Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA)
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995
Children’s Act 1989
Control of Substance Hazardous to Health 2002 (COSHH)
Data protection Act 1998
All Practitioners have legal responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Practitioners must meet certain rules to make sure everyone in that place of work is safe. It also means they have to be careful that there are no risks of injury to anyone. As an early years practitioner you have a key responsibility for the safety of the children in your care. Parents and carers trust you to look after their children. As practitioners, everyone in the childcare setting must know what their health and safety policies in their settings are. The Health and Safety at Work Act states “buildings should be in good condition and designed with the safety of users in mind” (Pg 161) In nurseries and schools everyone must know what the written statement about safety is and put it into practice.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 requires the reporting of work related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences. It applies to all work activities but not all incidents. RIDDOR concerns the reporting of accidents and incidents that occur on an employee’s premises, including early years and other settings. The responsible person in a setting has a duty to record incidents and accidents. However, that person relies on staff reporting all the incidents and accidents and following the procedures that are laid down for the setting.
The Children Act 1989 allocated duties to local authorities, courts, parents and other agencies in the United Kingdom, to ensure children are safeguarded and their welfare is promoted. It centres on the idea that children are best cared for within their own families.
The control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) regulations 2002 state that substances which can make people ill or injure them must be stored and used properly. Some examples of these hazardous substances are: cleaning liquids such as bleach, paints, chemicals, etc. Any potentially dangerous materials must have a label on them which shows they are dangerous. They must be kept in special containers and stored in a locked cupboard.
When working in a childcare setting it is often expected to come across confidential information about children and families you are working with. Confidential information is personal information, which should not be shared with unauthorised person or organisations. It also means a practitioner should never discuss a child with a friend or other parents. Most common information held by childcare practitioner are name, address, phone number, birth date, record of parent and emergency contact details, the contact details of the child’s GP. All these information is to be kept confidential as they have the right to keep information of this type private.
The purpose of the Data protection Act 1998 is to regulate the use of personal information by business and organisations. In a childcare setting, childcare providers such as childminders will need to comply with the Act as they are often required to deal with and keep a large amount of information on each child. Therefore passing information to a third party without the parents consent is illegal.
When a child bumps their head, the child is immediately assessed by an adult in the setting to see how severe the injury is. If the child is conscious they are taken to the medical room where a First Aider will apply a cold compress to the bump. At the time the child will not be left alone and the parents or guardians are informed of the accident. If any serious than this, the parent will be informed to take the child to the family doctor, to be checked out.
If a child is having an asthma attack or having breathing difficulties while in the setting, the first