Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 2.3: Use legislation relating to the health and safety of children
Learning outcome: Understand legislation and guidelines for health and safety
Assessment criteria: Analyse how legislation and guidelines for health and safety inform day to day work with children
There are several pieces of health and safety legislation that helps to ensure that Early Years settings are as safe as possible.
The primary piece of legislation is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This Act sets out the general duties that employers have towards their employees, including those who work in Early Years settings. These duties include ensuring that the workplace is safe and providing information and training to employees about health and safety risks.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 are also relevant to Early Years settings. These Regulations place a duty on employers to assess the risks in the workplace and put in place appropriate control measures to reduce or eliminate those risks.
In addition, there are specific pieces of legislation that relate to particular hazards in the workplace.
For example, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 contains provisions relating to the safe use, storage and disposal of hazardous substances in the workplace. This is particularly relevant to Early Years settings as many common cleaning products and other substances used in the setting can be classified as hazardous.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 contain provisions relating to the safety of work equipment in the workplace. This is relevant to Early Years settings to ensure that work equipment is safe and fit for purpose.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 contain provisions relating to the safe lifting and moving of objects in the workplace. This is relevant to Early Years settings as staff are often required to lift or move heavy objects.
Finally, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 contain provisions relating to the safe use of electricity in the workplace. This is relevant to Early Years settings as there is a lot of electrical equipment in use, from computers and printers to toys and lights.
Other legislation includes:
- The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
- Health and Safety (First -Aid) Regulations 1981
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- The Food Safety Act 1990
All of these pieces of legislation help ensure that Early Years settings are as safe as possible for staff and children. By following the legislation and implementing appropriate control measures, the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace can be reduced.