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Risk assessment


We believe that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance.  We make our nurseries a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff and volunteers by assessing and minimising the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.

The basis of this policy is risk assessment. Our risk assessment processes follow five steps as follows:

  • Identification of risk: Where is it and what is it?

  • Who is at risk: staff, children, parents,  cleaners etc

  • Assessment as to the level of risk as high, medium, low. This is both the risk of the likelihood of it happening, as well as the possible impact if it did.

  • Control measures to reduce or eliminate risk: What will you need to do, or ask others to do, in order to reduce that risk

  • Monitoring and review: How do you know if what you have said is working, or is thorough enough? If it is not working, it will need to be amended, or maybe there is a better solution.


Our risk assessment process covers adults and children and includes:

  • checking for and noting hazards and risks indoors and outside, and in our premises and for outdoor activities;

  • assessing the level of risk and who might be affected;

  • deciding which areas need attention;

  • developing an action plan that specifies the action required, the time-scales for action, the person responsible for the action and any funding required.

  • We maintain lists of health and safety issues, which are checked daily before the session begins

Health and safety general standards

  • This setting believes that the health and safety of 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: The Nursery Manager

  • He or she is competent to carry out these responsibilities.

  • He or she has undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates his or her knowledge and understanding.

  • We display the necessary health and safety poster on the notice board within the setting.


Insurance cover

We have appropriate insurance, including public liability insurance and employers' liability insurance. 

Awareness raising

  • Our induction training for staff 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 are asked to sign the records to confirm that they have taken part.

  • Health and safety issues should be explained to the parents of new children so that they 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 health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.



Safety of adults

  • Adults are provided with guidance about the safe storage, movement and lifting

  • A maintenance technician is employed to attend these tasks

  • When adults need to reach up to store equipment or to change light bulbs they are provided or should request for safe equipment to do so.

  • All warning signs are clear and written in plain English. .

  • The sickness of staff and their involvement in accidents is recorded.  The records are reviewed regularly to identify any issues that need to be addressed.

  • If present in the nursery we keep a record of all substances that may be hazardous to health - such as cleaning chemicals. 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 try to find alternative products if possible to mitigate this risk.

  • We keep all cleaning chemicals in their original containers.



  • Low level windows are made from safety glass.

  • Windows above the ground floor are secured so that children cannot climb through them.


  • We take precautions to prevent children's fingers from being trapped in doors.


  • All floor surfaces are checked daily as part of risk assessment to ensure they are clean and not uneven, wet or damaged.

  • Shoe covers are to be worn where children of under age 1 are spending time. If you are to enter the room where a child of under 1 is, you must either remove your shoes, change your shoes or wear shoe covers. When leaving this room, you must either remove the shoe covers, shoes or change. This can then not be worn in any other part of the nursery and then worn back in the under 1s area as this is spreading germs from the other rooms into the room .All teachers must stick to this procedure at all times and must ensure that all visitors also stick to this. We recommend teachers to have a spare pair of shoes or slippers that they remove whenever they are not in the room.


Electrical or gas equipment

  • All electrical or gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.

  • Our boiler or meter cupboard is not accessible to the children.

  • Fires, heaters, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and the children are taught not to touch them.

  • There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading.

  • The temperature of 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 or stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.


Outdoor area

  • Our outdoor areas are securely fenced.

  • Our outdoor areas is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish before used.

  • 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 the setting which includes play room(s), kitchen, rest area, toilets and nappy changing areas.

  • 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 tissues and wipes;



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 regularly checked for cleanliness and safety and any dangerous items are repaired or 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 or overseen

  • 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 removed and disposed or recycled where possible.

  • Large pieces of equipment are discarded only with the consent of the manager


Fire safety and emergency evacuation

We ensure our premises present a low risk of fire by ensuring the highest possible standard of fire precautions. The person in charge and staff are familiar with the current legal requirements. Where necessary we seek the advice of a specialist, such, as a Fire Safety Consultant.

The basis of fire safety is risk assessment.

  • Fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from the inside.

  • Smoke detectors or alarms and firefighting appliances conform to British Safety standards, are fitted in appropriate high risk areas of the building and are checked as specified by the manufacturer.

  • Our emergency evacuation procedures are:

  • clearly displayed in the premises;

  • explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents; and

  • practised regularly at least once every four weeks.

  • Records are kept of fire drills and the servicing of fire safety equipment.


Emergency evacuation procedure and drills

Our procedure and drills covers the below procedures:

  • How children are familiar with the sound of the fire alarm.

  • How the children staff and parents know where the fire exits are.

  • How children are led from the building to the assembly point.

  • How they will be accounted for and who by.

  • How long it takes to get the children out safely.

  • Who calls the emergency services and when in the event of a real fire.

  • How parents are contacted.


The fire drill record book must contain:

  • Date and time of the drill.

  • How long it took.

  • Whether there were any problems that delayed evacuation.

  • Any further action taken to improve the drill procedure.


Recording and reporting of accidents and incidents

(Including procedure for reporting to HSE, RIDDOR)

We follow the guidelines of the Reporting Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) for the reporting of accidents and incidents. Child protection matters or behavioural incidents between children are NOT regarded as incidents and there are separate procedures for this.

Our accident book:

  • is kept safely and accessibly;

  • is accessible to all staff and volunteers, who know how to complete it;

  • is reviewed frequently to identify any potential or actual hazards.


Ofsted is notified of any injury requiring treatment by a hospital doctor, or the death of a child or adult.

When there is any injury requiring hospital treatment to a child, parent, volunteer or visitor or where there is a death of a child or adult on the premises, we make a report to the Health and Safety Executive using the format for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences.

Dealing with incidents

We meet our legal requirements for the safety of our employees by complying with RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injury, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). We report to the Health and Safety Executive:

  • Any accident to a member of staff requiring treatment by a hospital

  • Any dangerous occurrences, this may be an event that causes injury or fatalities or an event that does not cause an accident but could have done, such as a gas leak

Any dangerous occurrence is recorded.

Our incident recordings

We have ready access to telephone numbers for emergency services, including local police. Where we are responsible for the premises we have contact numbers for gas and electricity emergency services, carpenter and plumber. The numbers are circulated to managers quarterly or as changes are made. We keep a record of incidents.

These incidents include:

  • Break in, burglary, theft of personal or the setting's property;

  • An intruder gaining unauthorised access to the premises;

  • Fire, flood, gas leak or electrical failure;

  • Attack on a member of staff or parent on the premises or nearby;

  • Any racist incident involving staff or family on the nurseries premises;

  • Death of a child, and

  • A terrorist attack, or threat of one.


In the incident book we record the date and time of the incident, nature of the event, who was affected, what was done about it - or if it was reported to the police, and if so a crime number. Any follow up, or insurance claim made.

In the unlikely event of a terrorist attack we follow the advice of the emergency services with regards to evacuation, medical aid and contacting children's families. Our standard Fire Safety Policy will be followed and staff will take charge of their key children. The incident is recorded when the threat is averted.

In the unlikely event of a child dying on the premises, the emergency services are called, and the advice of these services are followed.

The incident book is not for recording issues of concern involving a child. This is recorded in the child's own file.


Food hygiene


In our setting we provide breakfast, lunch and tea as well as snack for the children. We maintain the highest possible food hygiene standards with regard to the purchase, storage, preparation and serving of food.  Each nursery school is registered as a food provider with the local authority Environmental Health Department.


  • Food preparation areas are cleaned before use as well as after use.

  • There are separate facilities for hand-washing and for washing up.

  • All surfaces are clean and non-porous.

  • All utensils, crockery etc are clean and stored appropriately.

  • Waste food is disposed of daily.

  • Cleaning materials and other dangerous materials are stored out of children's reach.

  • Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.

  • When children take part in cooking activities, they:

  • are supervised at all times;

  • understand the importance of hand washing and simple hygiene rules

  • are kept away from hot surfaces and hot water; and

  • do not have unsupervised access to electrical equipment such as blenders etc.


Reporting of food poisoning

  • Food poisoning can occur for a number of reasons; not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are as a result of food poisoning and not all cases of sickness or diarrhoea are reportable.

  • Where children and or or adults have been diagnosed by a GP or hospital doctor to be suffering from food poisoning and where it seems possible that the source of the outbreak is within the setting, the manager will contact the local authority Environmental Health Department, to report the outbreak and will comply with any investigation.

  • If the food poisoning is identified as a notifiable disease under the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988 the setting will report the matter to Ofsted.

Updated July 2023

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