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Risk Assessment Policy

 

Date of last review: 8 January 2024

Date of next review: 8 January 2025

This policy will be reviewed at least annually, and following any concerns and/or updates to national/local guidance or procedures.

 

1.Introduction

This policy sets out the procedures the school will follow to identify and manage the health and safety of staff members, students and visitors who may be affected by the school’s activities. The purpose of a risk assessment is to enable the school to determine what measures should be taken to comply with the duties under the relevant statutory provisions. This policy must be adhered to by all staff, volunteers, and trustees at all times.

2.Legislation and guidance

This policy has due regard to statutory legislation and guidance including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)

  • DfE (2014) Health and safety: advice on legal duties and powers

  • DfE (2021) Keeping children safe in education

 

3.Links to other school policies and practices

 

  • Health and Safety Policy

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy

  • Fire Safety Policy

  • Educational Visits Policy

  • Fire Safety Risk Assessment

 

4.Definitions

Risk assessment is defined as a careful examination of what, in the school, could cause harm to people, so that the school can determine whether the necessary precautions are in place or whether more should be done to prevent harm.

Hazard is defined as anything that may cause harm, such as chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, an open drawer, etc.

Risk is defined as the chance, low to high, that someone could be harmed by it and other hazards, together with an indication of how serious the harm could be.

 

Dynamic risk assessment is defined as an assessment that considers unexpected or short, temporary changes that require immediate amendments to be made to control measures.

Generic risk assessment is defined as an individual assessment covering the common, significant hazards that staff and others face daily, such as low-risk activities or repeated activities that can be documented in another way.

Suitable and sufficient risk is defined as an assessment that is proportionate to the risk and ensures that all relevant hazards are addressed, complies with statutory requirements, ensures all groups who are affected are considered, takes account of existing control measures, and identifies further measures, as necessary.

5.Roles and responsibilities

The school trustees are responsible for risk management at the school, delegating strategic decisions for operational management of risk and health and safety to the Manager.

The Manager is responsible for:

  • Ensuring potential hazards are identified and risk assessments are carried out as appropriate.

  • Ensuring that any individual tasked to carry out a risk assessment is suitably trained to do so.

  • Allocating resources in response to risk assessments and determining a course of action, if it has been identified that a risk cannot be suitably controlled as far as is reasonably practicable.

  • Implementing frameworks for decision-making and corporate strategies which consider risk assessment principles.

  • Implementing appropriate mechanisms to communicate safe systems of work identified as part of the risk assessment process.

  • Communicating elements of risk and health and safety management to the trustees.

Staff members are responsible for:

  • Taking reasonable care of their own safety, as well as that of students, visitors, and other staff members.

  • Undertaking their work in accordance with training and instructions.

  • Cooperating with the school on health and safety matters.

  • Carrying out assigned risk assessments effectively, ensuring all risks are identified as well as suitable control measures.

  • Reporting any risks or defects to the Manager to create new, or update, existing risk assessments.

 

  • Participating in risk management training delivered by the school.

6.Health and Safety

6.1Risk

In accordance with the school’s Health and Safety Policy and requirements under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the school will assess the risks to the health and safety of staff, students and others affected by the school’s activities. The school will ensure that a common-sense and proportionate approach is applied to risk assessment management, the school understands that a separate written risk assessment is not required for every activity. The Manager is responsible for ensuring potential hazards are identified and risk assessments are completed for all areas of risk in the school.

Where a new activity is taking place, a specific risk assessment of significant risks will be conducted. Where an activity usually forms part of a school day, e.g., students regularly undertaking swimming lessons at an alternative location, the school will not conduct separate risk assessments for each visit. Termly checks will be conducted to ensure the precautions implemented remain suitable and any changes will be made, as necessary. Risk assessments will identify all defects and potential risks along with necessary solutions or control measures.

6.2Areas of risk

The school identifies key areas of school management that present risks to the school community. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Safeguarding

  • Student welfare

  • Health and safety

  • Security

  • Fire safety

  • Critical incidents

  • School trips

  • Staff recruitment

Specific risk assessments by professionals are also conducted under the following categories:

  • Asbestos

  • Legionella

  • Gas safety

  • Electrical safety

  • Fire safety

 

6.3Principles of effective risk management and assessment

  • If possible, avoid a risk altogether

  • Avoid introducing new hazards

  • Evaluate unavoidable risks via a risk assessment

  • Combat risks at the source

  • Consult with those affected to adapt work to the requirements of the individual

  • Take advantage of technological and technical progress

  • Implement risk prevention measures within a policy

  • Give priority to protection measures that safeguard the whole school

  • Ensure that staff and students understand what they must do to minimise risk

  • Develop a positive approach to health and safety within school

 

7.Risk Assessment Procedure

The school uses a five-stage process to undertaking a risk assessment:

  1. Identify the hazards

  2. Decide who might be harmed and how

  3. Evaluate the risks

  4. Record the findings

  5. Review

Step 1 – identify the hazards

When identifying hazards, Risk Assessor(s) will:

  • Walk around the area and assess what could be expected to cause harm.

  • Put themselves in the place of non-specialist staff and students to find the risks.

  • Ignore the trivial and concentrate only on significant hazards that could result in serious harm or affect several people.

  • Have regard to the following:

    • Slipping and tripping hazards, e.g., poorly maintained floors or stairs

    • Fire, e.g., from flammable materials

    • Chemicals and how they are used, and in what quantities, e.g., cleaning chemicals

    • Moving parts of machinery, e.g., within faculty workshops • Ejection of materials, e.g., workshops and experiments

    • Electricity, e.g., poor wiring, portable appliances, electrical experiments

    • Fumes, e.g., welding and chemicals

    • Manual handling

 

  • Noise

  • General environment, e.g., poor lighting or low/high temperature

  • Biological hazards, e.g., gardening or contact with bodily fluids

  • Behaviour Support, e.g., kicking, hitting, or scratching self or others; spitting, running away.

 

Step 2 – decide who might be harmed and how

In addition to students and staff, those conducting a risk assessment will also consider people who may not be in the workplace consistently, e.g., cleaners, visitors, parents, or maintenance personnel. Assessor(s) will also have due regard to the following vulnerable groups: • staff/students with disabilities • inexperienced staff

  • visitors • lone workers • pregnant workers.

Step 3 – evaluate the risks

Risk Assessor(s) will evaluate the risks arising from the hazards and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done. For each significant hazard, the Assessor(s) will decide whether the residual risk is high, moderate, or low. The Assessor(s) will ensure that managing additional hazards does not interfere with other control measures, such as fire safety.

Risk Assessor(s) will ensure that the following are in place:

  • Adequate information, instruction, or training

  • Adequate systems or procedures to reduce risks as far as reasonably practicable, the Risk Assessor(s) will aim to eradicate the hazard completely, or control the risk significantly to ensure that harm is unlikely or the likelihood of it occurring is minimised.

 

Step 4 – record the findings

Risk Assessor(s) will ensure that the most significant hazards are recorded, as well as the control measures in place to mitigate those hazards. They do not need to show how the assessment was carried out provided that:

  • A proper check was made.

  • The assessment details who might be affected.

  • All the obvious, significant hazards are considered, considering the number of people who could be involved.

  • The precautions are reasonable, and the remaining risks are low.

 

All findings will be reported to the Manager. Where the impact or likelihood of major risks cannot be minimised, the Manager will decide whether the activity will still take place.

 

Step 5 – review

Risk assessments will be reviewed annually except in the following circumstances.

  • When there are changes to an activity

  • After a near-miss or accident

  • When there are changes to the type of people involved in the activity

  • When there are changes to good practice

  • When there are changes to related legislation

Reviews of risk assessments will be dynamic, and changes will be made immediately to the existing risk assessment. Changes will be communicated to all relevant individuals immediately.

8.Training

All staff members will receive training on basic risk management procedures. Staff members with a responsibility of creating and completing risk assessments, such as school trip leaders, will receive in-depth training on risk management in addition to the basic risk management training. All staff have access to the TMS School Risk Assessment templates.

9.Quantifying Risk

For this process, we are using the following combination of severity and likelihood to give an indication of the risk involved for each hazard.

(Risk = Severity x Likelihood)

Severity (consequences)                                     Likelihood

  1. No injury                                                                1. Very Unlikely

  2. Minor Injury/minor damage to property            2. Unlikely

  3. Major Injury/ serious damage to Property        3. Possible

  4. Fatality.                                                                  4. Very Likely

  5. Multiple fatality                                                     5.Certain

 

 

Likelihood

A score of five or above requires control measures to reduce the risk to one that is reasonably practicable. Ten and above require immediate attention.

 

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

1

1

2

3

4

5

2

2

4

6

8

10

3

3

6

9

12

15

4

4

8

12

16

20

5

5

10

15

20

25

 

Severity

 

Unacceptable

  = Unacceptable Level of Risk requiring immediate action

 

 

 

Control Measures

  = Unacceptable Level of Risk requiring control measures and subsequent reassessment

 

Acceptable Risk

  = Acceptable Level of Risk

 

 

When completing risk assessments, staff members will grade severity and likelihood using the above scale systems and respond appropriately.

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