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Children should be able to experience a wide range of activities. Health and safety measures should help them to do this safely, not stop them.
It is important that children learn to understand and manage the risks that are a normal part of life.
Common sense should be used in assessing and managing the risks of any activity. Health and safety procedures should always be proportionate to the risks of an activity.
Staff should be given the training they need so they can keep themselves and children safe and manage risks effectively.
The main legislation covering this area is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and regulations made under that Act.1
The employer (the local authority, governing body or proprietor) is responsible for health and safety, though tasks may be delegated to staff.
Employees also have a duty to look after their own and others’ health and safety.
It is very rare for school staff to be prosecuted under criminal law with regard to accidents involving children.
Employers, school staff and others also have a duty under the common law to take care of pupils in the same way that a prudent parent would do so.
Most claims for negligence are brought against the employer (who has public liability insurance) and not individual members of staff.
1 In particular, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
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Health and safety legislation.
Guidance on practical work involving radioactive substances produced by CLEAPSS.