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Risk Assessment


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Hi there,

 

I'm looking for feedback from you regarding risk assessments.

 

We have a daily visual risk assessment for which we have a checklist and we obviously make a note of any areas/toys which need attention.

 

We also have a standard assessment for any walks/trips etc which we adapt for each situation.

 

Our policies state that we ensure all resources/toys are age appropriate and are checked before use to ensure the children's safety.

 

However, it has come from somewhere that we should do an individual risk assessment sheet for EVERY item in the pre-school. Surely this is not a requirement and as far as I am aware from my previous setting, which did not have these, Ofsted have never commented on this as long as a daily risk assessment is done and logged and a policy is in place. These new sheets also have an annual review date on them which I don't understand the need for as buttons for example will still have the same risk next year as they have this year!

 

Sorry for the ramble and I may be completely wrong but would like to save myself and the supervisor time and effort is this is not actually needed.

 

Your advice/feedback is gratefully received! :o

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I have risk assessments for the items you mention you have, plus the large equipment and possible risks elsewhere within the group regarding the building itself etc., which have annual re-assessing dates on. However, I do think it implausible to risk assess everything which comes into nursery and to review that annually too.

 

I am the owner of my own little pre-school, so if Ofsted don't like my system I accept that and what comes with it!!

 

If you do decide to risk assess everything, perhaps you could begin with the new things which come in as they come in and have some kind of timetable for your other items to be fullfilled within a certain amount of time.

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I would be inclined to do more generic risk assessments that cover a range of toys/games (e.g. table top games and activities) as well as individual ones for the larger equipment. Only those things which you think pose a more specific risk, and therefore need to be handled in a particular way, should need an individual risk assessment. :o

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As professionals, practitioners will be making informal 'risk assessments' every time they offer the children a resource, but SURELY it cannot be possible, sensible or reasonable to make us write it all down. Please please tell me this isn't true!

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As professionals, practitioners will be making informal 'risk assessments' every time they offer the children a resource, but SURELY it cannot be possible, sensible or reasonable to make us write it all down. Please please tell me this isn't true!

 

 

I totally agree and I was in shock when I was told that this was what was expected from us!! I'm still not sure where this has come from but I feel more confident in fighting my corner now I have some other people's views.

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I am in complete agreement wiht you, my goodness this would be a mammoth task!! I would spend all day doing it and I'm sure that by the time I had finished it would be time to start again!! I think this is one of those 'urban myths' that have popped up

Talking of which and I am sorry to highjack your thread but is this correct- again I have no idea where it came from but have 'lived' by it for years. Polystyrene is highly dangerous to little ones as: It swells when wet (i.e if swallowed) and does not show up on X rays? Is this correct? I remember being told this many, many years ago and now just dont know.

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Guest jenpercy
Yes this has always been my understanding, and we don't use it in our setting.

[will watch to see if anybody knows differently]. :o

 

we wre rapped over the knuckles by OFSTED for not updating risk assessments for thnigs that hadn't changed (well in this case it was a walk from school to club, so we crossed date odd bottome and wrote new date!!!!!

 

carcinogenic so should not be eaten - but if it swlled up in the stomach - you wouldn't be able to make drinking cups from it!!!!!

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Close adult supervision (and telling them not to eat non food items) is always an option as part of your risk assessment.

 

It's about assessing and not avoiding risk.

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Sssshhh don't tell anyone because I'm pretending I didn't hear (although I did actually ask them to clarify!)

We were told by our Early Years childcare co-ordinators on a Best Practice course that we should risk assess EVERY item that the children come into contact with. xD

I've got my fingers in my ears lalalala :o

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I'm with you thumperrabbit! I did a generic one for types of activty instead because frankly it

Would have taken me all year otherwise.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I too have been informed that everything needs to be risk assessed. I can see the logic in this but have been told by our named Health and safety person that as of now, things like scissors and the water tray would have to be constantly supervised. Meaning that although there is always an adult nearby, this would no longer suffice and said adult would have to be directly involved in the activity. This would mean that risky activities would have to be limited to one at a time or none at all incase an adult needs to leave the supervised water/ scissor play. (and disrupt/ruin a childs experience) This totally zeros out the ethos of EYFS as far as I can see. I have argued that that the risk assessments should be completed but the children should be able to take risks by playing at the water tray with just their peers and no adult but have been told that this would be unacceptable. Help please!

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Crazy isn't it?!! We all assess risks as we go and make adjustments as needed - it's the burden of recording that is demanded that causes the grief!

 

Read an article about the same thing in the police force; 20 odd pages to tick off before they go on duty!

 

I think if you audit accidents and can show your system is working and keeping the peeps safe then surely you are meeting the original quest of safety.

 

I'm with you thumperrabbit lalalalala

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I'm reading this thread with interest as just about to go off to my "risk assessment training". Will report back later on anything of interest that crops up, but will be heavily defending the ethos of common sense v's endless paperwork at the course!!

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I've just found and read 'Safe early years enviroments' from PLA. It seems I may be right in my thinking but would really appreciate your thoughts.

For what it's worth Toots - I am totally in agreement with you......will expect a sound wrist slapping at my imminent Ofsted inspection :o

As others have said - I monitor the accident record - if I feel something needs a 'special risk assessment' and/or extra adult supervision then, of course, I will put that in place.......

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