Explain how current health and safety legislation, policies and procedures are implemented in own work settings or service.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This legislation places a duty on employers for the health and safety of their employees and anyone else on the premises. In schools this includes responsibility for the Head Teacher, teachers, non-teaching staff, pupils, visitors and contractors. As my setting is a voluntary aided school the employer is the governing body. Under this Act they have a duty to ensure:
* the health, safety and welfare of teachers and other education staff
* the health and safety of pupils in school and off-site on visits
* the health and safety of visitors to the school and volunteers involved with school activities.
Under the Health and Safety Act 1974 as an employee I have rights and responsibilities for my own well-being and that of my colleagues. My rights as an employee to work in a safe and healthy environment are given to me by law and generally cannot be taken away or changed by my employer. My most important rights are:
* to have any risks to my health and safety properly controlled as far as possible
* to be provided with any personal protective and safety equipment free of charge
* to have rest breaks during the working day, time off from work during the working week and to have an annual paid holiday
* to stop work and leave my work area, without being disciplined, if I have reasonable concerns about my safety
* to tell my employer about any health and safety concerns I may have
* if my employer will not listen to my concerns, to get in touch with the HSE or my local authority, without being disciplined
My most important responsibilities as an employee are:
* to take reasonable care of my own health and safety
* to take reasonable care not to put other people at risk by what I do or don’t do during the course of my work
* to make sure I understand the schools health and safety policies and follow them
* to report any injuries, strains or illnesses that I suffer as a result of doing my job
* not to interfere with or misuse anything that has been provided for my own health, safety or welfare
* to tell my employer if something happens that might affect my ability to work
* to avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry if operating machinery
* to have long hair covered or tucked away
* to notify my employer if any medication I may be taking makes me drowsy.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Health and safety in the workplace needs to be managed in order for continuous improvements to be made. The main requirement of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations is that employers must carry out risk assessments to eliminate or reduce risks. In addition employers also need to:
* make arrangements for implementing the health and safety measures identified by risk assessments
* monitor and review these arrangements – see attached Health and Safety policy – no.9
* appoint people with the sufficient knowledge, skills, experience and training to help them to implement these arrangements
* set up emergency procedures and provide information about them to employees – see attached Health and Safety policy – no.10
* provide clear information, supervision and training for employees and ensure that suitably competent people are appointed who are capable of carrying out tasks entrusted to them
* work together with any other employer operating from the same workplace, sharing information on the risks that other staff may be exposed to e.g. in my school setting catering staff, maintenance contractors etc who use the school setting – see attached Health and Safety policy – no.6
* take particular account of risks to new and expectant mothers
See attached Pregnant Workers policy
The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999
For all school settings, the condition of the premises should provide sufficient assurance as to the health, safety and welfare of all of the people who use the building. Good standards of hygiene should be always be maintained and there should be sufficient space so over-crowding is avoided. The Education (School Premises) Regulations stipulate:
* that there should be a certain amount of toilets for children, depending on age and needs.
* staff toilets must be separate from those for pupils.
* every school must have a staff room, separate from teaching accommodation for teachers and staff to use for work and social purposes.
* every school has a room for medical or dental examinations and the care of sick and injured pupils.
* each room in a school building must have acoustic conditions and insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its normal use.
* school buildings must be reasonably resistant to penetration by rain, snow, wind and rising damp.
* buildings and equipment are adequately maintained, with dangerous defects being repaired promptly and records retained.
* that is must be possible for every part of a school building to be safely evacuated in case of fire.
* that the school building has adequate lighting, heating and ventilation.
These are implemented with the school setting by our premises staff that do regular inspections of the school buildings and grounds to check that all maintenance issues are up to date. We have a separate first-aid room within the school and have 2 toilet blocks for every 4 classroom. Staff toilets are separate from that of pupils.
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
These regulations cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces (with the exception of construction work on construction sites, those in or on a ship, or below ground in a mine). These regulations deal with physical conditions in the workplace and require employers to meet minimum standards in relation to a wide range of matters, which include:
* maintenance of buildings and equipment
* provision of drinking water
* rest facilities
* toilet facilities
* first aid
See Health and Safety policy
The Manual Handling Operations regulations 1992
These regulations require employers to minimise the health risks associated with manual handling, a term we use to describe activities which involve lifting, carrying, moving, holding, pushing, lowering, pulling or restraining an object, person or animal.
* avoid the need to lift, carry, push, pull, lower or support loads wherever possible
* where tasks cannot be avoided use trolleys, barrows, lifts or hoists to help
* carry out risk assessments, which take into account the work task, the activity involved, individual capacity, working environment and other factors.
See Handling and Lifting policy
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) 1995
Under these regulations certain work-related accidents are reportable by law to the Health and Safety Executive or the local authority. The following must be reported:
* the death of any person
* a major injury to any person at work
* hospital treatment of any person who is not at work (e.g. pupil/student)
* an accident which results in a person at work being incapacitated for more than three consecutive days (excluding the day of the accident)
* specified dangerous occurrences, e.g. building collapse
* specified work-related diseases, e.g. mesothelioma and hepatitis.
See First-Aid and Reporting of Accidents policy
The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981
These regulations state that employers must provide “adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and qualified first-aid personnel”. The Regulations do not oblige employers to provide first aid for anyone other than their own staff, however employers do have health and safety responsibilities towards non-employees. Every employer should provide at least one fully stocked first-aid box for each site which must be marked with a white cross on a green background. Additional first-aid boxes will be needed for split-sites, sports fields/playgrounds and any other high risk areas or off-site activities. First-aid boxes, where possible, should be sited near to hand washing facilities. The first-aid boxes in my school setting are and should be:
* prominently marked as first-aid containers
* readily available for use
* maintained in a good condition
* suitable for the purpose of keeping first-aid supplies
See attached Health and Safety policy – no.11
Health and Safety Officer
One member of the school should have sole responsibility for health, safety and first aid, this person can be a designated member of staff who can be a central source of information and can pass on understanding gained in any training sessions they have attended. This role falls to our HLTA within my school setting. The duties of this appointed person can include:
* keeping an up to date list of first-aiders
* arranging first aid training
* arranging for everyone to be made aware of safety policies and first aid provisions
* regularly inspecting the Accident and Injury book
* compiling a check list for accident prevention and safety
* notifying the management of all matters requiring their attention such as potentially serious incidents
The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for distributing information on all health and safety issues. A Health and Safety poster is displayed in a prominent position in our staff-rooms and our Office Manager ensures that all new employees know where to find copies of the Health and Safety policies within the school and the whereabouts of safety equipment which includes first-aid boxes, safety signage, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, alarm and emergency exits.
Hope this helps as well, both passed and signed off