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Further information for all childcare providers

Health and Safety at a Childcare Provision

This guide has been produced by the Devon Early Years and Childcare Service. If you have any queries regarding the following information, please contact us on 0800 056 36 66.


Statement of Intent

Health & Safety Policy Introduction


Cleanliness of Premises


Driving Safety

Electrical Safety

Environment and the Work Place

Fire Precautions

Food Handling

Health & Hygiene

Induction / Training

Lifting & Manual Handling

Review of Policy

Water & Electricity Points


The provision recognises that as an employer the provision has a responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of the provision’s employees, whether paid or voluntary. The provision also recognises that it has a responsibility to any other people who may be affected by its activities. In accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act, the provision maintains safe working conditions and ensures that all employees, paid or voluntary, are sufficiently aware of and practise safe systems of working.

This Policy and the provision’s practices will be reviewed periodically and kept up-to-date in accordance with any changes in legislation.

Policy Approved By: __________________________  Date: _____________

(On Behalf of the Management Committee of the Provision)

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Specific Responsibilities

The overall and ultimate responsibility for Health and Safety within the Provision rests with the members of the Management Committee.

The Senior Supervisor will generally advise the Management Committee in the implementation of its Policy and Practices. Members of the Management Committee will be responsible for areas/activities in which they are involved:

  • By ensuring that the Health and Safety Policy is satisfactorily implemented;
  • By ensuring that all new employees, whether paid or voluntary, aware of and observe the Policy;
  • By conducting a full investigation of any accidents or incidents that result in injury.

All employees, whether paid or voluntary, have a responsibility for Health and Safety including the safety of others that may be affected by their acts or omissions. As such, they should familiarise themselves with the Health and Safety Policy of the Provision and the safe practices appropriate to their place of work.

Staff Responsibilities

  • Ensuring all electrical appliances are checked on an annual basis by a competent person;
  • Checking and keeping stocked the First Aid Box;
  • Routinely checking that all electrical appliances in the Provision are usable and reporting any defects to the Management Committee.

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Prevention and Reporting

Maintenance of property and equipment to ensure personal safety is the overall responsibility of the Management Committee. All employees, whether paid or voluntary, are responsible for the correct and safe use of all property and equipment in the Provision and for the reporting of any faults or hazards to their supervisor or the Management Committee.

The aim of any policy relating to accidents must stress that in the first instance every effort should be made to avoid an accident happening. The following list provides an indication of areas that require special attention:

  • Beware of wet floors;
  • Equipment should not be left turned on when unattended and in such a position as to cause others to trip over it;
  • Doors and drawers should be closed when not in use;
  • Equipment should be stored in a safe manner in cupboards;
  • Filing cabinets should not be overloaded;
  • Climbing onto chairs or desks is not permitted. Appropriate equipment should be used to reach high levels;
  • Step-ladders must be properly adjusted and secured. If more than the three lower steps are to be used it needs to be supported by a second person;
  • Correct methods must be employed when lifting or moving heavy objects;
  • Working areas must be kept tidy and clear of obstruction;
  • Fire doors must not be wedged open.

This list is not exhaustive!

In the event of an accident, employees, paid or voluntary, have a duty to report to their immediate supervisor any such incidents; to assist in determining the cause and to help in any subsequent investigation with the aim of preventing a recurrence. A report of all accidents should be brought to the attention of the Management Committee.

Accident Record Books

All accidents resulting in personal injury must be recorded in the relevant accident book. There are two accident books:

For accidents within the Provision to children – kept with the First Aid Box;

For accidents to employees, paid or voluntary.

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RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995)

Your Responsibilities Under RIDDOR

Did you know that all registered providers of day care for children under eight have responsibilities under this legislation?

Further details can be found on the Health and Safety Executive’s website.

In brief you must report certain work–related incidents to the Health and Safety Executive. They have an Incident Contact Centre – telephone 0845 300 9923. They can advise you if you do need to report specific incidents and about what records you should keep.

You should report any of the following that happens to a member of the public, including a parent or child, or an employee on your premises:

  • A death or major injury, which includes a fracture (but not of fingers, thumbs or toes), an amputation, dislocation, permanent or temporary loss of sight, and an injury from an electric shock;
  • A reportable disease;
  • A dangerous occurrence, which didn’t but could have resulted in a reportable injury;
  • An injury resulting in hospital admission.

Remember! You are also required to report such incidents, as well as various other events, to Ofsted.

First Aid Boxes

These are kept in the same place as the accident books. It is the responsibility of the relevant members of the Management Committee to ensure directly, or by delegation, that the box is properly stocked.


For up-to-date details on the content of a First Aid Box contact the British Red Cross on 0845 60 61 112 / 0870 170 91 10 or St John Ambulance on 01392 20 15 63.

The provision has an appointed First Aider – for training details please contact the Devon Early Years Service on 0800 056 36 66.

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The Provision recognises that it has a duty to set appropriate standards of cleanliness throughout its premises and to maintain these by:

  • Investigating and acting upon any accidents/incidents that have occurred due to lack of cleanliness;
  • Providing enough funding to achieve and maintain a good standard of cleanliness;
  • Providing facilities for the safe and convenient storage of cleaning equipment and materials;
  • Promoting good housekeeping practices amongst employees and other users of the premises.

All employees, whether paid or voluntary, have a responsibility to maintain a good standard of cleanliness by:

  • Observing good personal and environmental hygiene practices;
  • Carefully disposing of rubbish into appropriate bags/containers provided, particularly where broken glass or dangerous waste is concerned;
  • Tidying up and putting away equipment and materials after use;
  • Cleaning up spillages, debris, litter etc., as soon after the occurrence as possible;
  • Reporting any shortfalls in standards to the appropriate person.

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COSHH (The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations)

Chemicals are widely used for a variety of processes in office work and cleaning, and some are extremely hazardous. To comply with these regulations a list will be kept by the Senior Supervisor of all hazardous or potentially hazardous substances that are used in the Provision. A copy of this list will be kept at the setting.

In addition to chemicals, all body fluids are to be treated as substances hazardous to health and should be carefully dealt with using protective gloves and materials that can be safely disposed of.

The Senior Supervisor is to be informed of any hazardous substances which it proposes to bring onto the premises for use by employees, paid or voluntary or other users.

Any person(s) using such chemicals must observe the following guidelines:

  • all substances, which are included on the COSHH list, including bleach and general household chemicals, are to be stored in a safe place preferably under lock and key;
  • all hazardous substances eg bleach, solvents, glues containing solvents are to be used with care;
  • always read the label before use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • avoid inhalation, ingestion and skin contact of all chemical substances;
  • always wear the appropriate protective clothing eg gloves etc;
  • products must never be mixed as this could give rise to hazardous by-products eg bleach will give off chlorine gas if mixed with an acidic cleanser such as Harpic;
  • Those using the substance must be familiar with the First Aid procedures to be used in the event of an accident.

In the interests of Health and Safety, substances hazardous to health should only be used if there is no less harmful or harmless alternative.

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The provision has a responsibility to ensure that where any of our services arrange transport for their users, those people who do the driving are aware of the Driving Safety Policy.

All persons driving on behalf of the Provision have a responsibility for their own safety and to ensure that their acts or omissions do not endanger the safety of others. The also have a responsibility to adhere to the principles laid out in this Policy.

If on occasions, a person uses their own vehicle for transporting service users, it is their responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is properly insured, taxed, has a current MOT and is roadworthy.

Principles of Safe Driving

  • All drivers must hold a current and relevant licence;
  • All drivers must read and observe the Highway Code;
  • Speed limits must be observed;
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times and appropriate car seats must be used when transporting toddlers and young children;
  • The authorised number of passengers must not be exceeded;
  • Passengers must not be allowed to alight until it is safe for them to do so;
  • Vehicles must not be left with the engine running when parked or being refuelled;
  • Drivers must not be under the influence of alcohol during the Provision’s business;
  • Drivers are reminded that smoking or other distracting actions whilst driving is not safe practice;
  • The safety of the unborn child must be considered in the case of pregnant female drivers and medical advice in relation to pregnancy and driving must be respected;
  • Drivers may need to be aware that they may need to notify their insurance companies to ensure that they are adequately covered;
  • Mobile phones must not be used unless there is a hands free application in the vehicle.

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It is the responsibility of all users to inspect appliances for loose wiring, faulty plugs etc, BEFORE using them. Electrical faults must be reported immediately. Faulty equipment must be removed from usage and clearly labelled as such. No-one should attempt to repair the equipment themselves.

The following list shows examples of electrical faults:

  • Equipment not working;
  • Loose wiring;
  • Broken casing around wires or applications;
  • Electrical arcing (sparks);
  • Plugs becoming warm…etc.

All employees, whether paid or voluntary, have a responsibility to observe basic principles of electrical safety as well as inspecting appliances before use, ie:

  • Ensure that hands are dry before using an electrical appliance;
  • Ensure that adequate instructions are obtained before using unfamiliar electrical equipment and comply with the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Leads should never be pulled to remove a plug or to lift or move an appliance;
  • Switch off at the mains, unplug and put away all electrical equipment (where appropriate) when not in use;
  • Sockets must not be overloaded by the use of adaptors (when in doubt err on the side of safety/seek qualified advice);
  • If extension cables are used then these must be placed in such a way so not to cause a hazard to anybody else.

All electrical equipment will be maintained on a routine basis.

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The Provision is legally obliged to maintain a safe and acceptable working environment in as far as is reasonable and practicable. Employees, paid or voluntary, have a responsibility to co-operate to maintain this environment.


Must be suitable and sufficient in every part of the Provision through which people either pass or work. Doorways and potential hazards like steps must be well lit. Artificial lighting apparatus must be properly maintained and fluorescent lights must be flicker free.

Noise at work Regulations 1989

Apply to all workplaces requiring assessment of noise levels and the taking of appropriate preventative action where excessive.


Around machinery and equipment must be adequate to ensure that safe working practices are achievable.


The Provision must ensure that a reasonable temperature (not less than 16 centigrade) can be maintained in every room in which people are employed to work.


Must be effective and suitable to ensure circulation of adequate supplies of either fresh or artificially purified air.


For safe operation the equipment needs to be properly installed and consideration given to the following points:

  • Make sure that the screen is sharp, clean and individual characters can be easily read;
  • The characters should not flicker or move;
  • There should be no reflection on the screen;
  • Ensure that there is adequate lighting to the desk surface adjacent to the machine;
  • Ensure that the user’s chair has an adjustable height and back support so that a proper sitting position can be maintained.

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The Management Committee are responsible for ensuring that precautions are taken against fire through the routine maintenance of fire safety equipment, through reviewing and posting emergency fire procedures in buildings and educating employees, whether paid or voluntary, in safe practices.

It is the duty of all employees, paid or voluntary, to co-operate in the implementation of this Policy and to report to the Management Committee any instances where the property procedures are not being implemented eg wedging open of fire doors, escape routes obstructed by furniture or rubbish and the reporting of faulty electrical equipment.

Within the premises, the Provision operates a Policy of No Smoking. It is the responsibility of each individual smoker to ensure that they only smoke outside the building and ensure that their cigarette is properly extinguished.

In the event of a fire:

Don’t Panic – follow the Fire Procedure

Do not tackle the fire unless:

  • You have been trained to do so;
  • You feel able to do so;
  • You do not put yourself at risk;
  • The fire is small.

Remember the important thing is to safe lives, not property.

Fire Procedure


  1. Immediately raise the alarm
  2. If in charge of children, pass their care to the nearest member of staff
  3. Tackle the fire if possible with the appliances provided, but WITHOUT TAKING PERSONAL RISK.
  4. Leave the building, assisting with the evacuation of the children.


  1. (Nominated Person) will call the Fire Service immediately
  2. Dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service
  3. Wait for the Fire Service to answer
  4. Give the full address clearly
  5. Evacuate the children in your care by using the nearest available exit and KEEP THE CHILDREN TOGETHER
  6. Proceed to the assembly point at ……….
  7. The Person in Charge will take a roll call to ensure that no-one has been left in the building.

DO NOT stop to collect personal belongings

DO NOT re-enter the building until told to do so by the Fire Service


Fire Safety Leaflet No 26A
Rev 300103
Devon Fire and Rescue Service

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The Provision has a responsibility to maintain acceptable levels of hygiene and health and safety with respect to food.

All employees, paid or voluntary, who handle food, have a responsibility to:

  • Maintain a high standard of personal hygiene;
  • Refrain from handling food when they or anyone at home are suffering from an infectious disease or have boils, ulcers, cuts or rashes, diarrhoea, eye, ear or throat infection or any untoward discharge;
  • Adhere to the Provision’s Health and Safety Policy;
  • Report shortcomings to the appropriate person, eg faulty or damaged storage, preparation and service equipment.

Principles of Safely Handling Food

  • All foods must be checked to ensure that they are of the quality, substance and temperature required and that they are within their use-by-dates;
  • All foods must be stored under conditions that will prevent their deterioration.  Instructions on the label, if present, should be followed.

Keep it Clean – Keep it Cool – Keep it Covered

  • Food and food only, must be stored in areas designated specifically for that purpose (refrigerators, cupboards etc.);
  • Saucepan handles should not overhang stove or worktop edges;
  • Any food or liquid spillage must be cleaned up immediately;
  • When cooking food, recipes or packet instructions must always be followed;
  • Food not eaten at the meal for which it was prepared/issued must not be kept or offered for service at a later time;
  • Signs of any type of pest infection must be reported immediately.

Principles of Safely Using Equipment in Catering Areas

  • All electrical equipment must be switched off and the plug removed from the power source when it is being cleaned or not in use;
  • Refrigerators, freezers and other types of temperature control equipment must be routinely checked to ensure their effectiveness;
  • All equipment must be used according to manufacturer’s instructions;
  • Doors and lids of equipment in use should fit securely;
  • Hob burners, grills, ovens etc., must always be turned off when not in use;
  • All cooking equipment should be checked when in use to ensure that it is functioning correctly. Any slight electrical shocks received from the equipment must be reported immediately;
  • All equipment and working surfaces must be kept in a clean and hygienic condition;
  • Cleaning chemicals should be used at the prescribed dilution rate.

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The Provision recognises that hygiene is a basic part of any health and safety programme. As such, the Management Committee is responsible for ensuring that the premises are cleaned regularly and that a good standard of cleanliness is achieved overall.  Washing and toilet facilities are provided and maintained. Any shortcomings should be reported immediately to the Management Committee who will ensure that the necessary action is undertaken.

The Provision’s premises are designated as No Smoking.

Employees, paid or voluntary and other users, have a responsibility to ensure that their personal hygiene meets an acceptable standard and that they observe good environmental hygiene practices, eg by using the appropriate waste bin for the disposal of rubbish.

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All employees, paid or voluntary, read through this policy as part of their induction programme. The Management committee has a duty to ensure they are aware of current legislation and that relevant information is disseminated to the appropriate person.


The Provision has a moral and legal responsibility to its employees, paid or voluntary, to reduce the risk of work associated back problems and other lifting and carrying injuries.

It is important to note that the handling of loads applies to lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, pulling, holding or moving by bodily force any discreet moveable object including a person.

For general guidance, all employees may from time to time have to lift or handle some objects. Firstly consider whether it is necessary to lift the object, consider if there are any alternatives and if you are at all unsure do not attempt to lift. You are responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those you work with.

If you decide to proceed with the lifting activity the correct way to lift is as follows:

  • Keep the back straight;
  • Place the feet slightly apart;
  • Bend the knees;
  • Grip firmly (with palms not fingertips), then lift slowly holding the object as close to your body as possible;
  • Do not twist the body during the lifting procedure.

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The Policy will be reviewed every two years unless a change in legislation necessitates a shorter review period or there are changes in the activities or personnel of the Provision that require changes to be made.


Please state the location of the electricity meter and fuse board as well as the Water Stopcock.

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