Risk Assessment policy

Statement of intent

At Polstead Preschool we believe that the Health and Safety of children and adults is of paramount importance. We realise that it is not possible to guarantee a completely risk free environment and take measures to identify the major risks, minimise these risks with planned actions, encourage self-responsibility, and plan for effective response to potential risks and emergencies.


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.


Overall accountability for health and safety in Polstead Preschool lies with the Board or Trustees. The Preschool Supervisor is responsible for the application of policy, procedures, standards and guidelines within Preschool and for ensuring staff are aware of these and their associated responsibilities. The Preschool Supervisor has undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates his/her knowledge and understanding. The latest health and safety poster is displayed in Preschool.

Risk assessment - The Risk Assessment process covers adults, children and the environment, both inside and out. It includes the following:

  • Checking for hazards and risks indoors and outside
  • Daily procedures
  • Activities
  • Classroom areas
  • School equipment
  • Snack and lunchtime procedures
  • Food and drink
  • Children’s allergies and medical needs
  • Outings
  • Animals
  • Forest school
  • Storage of resources and equipment
  • Storage and use of chemicals (COSHH)
  • Kitchen
  • Building security
  • Staff vetting procedures and suitable people
  • Staff:Child ratios
  • Fire safety


We maintain risk assessment forms, which are checked regularly:

A daily checklist before the session begins is completed by a member of staff; any actions required are highlighted and actioned as necessary by the Preschool Supervisor.

A Risk Assessment is completed for any child with medical, allergy needs and SEN prior to commencing with the preschool.

When risks have been identified and recorded, the necessary action is taken by the Preschool Supervisor, Deputy or the Chair.

Accident/Incident records are reviewed termly by the Preschool Supervisor and appropriate action taken and recorded. Any reoccurring themes are actioned and a risk assessment is carried out as necessary.

Termly overview assessment of each area and the Accident & Incident Folder is undertaken by the Health & Safety Officer. Any potential hazards are communicated to the Board or Trustees.

A full risk assessment is carried out annually by the Chair and the Preschool Supervisor. Any potential hazards are identified and included in the health and safety plan.

Risk Awareness & Safety

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 understand their shared responsibility for health and safety. The induction training covers matters of employee well-being, including safe lifting, the storage of potentially dangerous substances, risk assessments, health & safety and safeguarding children.

Records are kept of these induction training sessions and new staff and volunteers are asked to sign the records in their induction file to confirm that they have taken part.

As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of staff, and Risk Awareness & Health and Safety is discussed regularly at staff meetings.

Risk and Health & Safety awareness is promoted to parents and children via newsletters, emails, circle time and Classroom time so that they understand the part played by Health & Safety in the daily life of the setting.

Children are made aware of Health and Safety issues and being Risk Aware through discussions, planned activities and routines.

All warning signs are clear and in appropriate languages.

Activities & Equipment

Before purchase, equipment and resources are checked to ensure that they are safe for the ages and stages of the children currently attending the setting and meet British regulations.

The layout of the setting and 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 or broken items are discarded.

All materials - including paint and glue - are non-toxic.

Physical play is constantly supervised by adults.

Children are taught to handle and store tools safely.

Children who are sleeping are checked regularly and an adult is always present in the room.

Children learn about health, safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow.

Electrical equipment

Fires, heaters, electric 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 hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.

Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage areas.

Classroom & Outdoor Areas

A risk assessment form is completed for each area of the classroom
Any hazards identified are minimised and systems put in place by Health & Safety Officer & Preschool leader
Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish before it is used.
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 is cleaned regularly. It is suitable for children’s play.
All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.

Food & Drink

Staff who prepare and handle food receive appropriate training and understand - and comply with - Food Safety and Hygiene regulations.
All food and drink is stored appropriately.
Adults do not carry hot drinks through the play area(s) and classrooms and do not place hot drinks within reach of children.
Snack and meal times are appropriately supervised and children do not walk about with food and drinks.
We operate systems to ensure that children do not have access to food/drinks to which they are allergic.

Children’s Allergies and Medical needs

A Risk assessment is completed for any child with medical, allergy needs and SEN prior to commencing with the preschool.
Any actions required are implemented by the Preschool Leader
All staff to be aware of children’s needs and adhering to the school Allergy Policy

Outings and visits

We have agreed procedures for the safe conduct of outings.
A risk assessment is carried out by the Preschool Leader before an outing takes place.


A risk assessment is carried out for each animal and actions taken as necessary.
Animals visiting the setting are free from disease and safe to be with children, and do not pose a health risk and are registered under movement and holding orders.
Our setting's pets are free from disease, safe to be with children, and do not pose a health risk. They are checked by a vet annually.
Children to wash their hands after contact with animals with antibacterial gel.

Forest School

All activities are risk assessed prior to commencement and any necessary alterations are made by the Forest School Leader.
All children are made aware of any Health & Safety issues regarding equipment use and open fires, ponds, plants and safe working boundaries for the group.


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.
When adults need to reach up to store equipment or to change light bulbs they are provided with safe equipment to do so and use that equipment.


The Health & Safety Officer is responsible for identifying which cleaning substances need COSHH assessment and for collating the product information sheet.

Spot checks will be made to ensure staffs are using cleaning materials correctly.

The uses of gloves are required at all times when cleaning the loos and kitchens with cleaning products.

Cleaning products at all times are to be kept out of reach of children.

All staff are asked:

That they read and make themselves aware of manufacturer’s instructions of the back of cleaning products.
Ensure when the children are carrying out polishing exercises, that they are have been told how to use the polish and are carefully monitored.


Children do not have unsupervised access to the kitchen.


We implement good hygiene practices to minimise contamination risks by:
cleaning tables between activities;
checking toilets regularly;
wearing protective clothing - aprons and disposable gloves
providing sets of clean clothes;
providing tissues and wipes
providing paper towels

Fire safety

Fire doors are clearly marked, never obstructed and easily opened from inside.
Our emergency evacuation procedures are approved by the Fire Safety Officer and are:
clearly displayed in the premises;
explained to new members of staff, volunteers and parents
practised regularly at least once every six weeks.
Records are kept of fire drills and the servicing of fire safety equipment and procedures are reviewed after each fire drill.
Fire Equipment is serviced yearly by Anglia Fire Protection.

Accident & Incident book

Is reviewed termly by the Preschool Leader to identify any potential or actual hazards and relevant actions taken.
After review a risk assessment is completed where necessary
Any findings are reported to the Health & Safety Officer &/or the Registered Provider, Michelle Wisbey depending on the nature of the incidents/accidents.

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:

In addition, the following procedures and documentation in relation to health and safety are in place:
Our Preschool Health & Safety Policy
The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage
Section 3 – The Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements

Insurance cover

We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance. The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed on the notice board. Our insurance is with the Preschool Learning Alliance.

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