Health and Safety Policy
Statement of Intent
This Preschool believes that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our preschool a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers.
- We aim to make children, parents and staff aware of health and safety issues and to minimise the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.
- We display the necessary health and safety poster in the Preschool room.
We have public liability insurance and employers' liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed on the Preschool noticeboard.
- Our induction training for staff and volunteers includes a clear explanation of health and safety issues so that all adults are able to adhere to our policy and procedures as they understand their shared responsibility for health and safety. The induction training covers matters of employee well-being, including safe lifting and the storage of potentially dangerous substances.
- Records are kept of these induction training sessions and new staff and volunteers are asked to sign the records to confirm that they have taken part.
- Health and safety issues are explained to the parents of new children so that they understand the part played by these issues in the daily life of the setting.
- As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff, and health and safety is discussed regularly at staff meetings.
- We operate a no smoking policy.
- Children are made aware of health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.
Safety of adults
- Adults are provided with guidance about the safe storage, movement, lifting and erection of large pieces of equipment.
- All warning signs are clear and in appropriate languages.
- The sickness of staff and their involvement in accidents is recorded. The records are reviewed termly to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
- We keep a record of all substances that may be hazardous to health - such as cleaning chemicals, or gardening chemicals if used. This states what the risks are and what to do if they have contact with eyes or skin or are ingested. It also states where they are stored.
- We keep all cleaning chemicals in their original containers.
- There are no windows at an accessible height to the children.
- We take precautions to prevent children's fingers from being trapped in doors.
- All floor surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven, wet or damaged.
- All surfaces are clean and non-porous.
- There are separate facilities for hand-washing and for washing up.
- Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of children’s reach.
- When children take part in cooking activities, they:
- are supervised at all times;
- are kept away from hot surfaces and hot water; and
- do not have unsupervised access to electrical equipment.
- All electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.
- Fires, heaters, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.
- Storage heaters are checked daily to make sure they are not covered.
- There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading.
- The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.
- Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage areas.
- All resources and materials from which children select are stored safely.
- All equipment and resources are stored or stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.
- Our outdoor area is securely fenced.
- Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish before it is used.
- Adults and children are alerted to the dangers of poisonous plants, herbicides and pesticides.
- Where water can form a pool on equipment, it is emptied before children start playing outside.
- All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.
- At least one member of staff holds an up to date food hygiene certificate
- We regularly seek information from the Environmental Health Department and the Health Authority to ensure that we keep up-to-date with the latest recommendations.
- Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene.
- We keep clean resources and equipment, dressing-up clothes and furnishings.
- The toilet area has a high standard of hygiene including hand washing and drying facilities.
- We implement good hygiene practices by:
- cleaning tables between activities;
- cleaning toilets regularly;
- wearing protective clothing ie. disposable gloves, as appropriate;
- providing clean clothes;
- providing tissues and wipes.
Activities and resources
- Before purchase or loan, equipment and resources are checked to ensure that they are safe for the ages and stages of the children currently attending the setting.
- The layout of play equipment allows adults and children to move safely and freely between activities.
- All equipment is regularly checked for cleanliness and safety and any dangerous items are repaired or discarded.
- All materials, including paint and glue, are non-toxic.
- Sand is clean and suitable for children's play.
- Physical play is constantly supervised.
- Children are taught to handle and store tools safely.
- Children learn about health, safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow.
- Any faulty equipment is removed from use and is repaired. If it cannot be repaired it is discarded.
- Animals visiting the setting are free from disease and safe to be with children, and do not pose a health risk.
- Children wash their hands after contact with animals.
- Outdoor footwear worn to visit farms is cleaned of mud and debris and should not be worn indoors.
- Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992
- Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations(COSHH) (2002)
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended)
- Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
- Health and Safety Law: What you Should Know (HSE 1999)
- Health and Safety Regulation…a Short Guide (HSE 2003)
- Electrical Safety and You (HSE 1998)
- COSHH: A Brief Guide to the Regulations (HSE 2005)
- Manual Handling – Frequently Asked Questions (HSE)