Describe how current health and safety legislation, policies and procedures are implemented in the setting. There are several key pieces of legislation that impact on how schools manage the health and safety of both their employees and others who come into contact with the school e. g pupils, support workers and parents. These pieces of legislation are: The Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 This act places the responsibility of ensuring the health and safety and welfare of employees, with the employer.
The main ways that this is usually implemented in a school setting are: -ensuring that there is an effective way of reporting any hazards to the appropriate person so that any required action can be taken. Every school is required to carry out regular risk assessments of the premises and activities to identify any hazards in advance, but all members of staff should also be aware that risk assessment is an ongoing process, and that they must remain vigilant and report any potential hazards to the Health and safety officer. Each school must put in place its own
Health and safety policy and ensure that all staff are trained in its contents:
- All staff should take ownership for, not just their own safety, but also ensuring that their actions, or lack of action, does not cause harm or danger to others e. g if staff use equipment it must be cleared away properly and if staff see a potential hazard it must be reported appropriately.
- If safety equipment is provided, the staff must ensure it is used at all times e. if gloves are provided for using hazardous materials in science, then they must be worn.
- All equipment used within schools should meet recognized standards of safety. This can usually be checked by ensuring that the product displays on of the following safety symbols The Kitemark shows that the product has been tested and meets the appropriate British Standard. The CE mark should also have the name and address of the original supplier and shows that the product has been tested and meets the appropriate European standards
Setting Policies And Procedures
The Lion mark is used by members of the British Toy and Hobby Association as a symbol of toy safety and quality for the consumers. As well as ensuring that the equipment meets the required safety standards, it should be age and ability appropriate to the people using it, and regularly checked to make sure that it is still in good repair, and fit for purpose. The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 This covers issues including the provision of appropriate first aid equipment, and the appropriate number of first aiders.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 This requires the employer to assess and minimize any risks when working with electricity or electrical equipment. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 This sets out the guidelines surrounding completion of risk assessments by the employer. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 This sets out the guidance on minimizing the risks associated with lifting, carrying etc.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, 1995
Under this act, employers are responsible for reporting certain types of incidents, accidents or illnesses to the Health and Safety Executive, or the local authority:
•death of any person
•a ‘major injury’ to any person at work
•hospital treatment of any person who is not at work (eg pupil/student)
•an accident which results in a person at work being incapacitated for more than three consecutive days (excluding the day of the accident)
•specified dangerous occurrences, eg building collapse specified work-related diseases, eg mesothelioma and hepatitis.
Schools must have a policy in place for reporting these events. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 These regulations set out the minimum standards required for the use of equipment at work. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 The employer is responsible for protecting health by taking an effective measure to control and minimize exposure to hazardous substances which may cause injury or ill health. These substances could include glue, paint, cleaning materials, antibacterial sprays/wipes etc. These products all have written risk assessments on them, and they must be followed, e. g cleaning products must be kept away from children, and details of what to do if the product is ingested will be given on the container.