8.4 Risk assessment
At Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup, 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 means:
Taking note of aspects of your workplace and activities that could harm, either to yourself or
to others, and deciding what needs to be done to prevent that harm, making sure this is adhered to.
The laws does not require that all risk is eliminated, but that reasonable precaution is
taken. This is particularly important when balancing the need for children to be able to take appropriate risk through physically challenging play. Children need the opportunity to work
out what is not safe and what they should do when faced with a risk.
Health and Safety Risk Assessments inform procedures. Staff and Parents should be
involved in reviewing risk Assessments and Procedures. They are the ones will first-hand knowledge as to whether the control measures are effective and they can give and informed view to help
update procedures accordingly.
This policy is based on the five steps below:
- Identification of risk: Where is it and what is it?
- Who is at risk: Childcare staff, children, parents, cooks, cleaners etc?
- Assessment as to whether the level of risk as high, medium, low. This takes into account of 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 will you need to do, or ensure others will do, in order to reduce that
- Monitoring and review: How do you know if what you have said is working, or is thorough enough? If it is not working,
it will need to be amended, or maybe there is a better solution.
- Our Management undertake training and ensure Staff and Volunteers have adequate training in health and safety
- Our risk assessment process covers adults and children and includes:
- determining where it is helpful to make some written risk assessments in relation to specific issues, to inform staff
practice, and to demonstrate how they are managing risks if asked by parents and/or carers or inspectors;
- checking for and noting hazards and risks indoors and outside, in relation to our premises and
- 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 and any funding required.
- Where more than five staff and volunteers are employed the risk assessment is written and is reviewed
- We maintain lists of health and safety issues, which are checked daily before the session begins as well as those that
are checked on a weekly and termly basis when a full risk assessment is carried out.
- Our Manager ensures that checks such as electricity and gas safety checks, and any necessary work to the setting
premises are carried out annually and are made by the school and records are kept.
- Our Manager ensures that staff members carry out risk assessments that include relevant aspects of fire safety, food
safety for all areas of the premises.
- Our Manager ensures that staff members carry out risk assessments for work practice including
- Changing Children
- Preparation and serving of food and drink for children
- Children with allergies
- Cooking activities with children
- Supervising outdoor play and indoor/outdoor climbing equipment
- Supervision and recording of sleeping children
- Assessment, use and storage of equipment for disabled children
- The use and storage of substances which may be hazardous to health, such as cleaning chemicals
- Visitors to the setting who bring equipment or animals of part of children’s learning experiences and following any
incidents involving threats against staff or volunteers.
- Our Manager ensures that staff members carry out risk assessments for offsite activities if required,
- Children’s outings (including use of public transport)
- Forest Schools and Beach Schools
- Home visits
- Other offsite duties such as attending meetings, banking etc.
- We take precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to Legionella disease
- Our Manager ensures that we are familiar with the HSE guidance and risk assess accordingly/have seen the risk
assessment relevant to the premises from the Landlord.
- Any activities which take place out of the setting grounds, will be risk assessed and recorded on the daily register to
sign the children out and in.
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Five Steps to Risk Assessment (HSE 2006)
- Legionnaires disease
- A brief guide for duty holders (HSE 2012) www.HSE.gov.uk/pubns/indg458.pdf
This policy was adopted at a meeting of
Thorpe Acre Playgroup
name of provider
Date to be reviewed
Signed on behalf of the management committee
Name of signatory
Role of signatory (e.g. chair/owner)
Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Managing Risk (2009)
- Prioritised Place Risk Assessment 2020 – COVID-19 outbreak.
Updated September 2019
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