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Health and safety

Health and safety policy

Designated Health and Safety Officer is Heather Millington


Our provision is a suitable, clean and safe place for children to be cared for, where they can grow and learn. We meet all statutory requirements for health and safety and fulfil the criteria for meeting the Early Years Foundation Stage Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements.

  • We recognise that we have a corporate responsibility and duty of care towards those who work in and receive a service from our provision. Individual staff and service users also have responsibility for ensuring their own safety as well as that of others. Adherence to policies and procedures and risk assessment is the key means through which this is achieved.
  • Insurance is in place (including public liability) and an up-to-date certificate is always displayed.
  • Risk assessment is carried out to ensure the safety of children, staff, parents, and visitors. Legislation requires all those individuals in the given workplace to be responsible for the health and safety of premises, equipment and working practices.
  • Smoking is not allowed on the premises, both indoors and outdoors. If children use any public space that has been used for smoking, members of staff ensure that there is adequate ventilation to clear the atmosphere. Staff do not smoke in their work clothes and are requested not to smoke within at least one hour of working with children. The use of electronic cigarettes is not allowed on the premises.
  • Staff must not be under the influence of alcohol or any other substance which may affect their ability to care for children. If staff are taking medication that they believe may impair them, they seek further medical advice and only work directly with children if that advice is that the medication is unlikely to impair their ability to look after children. The setting manager must be informed.
  • Alcohol must not be bought onto the premises for consumption.
  • A risk assessment, and access audit  Access audit form are carried out for each area and the procedure is modified according to needs identified for the specific environment.
  • Risk assessments are monitored and reviewed by those responsible for health and safety.

Group rooms

  • Significant changes such as structural alterations or extensions are reported to Ofsted. A risk assessment is done to ensure the security of the building during building work.
  • Door handles are placed high or alternative safety measures are in place.
  • Chairs are stacked safely and not too high.
  • There are no trailing wires
  • Windows are opened regularly to ensure flow of air.
  • Floors are properly dried after mopping up spills.
  • Children do not have unsupervised access to cloakroom/reception
  • Floor covering on all rooms is checked for signs of wear and tear.
  • Walkways are uncluttered and adequately lit.
  • socket safety inserts are not used as there is no safety reason to do so, modern plug sockets are designed to remove risk of electrocution if something is poked into them. Socket covers (that cover the whole socket and switch) may be used, please note these are different to socket inserts.
  • The use of blinds with cords is avoided. Any blinds fitted with cords are always secured by cleats. There are no dangling cords.

Children’s bathrooms/changing areas

  • Changing mats are cleaned and disinfected in changing areas.
  • Disposable nappies/trainers are cleared of solid waste and placed in nappy disposal units.
  • Staff use single use gloves and aprons to change children and wash hands when leaving changing areas. Please note that gloves are not always required for a wet nappy if there is no risk of infection, however, gloves are always available for those staff who choose to wear them for a wet nappy. Gloves are always worn for a ‘soiled’ nappy.
  • Staff never turn their backs on or leave a child unattended whilst on a changing mat
  • Changing mats are disinfected after each change.
  • Anti-bacterial spray is not used where residue may have direct contact with skin.
  • Anti-bacterial sprays used in nappy changing areas are not left within the reach of children.
  • Natural or mechanical ventilation is used; chemical air fresheners are not used.
  • All other surfaces are disinfected daily.

Children’s toilets and wash basins

  • Children’s toilets are cleaned daily using disinfectant cleaning agent for the bowls (inside and out), seat and lid, and whenever visibly soiled.
  • Toilet flush handles are disinfected daily.
  • Toilets not in use are checked to ensure the U-bend does not dry out and are flushed every week. Taps not in use are run for several minutes every two to three days to prevent infections such as Legionella.
  • There is a toilet brush available for children’s toilets. This is stored in the cleaning cupboard, along with a separate cleaning cloth.
  • Cubicle doors and handles are washed weekly.
  • Children’s hand basins are cleaned daily and whenever visibly soiled, inside, and out using disinfectant cleaning agent. Separate cloths are used to clean basins etc. and are not interchanged with those used for cleaning toilets. Colour coded cloths are used.
  • Mirrors and tiled splash backs are washed daily.
  • Paper towels are provided.
  • Bins are provided for disposal of paper towels and are emptied twice daily.
  • Staff who clean toilets wear rubber gloves.
  • Staff changing children wear gloves and aprons as appropriate.
  • Wet or soiled clothing is sluiced, rinsed, and put in a plastic bag for parents to collect.
  • Floors in children’s toilets are washed daily.
  • Spills of body fluids are cleared and mopped using disinfectant.
  • Mops are rinsed and wrung after use and stored upright, not stored head down in buckets.
  • Mops used to clean toilets or body fluids from other areas are designated for that purpose only and kept separate from mops used for other areas. Colour coding helps keep them separate

Kitchen/staff room

General safety

  • Doors to the kitchen/staff room are kept always closed.
  • Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen/staff room .
  • Children are not taken to the kitchen when meal preparation is taking place.
  • Wet spills are mopped immediately.
  • A clearly marked and appropriately stocked First Aid box is kept in the kitchen.

Cleanliness and hygiene

Staff follow the recommended cleaning schedules in Safer Food Better Business (SFBB).

  • Floors are washed down at least daily.
  • All work surfaces are washed regularly with anti-bacterial agent.
  • Inside of cupboards are cleaned monthly.
  • Cupboard doors and handles are cleaned regularly.
  • Fridge and freezer doors are wiped down regularly
  • Ovens are fully cleaned monthly.
  • Where possible all crockery and cutlery are air dried.
  • Plates and cups are only put away when fully dry.
  • Tea towels, if used, are used once. They are laundered weekly
  • Any cleaning cloths used for surfaces are washed and replaced daily.
  • There is a mop, bucket, broom, dustpan, and brush set aside for kitchen use only.
  • Any repairs needed are recorded and reported to the manager.


  • All gates and fences are childproof, safe, and secure.
  • Areas are checked daily to make sure animal droppings, litter, glass etc. is removed. Staff wear rubber gloves to do this.
  • Bushes or overhanging trees are checked to ensure they do not bear poisonous berries.
  • Stinging nettles and brambles are removed.
  • Wooden equipment is maintained safely, put away daily and not used if broken.
  • Wooden equipment is sanded and varnished as required.
  • Broken climbing equipment or outdoor toys are removed and reported to the setting manager.
  • Children are always supervised within ratios outside.
  • Children are suitably attired for the weather conditions and type of outdoor activities.
  • Sun cream (if parents have given permission) is applied and hats are worn during the summer months. Outdoor play is avoided in extreme heat between noon and 3pm.
  • Children who have no adequate means of sun protection, such as a hat, long sleeves and trousers or sun cream, will not be able to play outdoors in un-shaded areas.
  • Children are supervised on climbing equipment, especially younger children.
  • Water play is not left out but is cleared, cleaned and stored after each use.
  • Receptacles are left upturned to prevent collection of rainwater, this is important in areas where there are vermin to prevent urine/faeces contaminating the water.
  • Sightings of vermin are recorded and reported to the manager who reports to the Environmental Health’s Pest Control Department.
  • Outdoor areas that have flooded are not used until cleaned down and restored. Grassed areas are not played on for at least one week after the floodwater has gone.
  • If paddling pools are used, a risk assessment is conducted, and consideration given to the needs of disabled children or those less ambulant.


If there are concerns about a ‘drone’ being flown over the outdoor area, that may compromise children’s safety or privacy, the setting manager will contact the police on 101.

  • Children will be bought inside immediately.


  • Parents will be informed that a Drone has been spotted flying over the outdoor area and will be advised fully of the actions taken by the setting.
  • The police will have their own procedures to follow and will act accordingly.
  • If at any point following the incident, photographs taken by a drone emerge on social media that could identify the nursery or individual children, these are reported to the police.
  • A record is completed in the Notifiable Incident Record unless there is reason to believe that the incident might have safeguarding implications, for example:
  • the drone has hovered specifically over the outdoor area for any length of time.
  • there is a likelihood that images of the children have been recorded.
  • is spotted on more than one occasion.
  • if the Police believe there is cause for concern

Where this is the case, the Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults procedures are followed.

Staff room

  • All areas are kept tidy and always uncluttered.
  • Doors to staff/visitor toilets and cloakrooms are kept always shut.
  • Staff are provided with lockers or a secure area for storing personal belongings, including any medication they are taking. Lockers are emptied each evening.
  • Toilet areas are not used for storage due to the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Staff/visitor toilets are cleaned daily using disinfectant.
  • Toilet flush handles are disinfected daily.
  • There is a toilet brush provided per toilet and separate cleaning cloth.
  • Toilets that are not in use are checked to ensure that the U-bend is not drying out and are flushed every week. Taps that are not in use are run for several minutes every two to three days to minimise the risk of infections such as legionella.
  • Cubicle doors and handles are washed weekly.
  • Staff hand basins are cleaned daily using disinfectant. Separate cloths are used to clean basins etc. and are not interchanged with those used for cleaning toilets.
  • Floors in staff toilets are washed daily.
  • Mirrors and tiled splash backs are washed daily.
  • Paper towels  are provided for hand drying.
  • Bins are provided for sanitary wear and cleared  as per contract agreement
  • Bins are provided for disposal of paper towels and are cleared daily.

Staff personal safety


  • Members of staff who are in the building early in the morning or late in the evening, ensure that doors and windows are locked.
  • Where possible, the last two members of staff in the building leave together after dark and arrange to arrive together in the morning.
  • Visitors are allowed access only with prior appointments and once identifications are verified.
  • When taking cash to the bank, members of staff are aware of personal safety. The setting manager carries out a risk assessment and develops an agreed procedure appropriate to the setting, staff, and location.
  • Staff make a note in the shared diary of meetings they are attending and when they are expected back.
  • The setting manager liaises with local police for advice on any issues or concerns.

Home visits

Home visits are done at the setting manager’s discretion under the following health and safety considerations:

  • Staff normally do home visits in pairs; usually manager or deputy and key person.
  • Each home visit is recorded in the diary with the name and address of the family being visited, prior to the visit taking place.
  • Staff alert a contact person in the setting when they are leaving to do the home visit and what time they are expected to return
  • If there is reason for staff to feel concerned about entering premises on a visit, they do not do so, for example, if a parent appears drunk or under the influence of drugs.
  • Members of staff carry work issued mobile phone when going out on a home visit.
  • If staff do not return from the home visit at the expected time the contact person attempts to phone them and continues to do so until they make contact

If no contact is made after a reasonable amount of time has passed, the contact person rings the police.

Dealing with agitated parents/visitors in the setting

  • If a parent or visitor appears to be angry, mentally agitated, or possibly hostile, two members of staff will lead them away from the children to an area less open but will not shut the door behind them.
  • If the person is standing, staff will remain standing.
  • Staff will try to empathise, for example: ‘I can see that you are feeling angry at this time’.
  • Staff offer to discuss the issue of concern and show they recognise the concern.
  • Staff will ensure that the language they use can be easily understood
  • Staff will make it clear that they want to hear issues and seek solutions.
  • If the person makes threats and continues to be angry, members of staff make it clear that they will be unable to discuss the issue until the person stops shouting or being abusive, avoiding expressions like ‘calm down’ or ‘be reasonable’.
  • If threats continue, members of staff will explain that the police will be called and emphasise the inappropriateness of such behaviour in front of the children.
  • Procedure, Threats and abuse towards staff and volunteer,s is implemented where staff feel threatened or intimidated.
  • After the event, it is recorded in the child’s file together with any decisions made with the parents to rectify the situation.
  • Any situation involving threats to members of staff are reported to the line manager, following procedure Threats and abuse towards staff and volunteers.

Copies of correspondence regarding the incident will be kept in the relevant child’s file.

Threats and abuse towards staff and volunteers

The setting is responsible for protecting the health and safety of all staff and volunteers in its services and has a duty of care in relation to their physical and emotional well-being. We believe that violence, threatening behaviour and abuse against staff are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Where such behaviour occurs, we will take all reasonable and appropriate action in support of our staff and volunteers.

  • Staff and volunteers have a right to expect that their workplace is a safe environment, and that prompt and appropriate action will be taken on their behalf if they are subjected to abuse, threats, violence or harassment by parents, service users and other adults as they carry out their duties.
  • The most common example of unreasonable behaviour is abusive or intimidating and aggressive language. If this occurs, the ultimate sanction, where informal action is not considered to be appropriate or has proved to be ineffective, is the withdrawal of permission to be on the premises.
  • Where a person recklessly or intentionally applies unlawful force on another or puts another in fear of an immediate attack, it is an offence in law which constitutes an assault. We would normally expect the police to be contacted immediately.

There are three categories of assault, based on the severity of the injury to the victim.

  1. Common Assault - involving the threat of immediate violence or causing minor injury (such as a graze, reddening of the skin or minor bruise).
  2. Actual Bodily Harm - causing an injury which interferes with the health or comfort of the victim (such as multiple bruising, broken tooth or temporary sensory loss).
  3. Grievous Bodily Harm - causing serious injury (such as a broken bone or an injury requiring lengthy treatment).

There is also an aggravated form of assault based upon the victim’s race, religion, disability or sexual orientation and other protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010 which carries higher maximum penalties.

It is important to note that no physical attack or injury needs to have occurred for a common assault to have taken place. It is sufficient for a person to have been threatened with immediate violence and put in fear of a physical attack for an offence to have been committed.

Any staff member or volunteer who feels under threat or has been threatened, assaulted, or intimidated in the course of their work must report this immediately to their manager who will follow the setting manager’s procedures and guidance for responding.

999 should always be used when the immediate attendance of a police officer is required. The police support the use of 999 in all cases where:

  • there is danger to life
  • there is a likelihood of violence
  • an assault is, or is believed to be, in progress
  • the offender is on the premises
  • the offence has just occurred, and an early arrest is likely

If it is not possible to speak when making a 999 call because it alerts an offender, cough quietly or make a noise on the line, then follow the prompts to dial 55 (mobiles only) for a silent call. Police may be able to trace the call and attend the premises.

Harassment and intimidation

Staff may find themselves subject to a pattern of persistent unreasonable behaviour from individual parents or service users. This behaviour may not be abusive or overtly aggressive but could be perceived as intimidating and oppressive. In these circumstances staff may face a barrage of constant demands or criticisms on an almost daily basis, in a variety of formats for instance, email or telephone. They may not be particularly taxing or serious when viewed in isolation but can have a cumulative effect over a period of undermining their confidence, well-being, and health. In extreme cases, the behaviour of the parent or other service user may constitute an offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, whereby:

A person must not pursue a course of conduct:

(a) which amounts to harassment of another, and

(b) which he knows or ought to know amounts to harassment of the other.

If so, the police have powers to act against the offender. Such situations are rare but, when they do arise, they can have a damaging effect on staff and be very difficult to resolve. If the actions of a parent appear to be heading in this direction, staff should speak to their manager who will take appropriate action to support. This may include the manager sending a letter to the aggressor, warning them that their behaviour is unacceptable and may result in further action being taken against them. All incidents must be recorded and reported to the setting’s line manager.

Banning parents and other visitors from the premises

  • Parents and some other visitors normally have implied permission to be on the premises at certain times and for certain purposes, and they will not therefore be trespassers unless the implied permission is withdrawn.
  • If a parent or other person continues to behave unreasonably on the premises a letter will be sent to them from the owners/directors/trustees, withdrawing the implied permission for them to be there.
  • Further breaches may lead to prosecution of the person concerned by the police and they are treated as a trespasser.
  • Full records are kept of each incident, in the Reportable Incident Record, including details of any person(s) who witnessed the behaviour of the trespasser(s), since evidence will need to be provided to the Court.

Dealing with an incident

  • We would normally expect all cases of assault, and all but the most minor of other incidents, to be regarded as serious matters which should be reported to the setting manager and/or the police and followed up with due care and attention.
  • A record of the incident must be made whether the police are involved or not.
  • Whilst acknowledging that service users i.e. parents and families, may themselves be under severe stress, it is never acceptable for them to behave aggressively towards staff and volunteers. Individual circumstances along with the nature of the threat are considered before further action is taken.
  • All parties involved should consider the needs, views, feelings and wishes of the victim at every stage. We will ensure sympathetic and practical help, support and counselling is available to the victim both at the time of the incident and subsequently.
  • A range of support can be obtained:
  • from the setting manager, owners/directors/trustees and/or a staff colleague
  • from Victim Support on giving evidence in court
  • In non-urgent cases, where the incident is not thought to be an emergency, but police involvement is required, all staff and volunteers are aware of the non-emergency police contact number for the area.
  • 999 calls receive an immediate response. Unless agreed at the time, non-emergency calls are normally attended within 8 hours (24 hours at the latest).
  • When they attend the setting or service, the police will take written statements from the victim (including a ‘Victim Personal Statement’) and obtain evidence to investigate the offence in the most appropriate and effective manner.
  • The police will also consider any views expressed by the setting manager and owner/directors/trustees as to the action they would like to see taken. The manager should speak to the victim and be aware of his or her views before confirming with the police how they wish them to proceed.
  • In some cases the victim may be asked by the police if he/she wishes to make a complaint or allegation against the alleged offender. It is important to ensure that the victim can discuss the matter with their line manager, a colleague or friend before deciding on their response. It is helpful for the victim to be assured that, if there is a need subsequently to give evidence in court, support can be provided if it is not already available from Victim Support.
  • The decision regarding whether an individual is prosecuted is made by the police or Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) based on the evidence and with due regard to other factors.
  • After the incident has been dealt with, a risk assessment is done to identify preventative measures that can be put in place to minimise or prevent the incident occurring again.

Harassment or intimidation of staff by parents/visitors

  • The setting manager should contact their line manager for advice and support.
  • Where the parent’s behaviour merits it, the setting manager, with another member of staff present, should inform the parent clearly but sensitively that staff feel unduly harassed or intimidated and are considering making a complaint to the police if the behaviour does not desist or improve. The parent should be left in no doubt about the gravity of the situation and that this will be followed up with a letter drafted by the setting manager but sent to their line manager for approval before being issued.
  • The setting manager might wish to consider advising the parent to make a formal complaint. Information about how to complain is clearly displayed for parents and service users.
  • If the investigation concludes that the parent’s expectations and demands are unreasonable, and that they are having a detrimental effect on staff, the findings can strengthen the setting manager’s position in further discussions with the parent and subsequently, if necessary, with the police.

Complaints relating to potential breaches of the EYFS Safeguarding and Welfare requirements will be managed according to the Complaints procedure for parents and service users.

Entrances and approach to the building

  • Entrances and approaches are kept tidy and always uncluttered.
  • All gates and external fences are childproof and safe
  • Front doors are always kept locked and shut.
  • The identity of a person not known to members of staff is checked before they enter the building.
  • All staff and visitors to the setting sign in and out of the building.
  • A member of staff is available to open and close the door and to greet arrivals, say goodbye to parents and to make sure that doors and gates are shut.

Where building works or repairs mean that normal entrances/exits or approaches to the building are not in use, a risk assessment is conducted to maintain safety and security whilst the changes are in place

Manual handling

  • All staff comply with risk assessment and have a personal responsibility to ensure they do not lift objects likely to cause injury. Failure to do so may invalidate an insurance claim.
  • Members of staff bring the setting manager’s attention to any new risk, or situations where the control measures are not working.
  • Risk assessments may need to be changed for some individuals, such as a pregnant woman, or staff with an existing or previous injury or impairment that may affect their capacity to lift.
  • Risk assessment is carried out of the environment in which the lifting is done. Features such as uneven floor surfaces, stairs, etc. add to the general risk and need to be taken into consideration.
  • The setting manager ensures that they and their staff are trained to lift and move heavy objects and unstable loads correctly. Young children are also heavy and need to be lifted and carried carefully and correctly.


  • Do not lift heavy objects alone. Seek help from a colleague.
  • Bend from the knees rather than the back.
  • Do not lift very heavy objects. even with others. that are beyond your strength.
  • Use trolleys for heavy items that must be carried or moved on a regular basis.
  • Items should not be lifted onto, or from, storage areas above head height.
  • Do not stand on objects, other than proper height steps, to reach high objects and never try to over-reach.
  • Push rather than pull heavy objects.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Managers are responsible for carrying out risk assessment for manual handling operations, which includes lifting/carrying children and lifting/carrying furniture or equipment.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

  • Staff implement the current guidelines of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as rubber gloves, latex free/vinyl gloves, aprons etc., is available to all staff as needed and stocks are regularly replenished.
  • Hazardous substances are stored safely away from the children.
  • Chemicals used in the setting should be kept to the minimum to ensure health and hygiene is maintained.
  • Risk assessment is done for all chemicals used in the setting.
  • Environmental factors are considered when purchasing, using and disposing of chemicals.
  • All members of staff are vigilant and use chemicals safely.
  • Bleach is not used in the setting.
  • Anti-bacterial soap/hand wash is not normally used, unless specifically advised during an infection outbreak, such as Pandemic flu or Coronavirus.
  • Anti-bacterial cleaning agents are restricted to toilets, nappy changing areas and food preparation areas and are not used when children are nearby.
  • Members of staff wear rubber gloves when using cleaning chemicals.

Fire safety

  • The setting manager has access to the fire safety procedures specific to the building and ensure they align with these procedures. The setting manager makes reasonable adjustments as required to ensure the two documents do not contradict each other.

Fire safety risk assessment

 Fire safety risk assessment form is carried out in each area of the setting by a competent person using the five steps to fire safety risk assessment as follows:

  1. Identify fire hazards
  • Sources of ignition.
  • Sources of fuel.
  • Sources of oxygen (including oxygen tanks for disabled children).
  1. Identify people at risk
  • People in and around the premises.
  • People especially at risk including, less ambulant disabled children or those using specialised equipment, such as splints, standing frames.
  1. Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from the risk
  • Evaluate the risk of the fire occurring.
  • Evaluate the risk to people from a fire starting on the premises.
  • Remove and reduce the hazards that may cause a fire.
  • Remove and reduce the risks to people from a fire.
  1. Record, plan, inform, instruct, train
  • Record significant findings and action taken.
  • Prepare an emergency plan.
  • Inform and instruct relevant people; inform and co-operate with others.
  • Provide training.
  1. Review
  • Keep assessment under review and revise when necessary.

The fire safety risk assessment focuses on the following for each area:

  • Electrical plugs, wires, sockets.
  • Electrical items.
  • Cookers.
  • Flammable materials, including furniture, furnishings, paper etc.
  • Flammable chemicals (which are also covered in COSHH).
  • Means of escape.
  • Any other, as identified.

Fire safety precautions include:

  • All electrical equipment is checked by a qualified electrician annually.
  • Any faulty electrical equipment is condemned
  • Water and electrical items do not come into contact; staff do not touch electrical items with wet hands.
  • All fire safety equipment is checked annually


Fire Drills

  • Fire Drills (to include emergency evacuation procedures and lock down) are held at least twice a year
  • Drills are recorded, including:
  • date of drill
  • staff involved and numbers of children
  • how long it took to evacuate
  • any reason for a delay in achieving the target time and how this will be remedied

Fire precautions

  • Fire exit signs are the green ‘running man’ signs and are in place and clearly visible.
  • Fire exits by doors are those that show a green light at night.
  • Fire doors are not locked during normal working hours.
  • Fire evacuation notices are in every room; these are displayed in print large enough to read from a short distance. They say where the assembly point is.
  • Fire alarms are in place and tested monthly, and where necessary supplemented with visual warnings. This is recorded.
  • Smoke alarms are in place and tested monthly. This is recorded.
  • A fire blanket is in place in the kitchen (and any other location where there is a cooker).

Fire extinguishers are in place and are appropriate

Notifiable incident, non- child protection

Staff respond swiftly, appropriately and effectively in the case of an incident within the setting. Notifiable incidents in this procedure are those not involving child protection.

A ‘notifiable’ incident’ could include:

  • fire or suspected arson
  • electric or Gas fault
  • burst pipe, severe leak or flooding
  • severe weather that has caused an incident or damage to property
  • break-in with vandalism or theft
  • staff, parent or visitor mugged or assaulted on site or in vicinity on the way to or from the setting
  • outbreak of a notifiable disease
  • staff or parent threatened/assaulted on the premises by a parent or visitor
  • accidents due to any other faults (that are reportable under RIDDOR)
  • lost child
  • any event or information that becomes known, that may have implications for the setting or the wider organisation in the future use

The designated health and safety officer:

  • has all emergency services numbers immediately to hand
  • has a list of contacts for maintenance and repair
  • ensure that members of staff know what to do in an emergency
  • risk assess the situation and decides, with the owners/trustees/directors, if the premises are safe to receive children before any children are arrive or to offer a limited service

Emergency evacuation

In most instances, children will not be evacuated from the premises unless there is an immediate risk or unless they are advised to do so by the emergency services.

  • There is an emergency evacuation procedure in place which is unique to the setting and based upon risk assessment in line with others using the building.
  • Emergency evacuation procedures are practised regularly and are reviewed according to risk assessment (as above).
  • Staff evacuate children to a pre-designated area (as per the fire drill), unless advised by the emergency services that the designated area is not suitable at that time.
  • Once evacuated, nobody enters the premises, until the emergency services say so.
  • Members of staff will act upon the advice of the emergency services at all times.

Assembly point B

Emergency Closure

The circumstances under which the setting may be closed due to an incident include:

  • The manager/directors make the decision to close – thereby withdrawing the service.
  • A third party makes the decision to close for example:
  • a school, where the setting is on a school site
  • the children’s centre (if on a children’s centre site)
  • the emergency services
  • A parent makes the decision for their child not to attend.
  • If a parent makes the decision for their child not to attend due to a critical incident, the child’s fees are due as normal.
  • Further consideration of individual incidences must be done in consultation with the owners/trustees/directors.

Recording and reporting

  • On discovery of the notifiable incident, the member of staff reports to the appropriate emergency service, fire, police, ambulance, if those services are needed.
  • The member of staff ensures that the setting manager and/or deputy are informed (if not on the premises at the time) and that the directors are informed.
  • The setting manager completes an incident record  and according to the severity of the incident notifies Ofsted or RIDDOR.
  • If the incident indicates that a crime may have been committed, all staff witness to the incident should make a written statement.
  • Staff do not discuss the incident with the press.

RIDDOR reportable events include:

  • Specified injuries at work, as detailed at
  • Fatal accidents to staff, children and visitors (parents).
  • Accidents resulting in the incapacitation of staff for more than seven days.
  • Injuries to members of the public, including parents’ and children, where they are taken to hospital.
  • Dangerous ‘specified’ occurrences, where no-one is injured but they could have been. (these are usually industrial incidents).

This may include:

  • a member of staff injures back at work through lifting and is off for two weeks
  • a parent slips on a wet floor near the water tray and is taken to hospital
  • a child falls from climbing equipment and is taken to hospital
  • the ceiling collapses
  • an outbreak of Legionella

The setting manager  completes an accident and/or incident record; witness statements are taken as previously detailed.

  • If the incident is RIDDOR reportable, the setting manager telephones HSE Contact Centre on 0345 300 9923 or reports online at
  • RIDDOR Reportable events require reporting to RIDDOR within 15 days of the event occurring.

The local authority investigates all reported injuries, diseases or dangerous occurrences. They will decide if there has been a breach in health and safety regulations and will decide what measures will be taken.

The directors review how the situation was managed, as above, to ensure that investigations were rigorous and that policies and procedures were followed.

If an insurance claim is likely:

  • incidents such as fire, theft or flood are notified to the insurance provider immediately
  • the setting does not admit liability
  • if broken or faulty equipment is involved, it must not be repaired, destroyed or disposed of, in case it is needed during the investigation
  • if communication from a solicitor is received on behalf of the injured party, this is sent directly to the insurance provider; the setting manager will then write to the solicitor to confirm that the letter has been passed on
  • the incident is not discussed with any outside persons, or other parents, no matter what questions they may ask about their own child’s safety in relation to the incident, as it is regarded as confidential under the Data Protection Act.

Jewellery and hair accessories

Children, staff members, volunteers and students do not attend the setting wearing jewellery or fashion accessories that may pose a potential hazard to other children or themselves.

  • Health and safety take precedence over respect for culture, religion or fashion.
  • Members of staff do not wear jewellery or fashion accessories, such as belts or high heels, that may pose a danger to them or to young children. These include large rings with sharp edges, earrings - other than studs, chain necklaces, or bracelets with attachments that can be pulled off, or belts with large buckles.
  • Parents must ensure that any jewellery worn by children poses no risk, for example, earrings which may get pulled, bracelets which can get caught when climbing, or necklaces that may pose a risk of strangulation.
  • Children may wear small, smooth stud earrings.
  • Children, staff, and volunteers do not wear anything with sharp edges that could scratch children, or jewellery with small elements that could become detached and swallowed.
  • Hair accessories that may come loose pose a choking hazard are removed before children sleep or rest.
  • Parents are requested not to send children wearing hair beads. If staff see beads that are coming loose, they will remove them.
  • Hair accessories that may pose a choking hazard to other children should they become detached, should be removed if members of staff consider this to be a possibility.
  • Amber beads for teething pain relief are not to be worn due to the risk of choking posed to the infant and other children who may remove them.

Food for play and cooking activities

Some parents and staff may have strong views about food being used for play. It is important to be sensitive to these issues. For example, children who are Muslim, Jewish, Rastafarian, or who are vegetarian, should not be given any food to play with that contains animal products (Gelatine). Parents’ views should be sought on this. In some cases, it is not appropriate to use food for play at all, particularly in times of austerity.

  • Food for play may include dough, corn flour, pasta, rice, food colourings/flavourings.
  • Jelly (including jelly cubes) and cooked pasta are not used for play.
  • Food for play is risk assessed against the 14 allergens referred and is included in the written risk assessment undertaken for children with specific allergies.
  • Staff are constantly alert to the potential hazards of food play, in particular choking hazards and signs of previously undetected allergies.
  • Pulses are not recommended as they can be poisonous when raw or may choke.
  • The use of raw vegetables for printing is discouraged.
  • Foods that are cooked and used for play, such as dough, have a limited shelf life.
  • Cornflour is always mixed with water before given for play.
  • Cornflower is discarded after an activity; high risk of bacteria forming.
  • Utensils used for play food are washed thoroughly after use.

Children’s cooking activities

  • Before undertaking any cooking activity with children, members of staff should check for allergies and intolerances by checking children’s records.
  • Children are taught basic hygiene skills such as the need to wash hands thoroughly before handling food, and again after going to the toilet, blowing their nose or coughing.
  • The area to be used for cooking is cleaned; a plastic tablecloth is advised.
  • Utensils provided are for children to use only when cooking, including chopping/rolling boards, bowls, wooden spoons, jugs, and are stored in the kitchen.
  • Members of staff encourage children to handle food in a hygienic manner.
  • Food ready for cooking or cooling is not left uncovered.
  • Cooked food to go home is put in a paper food bag and refrigerated until home time.
  • Food play activities are suspended during outbreaks of illness.