Before we look at what steps childcare providers can actually take to reduce exposure to risk we should first perhaps look at what risk actually is. Risk can be defined as a hazard, a source of danger, the possibility of incurring a loss or misfortune or put another way an accident waiting to happen.
So what can Nurseries, Schools and other childcare providers actually do then to manage risk and make sure our children’s safety is always at the forefront of their minds?
Well to begin with they can carry out a risk assessment at their premises and this is perhaps best organized, arranged and co-coordinated by the person who is ultimately responsible for the health and safety at the nursery or school.
And whilst the actually risk assessment doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated it can be time consuming as it involves looking at each area of the premises and noting any potential hazards or risks. It also should involve looking at the existing safety measures in place and make recommendations on how implementing additional safety measures could reduce these risks even further.
The fact is accidents do happen in nurseries, schools and in all types of business but by following some simple checks the chances of an accident happening can be reduced. And as the owner, manger or person responsible for health and safety has a duty of care to employees, children, visitors or indeed anyone visiting the premises risk assessment and ultimately risk reduction is vital.
Here are just a few areas that nurseries, schools and other childcare providers should be looking at to firstly see if a risk exists and then to put preventative measures in place to reduce it.
Trips, Slips and Falls – do you have leads trailing across the floor or any other obstructions? Are there any spillages of water or any other liquids? And if so what steps are there to address these once they occur and to warn others? Are there any loose rugs, mats, carpets or other flooring including floorboards or tiles? Is the lighting within the school or nursery adequate (especially on stairs and in cellars or basements)?
First Aid and Accidents – do you have suitable first aid equipment on the premises? Do you have employees with first aid training? Do you have systems in place to deal with accidents including transport arrangement to the hospital if deemed necessary?
Safety of Personnel – are staff likely to work alone or handle cash? Do they have a facility to summon assistance and raise an alarm?
Outside Areas – will your outside play areas be adequately supervised? Has the play equipment you provide been suitably tested and is suitable for the children using it? Will the children be playing near plants that could be poisonous? Do you have systems in place to prevent or deal with sunburn and insect bites and stings?
These are just a few examples of potential risks that may exist within a nursery, school, kindergarten or other child day care facility.
There really is no excuse for modern nurseries, schools and kindergartens to fail to make sure their premises is as safe as possible so make sure you do your best to protect the children in your care – failing to do so really isn’t worth the risk.
This article was written by Mark Burdett, Marketing Manager of Northern Counties Insurance Brokers. Mark has over 17 years Marketing experience in the Financial Services industry and has worked on campaigns for companies including Norwich Union, Kia and Zurich.
Now based in Newcastle upon Tyne Mark is Marketing Manager for one of the UK's Leading Insurance Brokers - Northern Counties Insurance Brokers.
Northern Counties have been providing Business Insurance to businesses since 1928 and can be contacted on 0191 482 1219 for all your Commercial Insurance and Business Insurance needs.
If you make sure you carry out a risk assessment with the intention of reducing your exposure to risk not only can you make sure your employees and children are protected but you could also see a reduction in your nursery insurance , school insurance or other business insurance premiums. This is because many insurance providers reward providers of child care facilities with discounts and premium savings who have good risk management procedures.