (from working with hazardous substances for example), hand-arm vibration syndrome which can be caused by working with fast moving machinery. Asbestosis, as previously mentioned has been found to arise from workers not being provided with adequate safety wear and current policies for safe usage not being in place. Illnesses which though may have been caused by the work setting but not reportable under RIDDOR include stress-related illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Where self-employed people are working at a premises, it is the duty of those premises to report any incidents to or involving that person. Section 2: Incidents to pupils and other people who are not at work. There are some differences to what would need reported where the accident or illness concerns a pupil or other non-staff person. The person responsible needs to determine whether the death, injury or illness incurred ‘arises out of or is in connection with work’. Was the incident caused by inadequate maintenance?
For example faulty equipment or a slippery floor. If a pupil is taken to hospital as a direct result of improper practices or failed procedures then this would be reportable. Where hospitalization is caused by an asthma attack or other underlying medical condition then this would not be reportable. Therefore, many incidents which happen at school are not reportable but will often need to be recorded in the school accident book.
There are some incidents that have special consideration. If a pupil is travelling on a school bus and it is involved in an accident, this would not be reportable to RIDDOR. This would instead be investigated by the police as a road traffic accident. If those pupils were getting on or off the bus and they are injured by another vehicle hitting the bus then where necessary this would be reportable. RIDDOR only applies to incidents in Great Britain so does not cover pupils on overseas trips. Incidents occurring where pupils are on work placements should be reported by the employer at the work placement. Thus the procedures in Section 1 which applies to employees should be followed. Section 3: Dangerous Occurrences
Certain incidents are specifically listed by RIDDOR and only reportable if listed. These include collapse of lifts or lifting equipment, release of a biological agent or substance which would cause serious illness or injury or an incident causing a fire or explosion.
Food Safety Regulations
The main duties of food operators are outlined under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulation 2006. They must ensure that food produced is safe to eat, is of acceptable quality and is correctly stored and labelled. Operators must show evidence of good food hygiene to ensure that food is Fit for people to eat
Not dangerous to health
Fulfils expectation regarding content and quality
As described in a true honest manner
All food premises need to be registered so that they can be checked and monitored. Regulations regarding hygiene state that premises and equipment must be clean and fit for use, have good lighting and ventilation, proper waste disposal procedures, staff toilets, pest control arrangements, and appropriately clothed and trained staff. Procedures should be in place to avoid cross-contamination of foods and the correct handling, transport and storage to avoid potential health hazards. Certain foods are required to be stored or cooked at specific temperatures. Cooked food should be heated to a minimum temperature of 63oC. Cold food should be kept at a maximum of 8oC and frozen food between -18oC and -24oC. Other basic rules should be applied such as: Best before dates must be adhered to, frozen food should never be re-frozen and should be thawed in a fridge where possible. Cross-contamination must be avoided. This can happen where, for instance, chopping boards are used for both raw and cooked meats or defrosting food is allowed to drip onto other foods. Probes should be used regularly to check food temperatures.
Basic hygiene rules need to be followed such as providing hand washing facilities, and washing hands before and after handling food. If you have broken or damaged skin, it would be necessary to wear protective gloves so as not to pass any infection to others. Equipment should be clean and used safely according to any instruction given. There should also be regular maintenance wherever necessary and equipment such as gas appliances must be checked regularly. In a school setting it is important that pupils also follow basic hygiene rules such as hand washing before eating. The food preparation area should be away from children and items such as knives must be kept in a safe place well away from children’s reach. Equipment should be cleaned properly and food must be checked to make sure it is safe to eat. Any allergies should be noted and care taken to avoid any transference of allergens to those affected.
Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981, 2009
These regulations cover the provision of first-aid in the workplace. It concerns 3 main duties.
1) The duty of employers to provide first-aid.
Employers are required to ensure there is correct provision of equipment and facilities should they become ill or are injured. An assessment of first-aid needs should be carried out, taking into account a number of factors. These include, the number of employees, the size and location of the workplace, the distribution of employees, the type of business or work carried out, recent records of accidents, and the distance of the workplace from any hospitals or medical centres. All workplaces should have an appointed person who has responsibility for all first-aid related provisions. This will include a suitable first-aid kit. How many kits, and what they include, will depend on the above criteria. They should be easily accessible and well-stocked. In areas of high-risk there may be a requirement for specific items, for example where hazardous chemicals are used.
Kits should preferably be located near hand-washing facilities to ensure safe hygiene procedures are followed. Contents should be checked regularly for low or out-of-date items. Where required, trained first-aiders should be provided. Again, how many depends on the assessment criteria. The Health and Safety Executive suggests one first-aider for every 25 employees, although for higher risk workplaces the ratio is likely to be lower. First-aiders should hold a suitable qualification which will require renewal via a refresher course. The Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) Certificate enables a first-aider to give emergency treatment. The First Aid at Work (FAW) Certificate will also enable the first-aider to apply first-aid to specific injuries and illnesses such as anaphylactic shock and injuries to bones.
2) The duty of the employer to inform employees of first-aid arrangements. Employees need to be made aware of the provisions of first-aid. This will include: who the first-aiders or appointed persons are, and their location, and where the first-aid box is. A procedure should be in place to inform new employees and update everyone on new practices. A notice giving relevant information should be displayed in prominent places.
3) The duty of the self-employed person to provide first-aid equipment. Self-employed people are required to provide their own first-aid supplies and administer their own treatment. There are some exclusions to this. Where are self-employed person works at home for example doing clerical work, they would not be expected to supply first-aid equipment. Where a number of self-employed work together on one site, provision may be made to supply first-aid to all workers jointly.
Fire Safety Order 2005
Under this order, employers are required to carry out a fire risk assessment. They should remove or reduce the risk from fire as much as possible and provide relevant fire safety equipment. If flammable or explosive materials are used, there should be procedures in place for their correct use and storage. An emergency plan should be in place and a record kept of any incidents. A regular review of provision should be carried out as and when necessary. Places of work should appoint someone to be responsible for ensuring this order is carried out. There could be more than one person where premises are larger or there are numerous buildings, and where the risk is shown to be high. The fire risk assessment should cover a number of factors.
To identify fire hazards. Sources of ignition such as naked flames or heaters, fuel and oxygen for example air conditioning units. To identify those at risk. People in or around the workplace and those especially at risk for example, those who work near fire hazards, work alone, children, the elderly or disabled. To evaluate the risk of a fire starting and the risk to people from fire. To remove or reduce hazards wherever possible, including risk to people. Replace highly flammable materials with safer ones, separate flammable materials from ignition sources and have a safe-smoking policy. To protect people by providing adequate fire precautions. There must be a suitable fire-detection and warning system in place, such as smoke detectors and fire alarms.
Fire extinguishers and blankets may be provided and used to fight small fires where safe to do so. Different types of equipment should be used for different circumstances, for example, a carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguisher for liquid and electrical fires. A CO2 extinguisher should not be used on metal fires. A safe route should be provided for people to leave the premises and preferable more than one. This should be the shortest possible distance and ideally no more than 18 metres. Escape routes should be kept clear of obstructions and flammable materials. Fire exit doors should be well marked and easily opened without a key. Emergency lighting may be necessary in some places. To record any findings and the action to be taken.
To prepare an emergency procedure. This should include what actions will be taken in a fire situation.
To inform, instruct and train all relevant persons.
To review your assessment regularly and make changes where necessary.
Fire authorities continue to be the main agency responsible for enforcing fire-safety legislation in the workplace. They will look into complaints, carry out investigations after fires and may carry out inspections where they are deemed necessary such as high-risk premises. Fire authorities have the power to enforce notices on premises where inspections have revealed an unsatisfactory level of fire safety. This could in extreme cases lead to the premises being closed in whole or part.
Motor Vehicles Regulations 1997 (wearing of seat belts) Amendment Regulations 2006
The law regarding the wearing of seat belts is divided into various sections. Adults: Drivers and adult front seat passengers must wear seatbelts, unless medically exempt. Adults in rear seats must wear seatbelts where available. Children under 3 years: Must use correct restraint in front and rear seats. It is illegal to carry a child in a rear-facing seat in the front where airbags are active. Children 3 or over, up to either 12 years or 135cm in height (whichever comes first): Must use correct restraints in front seat and in rear seat where available. Children over 1.35 or over 12: Adult seat belts must be worn where available. In all cases, the responsibility lies with the passenger where they are 14 and over and with the driver for all children under this age.
There are specific laws regarding wearing of seatbelts on minibuses and coaches. Currently, all minibuses must be fitted with either three-point seatbelts or lap belts which must be worn by all passengers. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure these seatbelts are being worn where the children are under 14 years. When that child reaches 14 years it is their own responsibility. However, large buses are exempt from many of these regulations. Large buses are defined by size, number of wheels, maximum speed and maximum laden weight. Many school buses fall into this category. Strangely, under this exemption, only children over 14 have to wear a seatbelt. Those between 3 and 14 do not. The 2006 amendment introduced the obligation of bus operators to inform passengers that where seatbelts are provided, they must be worn. This information could be in the form of a verbal announcement by the driver, or recorded message, or a prominent sign.
Manual handling is the moving of loads using physical force. It contributes to nearly a third of all reportable accidents. Risk assessments should be carried out where necessary and suitable controls adopted. Short term injuries can include bruises, cuts, sprains hernias, broken bones or crushed feet or hands. Long term damage can lead to things like persistent back injuries. Four factors should be used in the assessment.
1. The nature of the risk.
2. The weight or type of load.
3. The ability of the person carrying out the task.
4. The environment of the activity.
Does the task involve holding the object away from the body? Does it require the operative to stoop or reach? Does it require strenuous effort? If the person carrying out the activity has a condition such as arthritic knees or hips, should they be doing the activity? Lighting and space should be suitable and adequate. If activity is done outdoors the risk may be increased due to damp conditions. The assessment should have 3 main objectives.
1. Avoid: To avoid and remove the hazard. Should an automated aid, such as a trolley be used instead? Care should be taken to ensure that any aids used do not themselves create a new hazard. 2. Assess: If manual handling cannot be avoided altogether, remaining risk factors should be reduced as much as possible by using adequate controls. Use straps or handles where provided. Safety equipment may be beneficial such as non-slip shoes or gloves. Rest periods should be provided where necessary. 3. Reduce: Actions can be designed to reduce the risk, such as two person handling, smaller loads or shorter distances. Is it possible to push rather than pull? Training should always be provided to lessen risk and any procedures put in place should be adhered to. Employers should keep records of any accidents or injuries as a result of manual handling, and as with all other causes, procedures followed with regards to first-aid and recording to RIDDOR.