It is extremely important that Frederic Chopin Integrative Saturday Scool in Bath (FCISS) have a clear and well understood policy for assessing risks and review risk assessment frequently. Our risk assessment should identify aspects of the environment that need to be checked on a regular basis, when and by whom, and how the risk will be minimised. We determine how to inform staff practice and how you explain risk assessment to parents and inspectors.
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is the process of identifying hazards and then assessing their potential for causing harm or loss. It also includes an evaluation of the consequences of a risk if it materialises and suggests what needs to be done to avoid or minimise the risk.
What is the difference between a hazard and a risk?
“A hazard is an article, substance, piece of equipment or an installation with the potential to cause harm or loss or both. A risk is a measure of the probability that the hazards (potential for harm or loss) will materialise. For example, a trailing wire, spillage, loose carpet tile and so on”. Croner’s A-Z Guide to Education Management
“The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as reasonably practicable. You are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace so that you put in place a plan to control the risks”. Five Steps to Risk Assessment, HSE Publications
Management Committee will take ultimate responsibility for Health and Safety and ensure that risk assessments are carried out, up to date and relevant. With appropriate training provided to staff members as and when required.
FCISS has risk assessments which are carried out on a daily basis, we also have specific, detailed risk assessments which are carried out annually. We also produce specific detailed ones as and when required (i.e. for an outing which is not in the local community)
All reasonable steps must be taken to make sure that hazards to children, both indoors and outdoors, are kept to a minimum.
Points to consider – There are five steps to risk assessment:
Step 1 – Identify the hazard
Step 2 – Decide who might be harmed and how
Step 3 – Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
Step 4 – Record your findings and implement them
Step 5 – Review your assessment and update if necessary.
Below is a list of areas which we have looked at (this list is not exhaustive):
• Electrical appliances and wall sockets
• Access to kitchen
• Bathroom facilities
• Supervision of children
• Outside areas
• Water activities
• Fire safety
• Hazardous plants
• Ventilation and heating
• Windows and doors
• COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)
• Animal handling
• Hot drinks
• First aid
• Sand play
• Natural play
• Safe risk play (tools)
• Pregnant staff
• Manual Handling & lifting
Members of staff understand that they need to be continually aware of risk and hazards and that they cannot just happen first thing on a morning for example and that it needs to happen all of the time. They are responsible for ensuring that this happens throughout the day and that ‘their room’ are safe.
Risk-benefit analysis is the comparison of the risk of a situation to its related benefits.
If a situation involves more than minimal risk of harm to children, we must be sure that the amount of benefit clearly outweighs the amount of risk. We offer play opportunities that offer risk and challenge but be ready to use your professional judgment to know when to intervene in children’s play.
When we are carrying out the risk-benefit analysis, there must be no potential damage to yourself, others or property.
The factors to determine whether or not the level of risk is acceptable are:
• The likelihood of coming to harm
• The severity of harm
• The benefits, rewards or outcomes of the activity.
Refer to Health & Safety Policy for recording procedures.