Risk Assessment

From DT Online


Risk Assessment is an important part of health and safety and all teachers should be aware of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) booklet Five Steps to Risk Assessment and the Risk Assessment guidance in BS 4163 : Health and safety for design and technology in educational and similar establishments. Code of practice.

HSE state that the focus should be on real risks with the potential to cause harm, not wasting resources on trivial matters and unnecessary paperwork and "effective leaders follow a sensible and proportionate approach to health and safety management that promotes risk awareness rather than risk avoidance".

HSE further assert that "while many schools manage health and safety effectively and sensibly, some have adopted over cautious approaches. This means that pupils are missing out on challenging and exciting activities and learning opportunities, and the chance to develop new skills."

Design and Technology is well placed to give pupils an appreciation of risk and how to deal with it. A sample Risk Assessment Record is shown opposite (click to enlarge and again to download). This can be adapted and used as part of project planning by staff, but it can also be used as a template to encourage students to consider risks as they plan their own projects.