Why Its Important to Have Policies and Risk Assessments, for Health, Safety and Hygiene of the Setting

Why its important to have policies and risk assessments, for health, safety and hygiene of the setting

Policies and risk assessments for health, safety and hygiene in a setting is paramount. As a pre- school assistant I have responsibility for the safety of children on a daily basis and parents put their trust in the setting, and those that work within, to look after their children.

Under the EYFS framework we have to ensure we meet the expected welfare requirements and also to follow health and safety legislation and regulations that protect children and adults in the setting. The 2 main acts of legislation linked to health and safety are the Health and Safety Work Act 1974 and the Children Act 1989.

Under the Health and Safety Act 1974 settings with 5 or more employees must have a health and safety policy. A health and safety policy dictates how the setting will ensure health and safety is carried out. The key points being nominated person for health and safety, risk assessments, staff training,   the environment, arrival and collection, fire and emergency procedures, security, windows, doors, general safety inside and out, activities, food and drink, accident book.

National Standard 6 = Safety National Standard 7 = Health
Risk assessments Administration of medicines
Fire safety procedures Accidents and reporting
Fire safety records and certificates Sick children
Outing procedures No smoking

Staff must familiarise themselves with the health and safety policy as it is a legal requirement that procedures are followed.

As mentioned above risk assessment must be conducted. Risk assessments will vary from setting to setting, depending whether it is a permanent one or not. If not there must be a conscious risk assessment prior to each session after the setting has been used by someone else. Risk assessment means thinking about what could cause harm   and then what can be done to minimise it. For example scissors would be...