Safety and Suitability of Premises, Environment and Equipment

8.1 Health and safety general standards

Policy statement

Our setting believes 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.

  • We aim to make children, parents, staff and volunteers 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.
  • Our member of staff responsible for health and safety is:

Karen Allen – Manager

  • We display the necessary health and safety poster in:

The Entrance Lobby

Insurance cover

We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed in:

The Parents Table

Procedures

Awareness raising

  • 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.
  • When adults need to reach up to store equipment or to change light bulbs, they are provided with safe equipment to do so.
  • 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.
  • A record is kept 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.
  • All cleaning chemicals are stored in their original containers.

Windows

  • Low level windows are made from materials that prevent accidental breakage or are made safe.
  • Windows above the ground floor are secured so that children cannot climb through them.

Doors

  • We take precautions to prevent children’s fingers from being trapped in doors.

Floors

  • All floor surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven, wet or damaged.

Electrical/gas equipment

  • All electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly by the hall management.
  • The boiler/electrical switch gear/meter cupboard for the building is not accessible to the children.
  • Fires, heaters, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.
  • 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.

Storage

  • All resources and materials, which are used by the children, are stored safely.
  • All equipment and resources are stored or stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.

Outdoor area

  • 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.
  • Our outdoor sand pit is covered when not in use and is cleaned regularly.
  • All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.

Hygiene

  • We seek information from the Health Protection Agency to ensure that we keep up-to-date with the latest recommendations.
  • Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene.
  • We have a schedule for cleaning resources and equipment, dressing-up clothes and furnishings.
  • The toilet area has a high standard of hygiene, including hand washing and drying facilities.
  • Our nappy changing area has adequate facilities for the disposal of nappies.  This is emptied daily.
  • We implement good hygiene practices by:

–          cleaning tables between activities;

–          cleaning and checking toilets regularly;

–          wearing protective clothing – such as aprons and disposable gloves – as appropriate;

–          providing sets of 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 who are sleeping are checked regularly.
  • 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.
  • Large pieces of equipment are discarded only with the consent of the manager and the management team.

8.2 Maintaining children’s safety and security on premises

Policy statement

We maintain the highest possible security of our premises to ensure that each child is safely cared for during their time with us.

Procedures

Children’s personal safety

  •   We ensure all employed staff have been checked for criminal records via an enhanced disclosure through the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  •   Adults do not normally supervise children on their own, except during a toilet visit.
  •   All children are supervised by adults at all times.
  •   Whenever children are on the premises at least two adults are present.
  •   We carry out risk assessments to ensure children are not made vulnerable within any part of our premises, nor by any activity.

Security

  • Systems are in place for the safe arrival and departure of children.
  • The times of the children’s arrivals and departures are recorded.
  • The arrival and departure times of adults – staff, volunteers and visitors – are recorded.
  • Our systems prevent unauthorised access to our premises.
  • Our systems prevent children from leaving our premises unnoticed.
  • The personal possessions of staff and volunteers are securely stored during sessions.

8.3 Supervision of children on outings and visits

Policy statement

Children benefit from being taken out of the setting to go on visits or trips to local parks, or other suitable venues, for activities which enhance their learning experiences. Staff in our setting ensure that there are procedures to keep children safe on outings; all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the procedures as laid out below.

Procedures

  • Parents sign a general consent on registration for their children to be taken out as a part of the daily activities of the setting.  This will include walks in the churchyard and walks to St Michael’s School playground.
  • There is a risk assessment for each venue carried out, which is reviewed regularly.
  • Parents are always asked to sign specific consent forms before major outings.
  • A risk assessment is carried out before an outing takes place.
  • All venue risk assessments are made available for parents to see.
  • Our adult to child ratio is high, normally one adult to two children, depending on their age, sensibility and the type of venue, as well as how it is to be reached.
  • Named children are assigned to individual staff to ensure that each child is well supervised, that no child goes astray and that there is no unauthorised access to children.
  • Outings are recorded in an outings record book kept in the setting, stating:

–          The date and time of the outing.

–          The venue and mode of transport used.

–          The names of the staff members assigned to each of the children.

–          The time of return.

  • Staff take a mobile phone on outings, as well as supplies of tissues, wipes, spare clothing and nappies, medicines required for individual children, a mini first aid kit, snacks and water. The amount of equipment will vary and be consistent with the venue and the number of children, as well as how long they will be out for.
  • Staff take a list of children with them with contact numbers of parents/carers, as well as an accident book and a copy of our Missing Child Policy.
  • Records are kept of the vehicles used to transport children, with named drivers and appropriate insurance cover.
  • A minimum of two staff accompany children on outings and a minimum of two remain behind with the rest of the children.

8.4 Risk assessment

Policy statement

Little Sandhurst Nursery Group believes 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.

This policy is based on the following five steps:

  • Identification of a risk: Where is it and what is it?
  • Who is at risk: Staff, children, parents, volunteers etc?
  • Assessment as to whether the level of a risk is high, medium, low. This takes into account both the likelihood of it happening, as well as the possible impact if it did.
  • Control measures to reduce/eliminate risk: What we will need to do, or ensure others will do, in order to reduce that risk?
  • Monitoring and review: Knowing if what we 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.

Procedures

  • 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 we are managing risks if asked by parents and/or carers and inspectors;

–          checking for and noting hazards and risks indoors and outside, in relation to our premises and 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 and any funding required.

  • 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.

8.5 Fire safety and emergency evacuation

Policy statement

We ensure our premises present no risk of fire by ensuring the highest possible standard of fire precautions. The manager and staff are familiar with the current legal requirements. Where necessary we seek the advice of a competent person, such as a Fire Officer, or Fire Safety Consultant.

Procedures

  • The basis of fire safety is risk assessment, carried out by a ‘competent person’.
  • The manager has received training in fire safety sufficient to be competent to carry out the risk assessment.
  • As we rent premises, we will ensure that we have a copy of the fire safety risk assessment that applies to the building and that we contribute to regular reviews.
  • Fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from the inside.
  • Smoke detectors/alarms and fire fighting appliances conform to BS EN standards, are fitted in appropriate high risk areas of the building and are checked regularly under the terms of halls contract with ADT.
  • Our emergency evacuation procedures are:

–          clearly displayed in the premises;

–          explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents; and

–          practised regularly, at least once every six weeks.

  • Records are kept of fire drills and of the servicing of fire safety equipment.

Emergency evacuation procedure

In the event of a fire or any situation necessitating an emergency evacuation the procedure is as follows:

When the fire alarm sounds leave the building by the nearest exit taking all the children nearest to you

The allocated person on toilet rota checks the toilets and the lounge area

The Duty Manager or member of staff in charge collects the register,

phone and first aid kit and children’s medications.

Go to the fire assembly point which is the north door of the church at the top of the path.

A head count of children staff and other adults will take place, followed by calling the register.

Do not leave the children unattended or return to collect belongings.

  • Children are made aware of the sound of the fire alarm through regular fire drills.
  • Fire exits are pointed out to staff at their induction and to other visitors as they sign in to the setting.  Children become aware of the placement of acceptable exits during fire drills.
  • Children are led to the assembly point calmly and confidently by staff who they know.
  • The head count and register will be taken by the duty manager for the session.
  • The hall has a direct link to the fire and rescue service as part of the ADT security contract.  If necessary the duty manager will appoint a member of staff to check that the emergency services are attending.
  • In the event of a real fire and total evacuation the children will either be occupied in the church building or walked to St Michael’s School for safety.

The duty manager will be responsible for contacting all parents to advise them of the situation.

8.7 No-smoking

Policy statement

We comply with health and safety regulations and the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage in making our setting a no-smoking environment – both indoors and outdoors.

Procedures

  • All staff, parents and volunteers are made aware of our No-smoking Policy.
  • We display no-smoking signs.
  • The No-smoking Policy is stated in our information for parents.
  • We actively encourage no-smoking by having information for parents and staff about where to get help to stop smoking if they are seeking this information.
  • Staff who smoke do not do so during working hours, unless on a break and off the premises.
  • Staff who smoke during their break make every effort to reduce the effect of the odour and lingering effects of passive smoking for children and colleagues.