top of page

8.1 Health and safety general standards


Policy statement


We believe 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, staff and volunteers 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: Cheryl Beisly


  • She is competent to carry out these responsibilities.

  • She regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.

  • We display the necessary health and safety poster in the entrance hall



Insurance cover

We have public liability insurance and employers' liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed in the entrance hall.





Awareness raising

  • 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 and that 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.

  • We keep records of these induction training sessions and new staff are asked to sign the records to confirm that they have taken part.

  • As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff, and health and safety is discussed regularly at our staff meetings.

  • We operate a no-smoking policy.

  • We make children aware of health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.





  • We ensure that windows are protected from accidental breakage or vandalism from people outside the building.

  • Our windows above the ground floor are secured so that children cannot climb through them. We ensure that any blind cords are secured safely and do not pose a strangulation risk for young children. This is done by using the blue screens to stop access by the children.



  • We take precautions to prevent children's fingers from being trapped in doors.  Doorstops are used in the bathrooms and a chain is used on the door to the garden.


Floors and walkways

  • All our floor surfaces are checked daily to ensure they are clean and not uneven, wet or damaged. Any wet spills are mopped up immediately.

  • Walkways are left clear and uncluttered.

  • A stair gate is in place at the entrance to the kitchen.

  • Fire doors are kept clear at all times.


Electrical/gas equipment

  • We ensure that all electrical/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, wires and leads are properly guarded, and we teach the children not to touch them.

  • There are sufficient sockets in our setting to prevent overloading.

  • We switch electrical devices off from the plug after use.

  • We ensure that the temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds by turning the hot water off in the bathrooms.

  • Lighting is adequate in all areas of our setting, including storage areas.



  • All our resources and materials, which are used by the children, are stored safely.

  • All our equipment and resources are stored or stacked safely to prevent them accidentally falling or collapsing.


Outdoor area

  • Our outdoor area is securely fenced. All gates and fences are childproof and safe.

  • Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish, animal droppings and any other unsafe items before it is used.

  • Adults and children are alerted to the dangers of poisonous plants, herbicides and pesticides.


  • We leave receptacles upturned to prevent collection of rainwater. Where water can form a pool on equipment, it is emptied and cleaned before children start playing outside.

  • Our outdoor sand pit is covered when not in use and is cleaned regularly.

  • We check that children are suitably attired for the weather conditions and type of outdoor activities; ensuring that suncream is applied and hats are worn during the summer months.

  •  We supervise outdoor activities at all times; and particularly children on climbing equipment.



  • We seek information from Public Health England 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 the main hall, kitchen, entrance hall, toilets and nappy changing areas. Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen, a stair gate is in place to prevent access.

  • 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 disposal facilities for nappies.

  • All cups and bowls are washed in a dishwasher.

  • We implement good hygiene practices by:

  • cleaning tables between activities;

  • cleaning and checking toilets regularly;

  • wearing protective clothing - such as aprons and disposable gloves - as appropriate;

  • providing sets of clean clothes;

  • providing tissues and wipes;


Activities, resources and repairs

  • Before purchase or loan, we check equipment and resources to ensure that they are safe for the ages and stages of the children currently attending the setting.

  • The layout of our play equipment allows adults and children to move safely and freely between activities.

  • All our equipment is regularly checked for cleanliness and safety, and any dangerous items are repaired or discarded.

  • We make safe and separate from general use any areas that are unsafe because of repair is needed.

  • All our materials, including paint and glue, are non-toxic.

  • We ensure that sand is clean and suitable for children's play.

  • Physical play is constantly supervised.

  • We teach children to handle and store tools safely.

  • If children fall asleep in-situ, it may be necessary to move or wake them to make sure they are comfortable.

  • 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.


Jewellery and accessories

  • Our staff do not wear fashion accessories, such as belts or high heels that may pose a danger to themselves or children.

  • Parents must ensure that any jewellery worn by children poses no danger; particularly earrings which may get pulled, bracelets which can get caught when climbing or necklaces that may pose a risk of strangulation are not permitted at Pre-School.


Safety of adults

  • We ensure that adults are provided with guidance about the safe storage, movement, lifting and erection of large pieces of equipment.

  • We provide safe equipment for adults to use when they need to reach up to store equipment.

  • We ensure that all warning signs are clear.

  • We ensure that adults do not remain in the building on their own.

  • We record the sickness of staff and their involvement in accidents. The records are reviewed termly to identify any issues that need to be addressed.


Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

  • Staff implement the current guidelines of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations.

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as rubber gloves, latex free/vinyl gloves, aprons etc., is available to all staff as needed and stocks are regularly replenished.

  • Hazardous substances are stored safely away from the children.

  • Chemicals used in the setting should be kept to the minimum to ensure health and hygiene is maintained.

  • Risk assessment is done for all chemicals used in the setting.

  • Environmental factors are considered when purchasing, using and disposing of chemicals.

  • All members of staff are vigilant and use chemicals safely.

  • Bleach is not used in the setting.

  • Anti-bacterial soap/hand wash is not normally used, unless specifically advised during an infection outbreak, such as Pandemic flu or Coronavirus.

  • Anti-bacterial cleaning agents are restricted to toilets, nappy changing areas and food preparation areas and are not used when children are nearby.

  • Members of staff wear rubber gloves when using cleaning chemicals.




Manual Handling

  • All staff comply with risk assessment and have a personal responsibility to ensure they do not lift objects likely to cause injury. Failure to do so may invalidate an insurance claim.

  • Members of staff bring the setting manager’s attention to any new risk, or situations where the control measures are not working.

  • Risk assessments may need to be changed for some individuals, such as a pregnant woman, or staff with an existing or previous injury or impairment that may affect their capacity to lift.

  • Risk assessment is carried out of the environment in which the lifting is done. Features such as uneven floor surfaces, stairs, etc. add to the general risk and need to be taken into consideration.

  • The setting manager ensures that they and their staff are trained to lift and move heavy objects and unstable loads correctly. Babies and young children are also heavy and need to be lifted and carried carefully and correctly.


  • Do not lift heavy objects alone. Seek help from a colleague.

  • Bend from the knees rather than the back.

  • Do not lift very heavy objects. even with others. that are beyond your strength.

  • Use trolleys for heavy items that must be carried or moved on a regular basis.

  • Items should not be lifted onto, or from, storage areas above head height.

  • Do not stand on objects, other than proper height steps, to reach high objects and never try to over-reach.

  • Push rather than pull heavy objects.

  • Do not carry heavy objects up or down stairs; or carry large objects that may block your view of the stairs.

  • Do not hold babies by standing and resting them on your hips.


Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

  • Managers are responsible for carrying out risk assessment for manual handling operations, which includes lifting/carrying children and lifting/carrying furniture or equipment.












Legal framework


  • Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)

  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)

  • Electricity at Work Regulations (1989)

  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) (2002)

  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1992 (As Amended 2004))

  • Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (1992)


Further guidance

  • Health and Safety Law: What You Need to Know (HSE Revised 2009)

  • Health and Safety Regulation…A Short Guide (HSE 2003)

  • Electrical Safety and You: A Brief Guide (HSE 2012)

  • Working with Substances Hazardous to Health: What You Need to Know About COSHH (HSE Revised 2009)

  • Getting to Grips with Manual Handling - Frequently Asked Questions: A Short Guide (HSE 2011)


bottom of page