Health and Safety Agencies

There are many organizations that provide information and guidance on all aspects of health and safety. These include:

  • Health Protection Agency (HPA): an organization responsible for protecting public health through the provision of support and advice to the National Health Service, local authorities, emergency services and the Department of Health
  • Health and Safety Executive (HSE): A national independent watchdog for work-related health and safety issues, responsible for acting in the public interest to reduce work-related death and serious injury
  • Food Standards Agency (FSA): An independent government department responsible for food safety and food hygiene across the UK
  • British Safety Council: A UK charity that works with businesses to improve their health, safety, and environmental management
  • Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT): A UK charity working to reduce the number of children killed, disabled or seriously injured In childcare settings.


Professional practice


  • Take care of your own health and safety.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects on your own or without the appropriate training. Follow health and safety policies and procedures in the setting.
  • Know the emergency procedures for fire and evacuation of the setting. Keep fire exits clear.
  • Make sure that medicines and other harmful substances are stored safely. Follow strict hygiene guidelines.
  • Maintain strict hygiene practices when preparing food or drinks for children and when carrying out toileting or nappy changing procedures.
  • Maintain the cleanliness of the environment, toys and play materials.
  • Conduct risk assessments.
  • Check the safety of the environment, equipment and play resources.
  • Assess risks for planned activities and outings.
  • Encourage children to follow health and safety procedures and hygiene policies.
  • Carry out regular hand washing routines.
  • Supervise the safe use of toys and play equipment.


Case study

Cheryl has just been promoted to the position of deputy manager at ABC Day Nursery, a registered setting that provides places for children aged six months to five years. The manager has asked Cheryl to review and update the health and safety policies at the nursery.

  1. Describe the health and safety policies you would expect to be in place at ABC Day Nursery
  2. Explain why it is important for early years settings to review and update their health and safety policies on a regular basis.
  3. List some of the health and safety organizations that Cheryl might consult, and give examples of the information she might obtain from each one.

Investigate the procedures in your placement or workplace setting for:

  • Reporting accidents and notifying childhood illnesses
  • Food hygiene procedures when preparing snacks for children
  • Storage of medicines and cleaning substances.

Using additional information from the Health and Safety Executive (, create a health and safety report that explains the ways in which these procedures contribute to children’s health and wellbeing