Children and Young People’s Services

Risk Management Newsletter
Spring 2009
Trees within schools grounds and other educational premises
Rotherham Council is responsible for an important population of trees
including those in school grounds and other educational premises. Together
these trees play an important role in improving the environment for the benefit
and well being of the people of the Borough.

Overall systems to manage this important resource are used to ensure the
Council meets its statutory duty in respect of safety, together with its
environmental commitments. This includes integrated procedures for
reporting, inspecting, checking the competency and insurance of contractors,
organising and supervising tree works and maintaining records. This way of
working helps the Council withstand close scrutiny, especially by bodies like
the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the event of an incident. Therefore,
there are serious implications for Head Teachers if the correct procedures are
not followed.
To reduce these risks it is proposed to formalise the arrangements for all tree
works within school grounds and other educational premises. This will be
discussed shortly in a Head Teacher’s briefing paper to all schools in
Rotherham. In the meantime, the recently circulated guidance note on the
care and management of trees within schools grounds and other educational
premises, which also gives contact details for the Council’s Trees and
Woodlands Team, should be used.
For more information contact Roger Gaynor or Charles Mullins on:
01709 822174 or 01709 822175
roger.gaynor@rotherham.gov.uk or charles.mullins@rotherham.gov.uk

Changes to first aid training
From 1st October 2009 the structure of first aid training is changing. The
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will approve two workplace training
First Aid at Work (FAW) – 3 days to qualify and 2 days to re qualify every 3
Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) – 1 day every 3 years.

The HSE recommends that first aid trained persons attend annual updates
however they are not mandatory.

Paediatric First Aid training which is a 2 day course every 3 years is required
under the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
For more details contact Dean Fenton on 01709 822536 or
Building works on site
It is important that any building work being carried out on a school, Children’s
home or other building where children and young people attend is discussed
with the building manager for those premises as early as possible in the
planning phase.
Head teachers and managers need to be aware of who is in charge of the
building work, is there anything they need to do to ensure that children, young
people and staff are safe whilst work is carried out and adequate safety
arrangements are in place throughout the project.

Outside timber areas
Poorly treated timber in an outside environment such as timber trails and
decking can pose a significant slip hazard if not adequately maintained.
The build up of green algae and mould on surface areas causes slips to
Regular cleaning and maintenance with substances such as decking cleaner
will remove green algae and mould and treatment with an anti slip decking
paint or stain will increase surface grip.

Finger guards
A cause of serious pupil injury particularly in nursery and infant class settings
is fingers being trapped in doors in the classroom. All doors in nursery and
infant classrooms should be fitted with finger guards where necessary to
minimise the risk of small children’s fingers being crushed as a door is closed.

Vision panels in doors
A reminder that vision panels in doors should not be covered with posters and
other paper documents. The panel should be kept clear at all times to ensure
safe pedestrian travel within buildings.

Plant room and cleaning cupboard doors
A reminder that plant room doors and cleaners cupboards should be kept
locked at all times to prevent unauthorised access to the area. Keys etc to
these areas should be under controlled issue to remove access to the obvious
dangers in these environments from children and young people.
Exceptional circumstances causing
a school closure
Occasionally circumstances beyond our control such as inclement weather
and loss of utility services can mean that a school has to close for a whole or
part day. In line with the ‘guidance on exceptional school closures’ could all
school closures be reported to the School Organisation, Planning and
Development Section on 01709 822536 or 01709 822559.
This will then ensure that all relevant Council departments and sections are
aware of the closure and in the case of inclement weather causing numerous
closures this will enable accurate information to be supplied to requesting
Government departments.

Electrical risks in lessons such as Craft and Design
Some factors to consider when assessing the risks and implementing safe
working systems:
Are your risk assessments up to date ?
Have you implemented the control measures identified from the risk
assessment ?
How often is equipment PAT tested in relation to use / potential damage /
risk ?
Have you got a system in place where visual ‘user’ checks of electrical
equipment such as soldering irons are documented ?
Does pupil training include self inspection of equipment prior to use ?
Is equipment switched off when not in use ?
Use low voltage soldering irons / transformers etc to reduce risk.

Gas Appliances
A reminder that all gas appliances should be inspected by a ‘competent
person’ on an annual basis.

Risks from moving parts of machinery
All guards covering moving parts of a machine to protect users must be in
good condition, fitted correctly (in line with manufacturers guidance) and
regularly inspected to ensure they are in good working order.
Reporting accidents and incidents
A requirement under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous
Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), is that following an accident / incident in
the workplace to any member of staff, visitor or child / young person details of
the incident must be recorded. In most cases injuries are also reported to the
Health and Safety section. Later (eg following a hospital visit) you may
discover that the person suffered a RIDDOR injury that is notifiable to the
Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
If you suspect that an incident may be RIDDOR reportable please contact the
Health and Safety Section on 01709 823720 or 01709 382121 ext: 3853 or
alternatively Email details to healthandsafety@rotherham.gov.uk.

Some examples of RIDDOR reportable incidents include:
A fractured bone.
Dislocated joint.
Loss of sight.
Injuries causing unconsciousness eg. electric shock / electrical burns.
Injuries resulting in the person being hospitalised for over 24 hours.
Injuries resulting in the person being off sick for more than 3 days.
Any injury where a child / young person is sent to hospital.

On discovering this additional information you should contact the Health and
Safety section again and inform them. The law requires the safety officer to
report a RIDDOR incident within 10 days of the date of injury. Failure to report
under RIDDOR to the HSE could expose RMBC to a breach of legislative
For more details about RIDDOR contact Dean Fenton on 01709 822536 or

Health and Safety training
Free Health and Safety training for all CYPS and school staff has recently
been advertised electronically to all schools and CYPS staff. Training
Health and Safety Law                       Working at Height
Risk Assessment                             Manual handling
Fire Safety                                 Reporting and investigating
Personal Safety                             accidents and incidents
Control of substances hazardous to          Dealing with compensation claims
health – COSHH                              Educational Visits risk assessment

Is available free to all CYPS and School staff.

For more details or to book places please contact Lorraine Malcolm on 01709
822559 or lorraine.malcolm@rotherham.gov.uk

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