By Mike Bedford
When the Health and Safety at Work Act was brought in concerns were expressed by the education sector. For example, does the Act mean children can’t climb trees in ECE anymore?
Then there’s NZS 5828: Playground Equipment and Surfacing to think about.
Well the good news is that it’s pretty much all good news. Far from prohibiting tree climbing, the Health and Safety at Work Act provides the ECE sector with the opportunity to use developmentally appropriate safety measures, taking into account the necessary risk associated with children’s learning and skill development. The other piece of good news – the Ministry of Education has acknowledged that NZS 5828 is not legally enforceable in ECE, but should be used as a guideline. This is a great opportunity for a really sensible ECE safety approach!
In this article we’ll look at how risk assessment, the HSW Act and NZS 5828 can combine to develop safety approaches that recognise the goal of Te Whariki:
To grow up as competent, confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit...”
Risk Management in ECE – It’s like Adventure Tourism
The approach to risk management that has been historically used in work places assumed that all risks were inherently undesirable.
This meant that once you had identified your safety risks, you should manage them by attempting to eliminate, isolate, or minimise the risks.
The rest of this information or article is for our early childhood service members. Has your service joined us? Log in with your ECE service’s username and password.
Here’s how our membership plans work
- Individual Membership plans can view both Individual member-only articles and our library of Research Journals.
- Early Childhood Service plans can view ALL member articles: Individual, Research Journals and Early Childhood Service articles - along with support and a range of other benefits as outlined on the Join Us page
- Research Journal subscription plans can view our library of Research Journals and the articles in all past and current jounral issues.