There is a legal duty for playworkers to ensure children’s health, safety and security at all times whilst they are in their care. All staff in the setting should have a clear understanding of the health, safety and security procedures, and know their responsibilities for each other, the children, and the premises. We have a responsibility to keep the children in our care sage and healthy. To do this we need to be aware of potential hazards, develop emergency and health and safety procedures, and be able to respond appropriately in the event of an accident or emergency.
THE HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT 1974
The main piece of legislation which governs the everyday provision of health and safety in workplaces is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. All settings have a legal duty to comply with this Act, as well as any further regulations which may apply. It is essential that all senior staff keep their knowledge of the legislation up to date.
Duties of employers according to the Health and Safety at Work Act: •
To provide a safe place of work
To provide adequate training and equipment
Recruit competent and safety conscious staff
To produce health and safety policies
If employing more than 5 employees, they must carry out a risk assessment on their premises and write a safety policy that explains how the risks are to be minimised
Duties of employees according to the Health and Safety at Work Act: •
To follow the setting’s health and safety policies
To use the safety equipment and protection provided
To not place themselves or others at risk or harm as a result of their actions
CONTROL OF SUBTANCES HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH REGULATIONS (COSHH) 1995 Many settings use chemicals or materials that could be hazardous to health if not used/stored safely and correctly, for example bleach and other cleaning substances. The COSHH regulations require settings to list the hazards and consider how they will minimise the risks.
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