Childcare Office

Health and Safety Policy

The Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme (CUHP) takes the maintenance of Health and Safety extremely seriously as a matter of both legal and moral importance. The Playscheme Co-ordinator and Playworkers will always strive to go beyond the minimum statutory standards to ensure that health and safety remains the first priority.

The Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme aims to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all Playworkers, children, visitors and other individuals. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and their associated Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and guidance will be complied with at all times.

It is vital to ensure that all members of Playworkers and other persons who are affected CUHP's activities take health and safety matters seriously. Playworkers who have been found to have blatantly disregarded safety instructions or recognised safe practices will be subject to the procedures laid out in the Staff Disciplinary Procedures.

Playworkers are responsible for ensuring that the provisions of the Health and Safety policy are adhered to at all times. As such, they are required to:

  • Take reasonable care for their own health and safety as well as of other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.
  • Report any accidents, incidents or dangerous occurrences that have led to, or may in the future be likely to lead to, injury or damage, and assist in the investigation of any such events.
  • Undergo relevant Health and Safety training when instructed to do so by the Playscheme Co-ordinator.
  • Maintain an environment that is safe and without risk to health.

The Playscheme Co-ordinator holds ultimate responsibility for ensuring that CUHP operates in a safe and hazard free manner. The Playscheme Co-ordinator will ensure that adequate arrangements exist for the following:

  • CUHP identifies the Playscheme Co-ordinator as the designated trained Health and Safety Officer who is guided and supported by the Health and Safety Division at the University of Cambridge.
  • Ensuring that Playworkers both understand and accept their responsibilities in relation to health and safety procedures.
  • Encouraging Playworkers to undertake health and safety training.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of the Health and Safety policy and authorising any necessary revisions to its provisions.
  • Providing adequate resources necessary to meet CUHP's Health and Safety responsibilities.
  • Ensuring that all accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrences are adequately reported and recorded (including informing the Health and Safety Executive - The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), University of Cambridge Health and Safety Division and Ofsted, where appropriate.
  • Reviewing all reported accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrences, and CUHP's response, to enable corrective measures to be implemented.
  • Information received on health and safety matters is made available to all Playworkers.

Health and Safety Inspections and Risk Assessment

The identification, assessment and control of hazards within CUHP are vital in reducing accidents and incidents. For further information refer to the risk assessment policy.

Daily safety checks are carried out, to ensure that the facilities are maintained in a suitable state of repair and decoration, Playworkers will be vigilant of this constantly. Annual inspections may also be carried out by the University of Cambridge Health and Safety Office.

Any action required as a result of a Health and Safety inspection is taken as rapidly as possible.

An investigation is carried out on all accidents, incidents and dangerous occurrences.

Safety Policy

CUHP uses premises that are safe, secure and adequately spacious for play and for children to interact freely (a minimum of 2.3 square metres' space per child under 8 years of age).

Playworkers and any other authorised persons who are regular visitors to CUHP will be issued with either an identity badge or clearly identifiable clothing, which they are expected to wear at all times while on CUHP premises.

CUHP premises are clean, well lit, adequately ventilated and maintained at an appropriate temperature.

CUHP will strive to use premises that comply with all the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and all other relevant regulations and guidance.

There is adequate space for storing CUHP equipment safely and securely when onsite so that Playworkers and children are protected when accessing toys and equipment.

Under normal circumstances, Playworkers will ensure that there is one toilet and one washbasin with hand soap and hot and cold water available for every 10 children, ensuring an adequate balance between male and female facilities.

No child will be left unsupervised in the kitchen area.

Playworkers will have access to a work telephone at CUHP; however they will only be able to use their own telephone in break periods.

In the event of snow or ice on pathways onsite, Playworkers will ensure that this is regularly cleared and kept safe.

All chemicals will be stored in an appropriate way that is inaccessible to children. COSHH regulations will also be regarded.


Children are supervised appropriately according to the level of risk involved during play and activities. The ages and number of children involved in a given activity is also taken into account. Playworkers are deployed adequately to ensure general supervision at all times.

Site Security

Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about the importance of remaining safe and not leaving the CUHP premises during the session. Playworkers will reinforce this. All Playworkers will observe and supervise the entrance and exit points when the club is in operation.

Visitors will be greeted on arrival and will be asked to sign the visitors sheet and state the purpose of their visit. Visitors will not be left unsupervised with children at CUHP at any time. If an unexpected visitor has no suitable reason to be at CUHP, then they will be asked to leave immediately and escorted from the premises. If the visitor repeatedly refuses to leave, the police will be contacted. A record will be made of any such incidents on an Incident Form, and the Playscheme Co-ordinator will be notified.

The Playscheme Co-ordinator (in consultation with Playworkers and parents) will regularly review security procedures.


All furniture, toys and equipment are kept clean, well maintained and in good repair and in accordance with BS EN safety standards or the Toys (Safety) Regulations (1995) where applicable.

Equipment will be properly maintained and inspected in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. All electrical toys and equipment are subject to PAT (Portable Appliance Testing).

Defective or broken equipment will be taken out of use and stored in a safe place before being disposed of. Flammable equipment will be stored in a safe location away from sources of heat and/or naked flames.


No animal will be allowed on the premises without the prior knowledge (with the exception of disability assistance dogs) and permission of the Playscheme Co-ordinator. A visit from an animal must be prearranged and accompanied by a responsible handler.

Closing the Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme at short notice/in an emergency.

In very exceptional circumstances, CUHP may need to be closed at very short notice due to an unexpected event. Such incidents could include:

  • Serious weather conditions.
  • Burst water pipes/heating system failure.
  • Discovery of dangerous structural damage.
  • Fire or bomb scare/explosion.
  • Death of a Playworker or child.
  • Serious assault on a Playworker or child.
  • Serious accident or illness.
  • Chemical contamination.

In such circumstances, the Playscheme Co-ordinator and Playworkers will ensure that all steps are taken to keep both the children and themselves safe. All Playworkers and children will assemble at the pre-arranged venue, where a register will be taken.

Steps will then be taken to inform parents and the Manager of Childcare Services and to take the necessary actions in relation to the cause of the closure. All children will be supervised until they are safely collected. If after every attempt, parents cannot be contacted, the Club will follow its Uncollected Children procedure.

A child will never be left alone on the Playscheme premises.

If the registration is affected it is necessary to inform Ofsted of a closure.


Playworkers will make sure there is a regular supply of drinking water available to children, especially in hot conditions.

Sun Protection

The Playscheme Co-ordinator and Playworkers understand the dangers posed to children and themselves by over exposure to the sun.

Parents are encouraged to provide sunscreen for their children, this remains the parents' responsibility and Playscheme will not be held responsible where sun cream is not provided. Children will be encouraged to apply the sun cream independently, however if assistance is needed then it will be given by a Playworker.

When deemed necessary, Playworkers may apply sunscreen to children who cannot do so for themselves.

Children will also be encouraged to wear a hat when playing outside in the sun and to take shade.

Playworkers will encourage children to drink water frequently in hot weather.


The Playscheme Co-ordinator and all Playworkers will be vigilant to any potential threats to good hygiene at CUHP. To this end, a generally clean environment will be maintained at all times.

Toilets are cleaned daily and that there is a supply of soap and hand drying facilities for both Playworkers and children. This is monitored throughout the session.

A First Aider will be mindful of the need to observe the highest standards of personal hygiene when administering any treatment to children.

As such, they will wash their hands thoroughly both before and after giving first aid, and ensure that plasters or disposable gloves cover any cuts, wounds or skin damage.

Kitchen Hygiene

All areas where food and drink are stored, prepared and eaten are prone to the spread of infections. Playworkers must be particularly careful to observe high standards of hygiene in such instances. To this end the following steps will be taken:

  • Playworkers trained in food hygiene will oversee snack preparation; Playworkers not trained in food hygiene may assist.
  • Waste will be disposed of safely.
  • Food storage facilities and equipment will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned after every use.
  • If cooking is done as an activity, all surfaces and equipment involved will be thoroughly cleaned before and after the session.
  • Additionally, Playworkers will be aware of the provisions set out in the Cooking and Food Policy when handling, preparing, cooking and serving food or drink at CUHP.

Personal Hygiene

In all circumstances, Playworkers will adhere to and ensure that children carry out the same routines.

  • Washing hands before and after handling food or drink.
  • Washing hands after using the toilet.
  • Covering cuts and abrasions while at the premises.
  • Taking any other steps that are likely to minimise the spread of infections.
  • Washing of hands prior to and following first aid.

Dealing with Spillages

Spillages of substances likely to result in the spread of infections will be dealt with rapidly and carefully. Blood, vomit, urine and faeces will be cleaned up immediately and disposed of safely and hygienically by double bagging and taken out of the setting. Playworkers will wear disposable plastic gloves and an apron while using bleach or disinfectant solution, and wash themselves thoroughly afterwards. Children will be kept well clear while such substances are being dealt with.

The Playscheme Co-ordinator and Playworkers are committed to taking all practicable steps to prevent and control the spread of infectious germs, and to uphold high standards of personal hygiene in order to minimise the risk of catching or spreading infections.


The Children Act 1989 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, place a number of legal responsibilities on CUHP. Therefore CUHP has insurance cover appropriate to its duties under this legislation, including Employer's Liability Insurance. Responsibility will, in most cases, rest with CUHP, but Playworkers will take reasonable care, both for themselves and other people who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work. If CUHP is held responsible for any incident that may occur, public liability insurance will cover compensation.

Policy reviewed 14 December 2011.