8.1 Health and safety general standards
Little Footprints believes that the health and safety of the 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, and staff 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 Laura Myatt
- She is competent to carry out these responsibilities.
- She has undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.
- We display the necessary health and safety poster in the office.
We have public liability insurance and employers' liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed in the office.
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 can 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 the health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.
Safety of adults
- Adults are provided with guidance about 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.
- Adults do not remain in the building on their own, or leave on their own after dark.
- The sickness of staff and their involvement in accidents is recorded. The records are reviewed termly to identify any issues that need to be addresses.
- We keep a record of all substances that may be hazardous to health - such as leaning 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.
- We keep all cleaning chemicals in their original containers.
- Low level windows are made from materials that prevent accidental breakage or are made safe.
- Windows are protected from accidental breakage or vandalism from people outside the building.
- Windows above the ground floor are secured so that children cannot climb through them.
- We take precautions to prevent children's fingers being trapped in doors.
- All floor surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven, wet or damaged.
- All electrical and gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.
- Our boiler, electrical switch gear/meter cupboard is not accessible to the children.
- Fires, heaters, electrical sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.
- Storage heaters are checked daily to make sure they are not covered.
- There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading.
- The temperature of the hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.
- Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage areas.
- All resources and materials from which children select are stored safely.
- All equipment and resources are stored and stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.
- 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.
- Our pond is securely covered.
- 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 cleaned regularly.
- All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.
- We regularly seek information from the Environmental Health Department and the Health Authority 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 daily cleaning routine for our setting which includes play rooms, kitchen, rest area, toilets and nappy changing area.
- 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 and the disposal of nappies.
- We implement good hygiene practices by:
- Cleaning tables between activities;
- Cleaning toilets regularly;
- Wearing protective clothing - such as aprons and disposable gloves - as appropriate;
- Providing clean sets of clothes;
- Providing tissues and wipes; and
- Ensuring individual use of flannels and towels.
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 checked regularly for cleanliness and safety and any dangerous items are repaired of 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 chairperson or owner.