Health and Safety Requirements in Nursery Setting

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17th Oct 2017 Childcare Reference this

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1. Analyse the working practices that need to be in place in the nursery setting to ensure that children are protected.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety. Under this act the employers, its workers and individuals being supported have responsibilities to ensure safety is maintained in the nursery. A copy of the act must be displayed in the main communal area of the staff work premises. Working with children is very interesting it is a job that requires consecration and has to be planed very careful, you need personal skills for you to be able to communicate, problem-solving and you must have the ability to work with others. You must have skills to organise and plan activities for the children, you must know the importance of reporting and recording what young children do and how this is used in planning appropriate. How to evaluate your own contribution in creating nurturing and professional servers for the children.

The main purpose of legislation is:

  • To ensure the health, safety and welfare of staff.
  • To protect children from risks arising from activities.
  • To control the use and storage of dangerous substances.
  • To control the emissions into the atmosphere of noxious or offensive substances.

In nursery and child care setting it has been observed by Ofsted that the most effective way of ensuring that children stay safe is to build activities into the day where adults are able to educate the children about staying safe. It will be good if you seek assistance from the road safety officers who are more experienced in teaching the road safety to the children in an informative and funny way so that the children will enjoy it.

A description of the factors to take into account when planning healthy and safe indoor and outdoor activities and services. It is important for the nursery to have security like to have a member of staff monitor the door so that children can be signed in and out as they arrive or depart. This will minimise the risks of parents letting unknown adults into the nursery.

2. Explain the various health and safety requirements that are necessary for children attending the setting and describe the ways in which these health and safety requirements need to be adopted to cater for the differing age groups.

The nursery have to ensure that the suitability of adults who have contact with the children promote good health, manage behaviour, maintain records and follow policies and procedures. The provision employs whether paid or voluntary it has a responsibility to any other people who may be affected by its activities and have to have sufficiently aware of and practice safe systems of working in nursery settings the children are put in different groups and these will go like how old they are for example:

  • Babies (6 weeks to 12 months)
  • Young toddlers (12 months to 2 years)
  • Older toddlers (2years to 3 years)
  • Pre-school (3 years to 5 years)

Staff should always monitor and maintain health and safety and encourage safe working. Any setting should have clear policies and procedures about all aspects of health and safety. All rooms and equipment used by children and young people should have regular checks to ensure that everything is working well and is safe. Some of these checks are required by law for instance electrical equipment must be checked by a qualified electrician at least once a year. The dilemma between the rights and choices of children and young people and health and safety requirements is identified by the UN Convention on the rights of the child. It identifies that children learn through exploration, making choices and during new experiences. Carers have the responsibility to identify potential hazards and judge if it is safe enough while allowing freedom to experience new learning opportunities. An example of this is to guide and explain the dangers of crossing the road with a child before allowing them to do it themselves.

Another example is internet safety. If a child has access to the internet the parental control setting must be used. Children are also at risk of bullying and being contacted by adults who can be a danger to them. A child needs to be warned and advised on what to do should this occur, while being monitored by their carer. In the case of a child being sick at school, for example vomiting the child has to be sent home. The child may take their personal belongings and made to sit in the reception area with a sick bucket as they wait for their parents. The reception should provide a comfortable environment for the child to rest in waiting. If a child has a bump on the head that has caused a large bump or some bleeding again the child is sent home. An ambulance is called if the child has significant bleeding and discomfort or is drowsy.

Regular fire drills are carried out to prepare the children so that they don’t panic. Once they hear the alarm they should stop what they are doing and walk out calmly through fire doors and know where to line up. The staff are kept to date regularly of risks. All adults have a duty of care. If a member of staff becomes aware of a risk for example if the gate has been left unlocked, it is their responsibility to make sure it is locked and to make a report to the caretaker or head.

The children are also informed regularly of risks during assembly for example if the playground is too icy they are advised to be extra careful or informed if it is necessary to stay in at play times. The Health and Safety Act poster has to display in a prominent place as it details safety advice. A COSHH poster covers advice on dangerous substances and how to prevent injury. Manual handling operations Regulation 1992 supplements the general duties placed on employers and others by Health and Safety Regulations.

3. Evaluate the procedures required to cover good hygiene and explain how this should be implemented in the nursery setting. This can be presented within a table.

Young people are taught to clear and clean up tables before or after meals. They should be reminded about good hands hygiene when assisting with preparation of food and after visiting the lavatory.

The general environment should be clean and safe.

  • The equipment must be used and stored safely
  • Working practices must promote the health and safety of children. Every employer should aware of the written statement of safety policy that is required in their setting. The Act also provides for the employee’s protection.
  • The workplace should be safe and not pose a risk to the employee’s health. Safe systems of working should be in place. Adequate substances should be stored and used safely. Appropriate information, training and supervision should be made available for health and safety of employees. Certain injuries, diseases and occurrences should be reported to the Health and Safety executive.

The diagram below shows the different types of risks that need to be considered:

Physical risks

Personal safety risks Security risks

Types of risks

Emotional risks Food safety risks Fire risks

Effective risk management should become automatic as one becomes more experienced. For every activity one plans, they should think about the hazards, the likelihood of the hazards occurring and the control measures. If one sees a hazard as they go about their everyday activities, the simple rule is to deal with it. This can be as simple as moving a toy left on the floor or cleaning up spilt water.

Risk assessment forms are used to assess hazards and identify control measures for all activities and outings. The table below shows some examples of risk assessment for two common activities for younger children.

Activity

Hazard

Control measure

Junk modelling

Use of scissors

Sharp points and blades

Very young children use round ended scissors. Ensure that children know how to use it.

Containers and other material being used

They may have held food or unsafe substances egg cleaning fluids

Make sure to put the tins in the bin.

Cleaning up after the activity

Wet surfaces and floors present a risk of slipping

Always mop the floors

Recent rain

Lack of water proof clothing

Children should stay in doors

4. Identify and describe what should be included in a first aid kit for a nursery, and discuss why paediatric first aid training for nursery staff is important.

There has to be a first aid kit in every class and each MSA should be equipped with a first aid pouch for the playground. Small wounds can be cleaned and dressed outside with phials of purified water and dressed. The teacher is informed at the end of break. For head wounds a cold compressed applied and a letter sent home with the child giving advice on how to care

A first aid kit should include:

  • Plasters in variety different shapes and sizes
  • Small, medium and large sterilised

Bandages

  • At least two sterile dressings
  • Triangular bandages
  • Crepe rolled bandages
  • Safety pins
  • Disposable sterile groves
  • Seasons
  • Alcohol-free cleaning wipes
  • Sticky tape
  • Thermometer preferably digital
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Distilled water for eye cleaning

In the nursery setting, it is important for every staff to know where the first aid kit box is kept and what is in it. A named person should be responsible for checking the kit and replacing missing items although anyone using an item from the kit has responsibility to report this. Ofsted states that it is ‘good practice for first aiders to be reliable and have good communication skills and have the aptitude and ability to absorb new knowledge and learn new skills and the ability to cope stressful and physically demanding emergency procedures.

First aid certificates need to be renewed in three years from the completion date of the previous qualification. It is the responsibility of the manager to keep records as regularly reviewed to ensure that staff receive refresher training and when it is required.

In the nursery setting a paediatric first aid qualification satisfies Ofsted requirements. Although first aid qualifications are essential paediatric first aid qualifications are tailored to Early Years settings and cover the various situations and scenarios that staff may find themselves in. For example, resuscitation is given on a paediatric resuscitation model instead of an adult one.

As part of health and safety at work act 1974 and the associated regulations, if any setting does employ more than five staff it should have a safety policy. The policy should cover emergency procedures in the event of fire, a gas leak, bomb scare and all adults should know what to do. In the case of fire, all doors and windows should be closed and the children taken out of the premises by normal routes. Children should not be left unattended. An urgent call should be made to the fire brigade by dialling 999.

Under certain circumstances accidents may need to be reported to health and safety executive particularly if the child is seriously injured, for example a major injury such as fractured limbs, electric shock and unconsciousness. Even a minor accident requires an entry to be made in the accident book. Preventive measures may be as simple as having more adults supervise the children at outdoor play or there may be the need to change equipment or to put further safety protection in a place such as more matting under swings.

Bibliography:

Penny Tassani, Kate Beith, Kath Bulman and Sue Griffin; Children and young people’s workforce, Early Learning and childcare (Level 3 Diploma), Heinemann, 2010

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