We believe that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance. We make our setting a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers by assessing and minimising the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.
Risk assessment balanced approach:
The Health and Safety Executive (2012) CHILDREN’S PLAY AND LEISURE – PROMOTING A BALANCED APPROACH explains that play brings the world to life for children. It provides exploration and understanding of their abilities; helps them to learn and develop; and exposes them to the realities of the world in which they will live, which is a world not free from risk but rather one where risk is ever present. The opportunity for play develops a child’s risk awareness and prepares them for their future lives.
The balanced approach is:
- Weighing up risks and benefits when designing and providing play opportunities and activities
- Focussing on and controlling the most serious risks, and those that are not beneficial to the play activity or foreseeable by the user
- Recognising that the introduction of risk might form part of play opportunities and activity
- Understanding that the purpose of risk control is not the elimination of all risk, and so accepting that the possibility of even serious or life-threatening injuries cannot be eliminated, though it should be managed
- Ensuring that the benefits of play are experienced to the full
Does not mean:
- All risks must be eliminated or continually reduced
- Every aspect of play provision must be set out in copious paperwork as part of a misguided security blanket
- Detailed assessments aimed at high-risk play activities are used for low-risk activities
- Ignoring risks that are not beneficial or integral to the play activity, such as those introduced through poor maintenance of equipment
- Mistakes and accidents will not happen
Risks are assessed to ensure that the risk is appropriate to the age and stage of development of the individual child.
The basis of this policy is risk assessment:
- Identification of risk: Where is it and what is it?
- Who is at risk: Childcare staff, children, parents, etc?
- Assessment as to the level of risk as high, medium, low. This is both the risk of the likelihood of it happening, as well as the possible impact if it did.
- Control measures to reduce/eliminate risk: What we need to do, or ensure others will do, in order to reduce that risk?
- Monitoring and review
- Written risk assessments
- Our risk assessment process covers adults and children and includes:
- Checking for and noting hazards and risks indoors and outside, and in our premises and for activities;
- Assessing the level of risk and who might be affected;
- Deciding which areas need attention; and
- Developing an action plan that specifies the action required, the time-scales for action, the person responsible for the action.
- Risk assessments are reviewed every 6 months or earlier if appropriate.
- We have daily hazard checklist, which is carried out before each session begins.
- There are continuous risk assessments if an area has been changed or new equipment etc.
We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed on the notice board.
Monitoring the Risk Assessment:
- Proactive method: proactive approach means taking action before the actual event. It includes checking the standards which are set already and inspecting and checking them regularly.
- Reactive method: Reactive approach means reacting after the event takes place. It means that when the accident takes place, the action is taken after that.