Health and Safety Statement of Policy and Staff Guidebook

York Learning
Author: Mike Cooper, last updated by Will Harris
Date of Publication: August 2015
Revised 14 August 2023
Next date of review August 2024

The York Learning health and safety policy and procedures are underpinned and informed by the City of York Council’s health and safety policy and procedures and the online resource B-Safe which is a joint resource between CYC and NYCC.

The York Learning Health and Safety policy and staff guidebook should be read in conjunction with the City of York Council overall Health and Safety Policy which can be found on COLIN.

The service has a dual responsibility to both employees and to learners who attend programmes. The health and safety responsibility extends to all activities that are related to the programme of study, including visits that support provision.

Our aim in implementing this policy is to ensure that we create a culture which recognises that controlling health and safety risks is an essential part of everyone’s day to day responsibility.  Our aim is to ensure that:

  1. Learners are confident that they are coming to classes where their health and safety is well managed.
  2. Tutors and other staff are confident and can rely on well planned health and safety systems when carrying out their responsibilities.
  3. Resources are targeted to where they will be most effective in response to the requirements of risk assessments.
  4. Staff work in a safe environment and absences due to injuries or occupational ill health, and costs incurred by property damage, are reduced.

As part of our duty of care to staff and learners, there is a separate policy which covers dealing with inappropriate behaviour in online classes which could put learners at risk of radicalisation or similar. Please see ‘York Learning Hate Speech Online Guidance’ document


Tutors’ main responsibilities are:

  • Ensuring they know what their role is in the event of a fire and that learners understand the fire evacuation procedures
  • Ensuring that they understand the procedures related to First Aid
  • Checking classroom/work areas are safe and that equipment is safe before use
  • Ensuring protective equipment, when needed, is adequate and is used
  • Ensuring learners are aware of their health and safety responsibilities (see below)
  • Bringing problems to the attention of administrative and management staff who can deal with them
  • Reporting incidents and accidents (see below) in the appropriate manner
  • Ensuring health and safety checklists and learner health questionnaires are completed when required to do so as part of the delivery (annexes 2 & 3)
  • Inform the service of any risk assessment requirements, using the ‘Notification of Additional Risk’ proforma in this handbook (annex 4)
  • Tutor responsibilities are distributed by the Operations management team to all staff annually to ensure staff are up to date and current



A key responsibility of tutors is to ensure learners are aware of their health and safety responsibilities.  Essentially, these consist of two strands:

  • To take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others by following health and safety instructions given by staff
  • reporting any incidents or safety concerns to a member of staff

These responsibilities are contained in the York Learning information guide that is given to learners and we ask that you point this out at the start of the course.

For learners who are doing a remote course via video conferencing software such as Zoom, they will have seen health and safety information as part of their online induction process when they sign up for the course via our online booking portal. This includes how to keep themselves safe online, how to report a safeguarding concern and information about how to sit correctly at a computer.


As of August 2023 our provision has returned to pre-Covid delivery models where both face to face and remote/blended delivery is used. Provision is baked in to planning/delivery for each area should COVID return in a substantive way which  leads to national lockdowns again.



As part of our learning offer, York Learning subcontracts individual learning programmes to pre-agreed partner organisations. As part of the Quality Assurance Process, all partner organisations have their Health and Safety polices checked and recorded under the due diligence for subcontracting procedure and the York Learning Health and Safety handbook is shared with the partner organisation. Partner organisations are visited on at least an annual basis to ensure all learners are working in a safe and suitable environment and that all polices and actions agreed with the partner organisation as part of the subcontract arrangement are being followed. Partner organisations are informed of the reporting procedure in the event of an incident or ‘near miss’ (see below)

York Learning also acts as delivery subcontractor for the learning programmes of other organisations. As part of the subcontract process, York Learning agree to familiarise themselves with the Health and Safety policy of the parent organisation and undertakes to keep learners safe by using the policies and procedures from the York Learning Health and Safety handbook in its most current and up to date form.



Another key responsibility of all members of staff is to report any incidents that have health and safety implications.  An ‘incident‘ includes the following, where they arise out of, or in connection with work:

  • Accident – an event that results in injury or ill-health (including as a result of physical violence).
  • Near miss – an event that, while not causing harm, has the potential to cause injury or ill-health, or, a set of circumstances that have the potential to cause injury or ill-health.

The intention of the policy is to prevent accidents, not just to record accidents that have taken place.  Each adult education outcentre has access to B-Safe, the reporting tool for reporting accidents.  If you need to report an accident or a near miss, you should contact the administrative staff at the centre and they will support you in completing the report on B-Safe.

If you are working in a building which is not one of our adult education centres, accidents or near misses need to be reported to the Health and Safety Assessor for York Learning who will then report it via B-Safe. This guidance should be used in conjunction with Incident Reporting and Investigation compliance note CN2



The service has identified seven categories of risk associated with activities in in our provision, namely:

  1. Building assessments (if required)
  2. Low risk activities
  3. Medium risk activities involving the use of some equipment or specialist facilities
  4. Medium risk activities that involve exercise programmes, where individual health considerations would be a risk
  5. High risk activities
  6. Childcare risk assessments – where York Learning staff are running a crèche for pre-school children as part of provision. Crèche provision is usually but not exclusively used with Family Learning classes.
  7. Assessments covering apprenticeships/traineeships where a apprentice/trainee is working at a workplace where there is an inherent risk involved. As part of our duty of care to those apprentices/trainees an annual workplace inspection is carried out by York Learning.

For categories 2-4, we have devised generic risk assessments and published them in this handbook. Please refer to Annex 1.  The master copies are stored online, currently in the SafeOrg system, will be translated onto B-Safe when this is possible in 2021 and are updated annually as part of the review of this handbook. You should:

  • Identify which category of risk your course falls into
  • Ensure that you apply the control measures identified
  • Using the ‘Notification of Additional Risk’ pro-forma (annex 4), notify us of any additional control measures that you think need to be added to a generic risk assessment to cover circumstances that have not been taken into account

The 5th category, ‘high risk activities’ require individual risk assessments.  You should:

  1. Check whether or not the activities you undertake are high risk according to the descriptions given below
  2. It they are high risk, check whether or not there is an existing individual risk assessment for that activity. Please access the online Safety Management system or contact the Health & Safety Assessor. If there is no current risk assessment that covers your activity, you will need to request that one is created.




Category One – Building Assessments

These would only be used in the event of a York Learning course being delivered in premises which have not been used by York Learning/CYC before or York Learning moving their base of operations to new premises.   The building would be risk assessed using the standard PREMISES WORKPLACE INSPECTIONFORM REF NO:CYC/HS/F10A and any issues dealt with before learners and/or staff were allowed into the premises.

Category Two  – Low risk activities

Category 2 consists of classroom-based programmes and activities where there is little or no equipment used by tutors or students. There may be some audio or visual aid equipment or the use of overhead projectors or data projectors. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Family Learning and Functional Skills
  • Apprenticeship Training carried out at CYC premises
  • Languages
  • Creative writing
  • GCSE classes

Category Three – Medium risk activities involving the use of some equipment or specialist facilities.

Category 3 consists of programmes and activities that involve the use of  some equipment or specialist facilities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • All computer classes
  • Dress making
  • Craft classes –all of those that use equipment
  • Art Classes
  • Cookery
  • Bike Maintenance
  • Music classes
  • Routes to Success training classes. Please note that due to the nature of the learners on the Routes2Success programme, some learners may require individual risk assessments to help staff manage their behaviour/keep them safe/look after their medical needs.
  • Work Based Learning
  • English and Maths classes using Blended Learning where PC terminals are used in the delivery of sessions

Category Four – Medium risk activities that involve exercise programmes, where individual health considerations would be a risk

Category 4 consists of programmes and activities such as sport and fitness and dance classes, where people who have particular medical conditions or poor levels of fitness would potentially be at risk.  Category 4 also includes alternative therapy and science programmes where certain types of manipulation or the use of chemicals could be a risk. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Dance classes
  • Sport and fitness
  • Pilates
  • Yoga

In these classes in the first class after a learner has enrolled the learners are asked to fill in a Health Questionnare (see Annex 3) which gives the tutor information about the individual learner. This is on top of the online enrolment system which asks learners to state medical information the service needs to be aware of. Because disclosure is voluntary having two opportunities for learners to disclose a health condition that might be affected by a class where physical activity is included reduces the risk that a learner’s pre-existing medical condition is affected. York Learning recognise that this risk is only reduced by having two opportunities to declare pre-existing medical conditions and cannot be removed altogether.

Category Five – High risk activities

Category 5 consists of programmes and activities where the nature of the activity is inherently dangerous, for example intensive aerobic activity, or where the equipment being used carries a risk of serious injury, for example metalwork and woodwork.

Category 5 also consists of programmes from category 4 which involve a lone tutor teaching or where first aid or access to a telephone was restricted.

The service should have very few of these programmes.

Category 5 programmes require an individual risk assessment.  If you teach a course that the tutor/curriculum manager think falls into category 5 and there is not already an individual risk assessment they complete and return the ‘Notification of Additional Risk’ pro-forma. The York Learning Operations Manager (Risk) will then create in discussion with the tutor/curriculum manager a bespoke risk assessment for that specific class/scenario.

Note that SafeOrg has been retired and that all risk assessments are now stored on B-Safe. As B-Safe is a beta full access for all YL staff has not yet been rolled out and the facility for staff to check whether a risk assessment already exists is currently not available – the tutor/CM should contact the York Learning operations management team to determine availability or whether a bespoke risk assessment is required. (see above)

Guidance for tutors re: enrichment activities away from the main learning classroom/venue:

Please note that on any course offered by York Learning where learners are taken out from the standard course venue to engage in an enrichment activity (eg a trip to a nature reserve with a Family Learning group) MUST have an individual risk assessment. Contact the Health and Safety Assessor at least two weeks before the enrichment activity takes place to discuss your enrichment activity and to allow for a bespoke risk assessment to be created.

Category Six – childcare crèche risk assessments

The York Learning Sessional Childcare Service has its own specific Health and Safety Policy due to the changing nature of the needs of the service users. This policy is used in conjunction with the Health and Safety Handbook to ensure that all children using the crèche facility and staff running the crèche facility are kept safe.

As part of the Sessional Childcare Service Health and Safety Policy, all crèche venues are inspected annually. If issues are raised as part of that inspection, a second unannounced followup inspection will be carried out by the Operations Manager/Operations Supervisor after due time has been given to resolve the issues.

A copy of the Sessional Childcare Service Health and Safety Policy is listed in Annex 5.

Category Seven – workplace assessments for apprentices/loan funded qualifications and placements.

As part of York Learning’s duty of care for apprentices and those taking loan funded qualifications with York Learning, a workplace inspection takes place annually (apprentices) and every two years (loans).

These inspections are done through OneFile with the workplace answering questions posed to the manager of the setting.

In the event of an inspection flagging up that an apprentice/loan learner was working in conditions deemed by the inspection to be unsafe, an urgent review would take place involving the manager/owner of the workplace,  Workplace Learning Manager and potentially the Strategic Manager/Head of Service. The safety of the apprentice would remain York Learning’s highest priority.

We undertake face to face assessments for Routes2Success learners going on work placement. This is done because the placement setting is almost certainly not set up on OneFile and whereas with apprentices/loan learners in WBL the onus is on the employer to be vigilant and demonstrate all health and safety is being followed, with placements for the Routes programme they are young people in our care and therefore a face to face assessment is appropriate. The assessment is done before the young person starts the placement (usually 2 weeks before), is carried out by the Operations Manager (Risk) and records are stored on our Yorklearningeducation Google portal as a Google form is used. In the event that an inspection found health and safety concerns about the workplace, the tasks the young person would be expected to perform or indeed any matter which was not considered up to standard, the placement would be cancelled.

Health and Safety Instructions for Tutors

The following list of instructions should be followed in the relevant circumstances. They are taken from H & S risk assessments. If you have health and safety issues or concerns, please contact Will Harris ( or 07887 545795 x2905.

Further information: L:\GROUP\Comm_Ed_Entrust\YORK LEARNING\POLICIES & PROCEDURES\H&S and Risk Assessments  (or ask Will!).

All classes

  • Do a visual check of the teaching space to see if there are any hazards. If there are, remove them or tell students to avoid the hazard.
  • If setting up a room by moving furniture, try to do this before learners arrive/after they leave wherever possible to minimize risk of injury to learner.
  • Check that all electrical equipment in room carries a relevant PAT sticker. If it does not then do not use it. Check trailing wires when using projectors and laptops.
  • If learners need to use their own equipment then it must be PAT tested. If this is not possible then circuit breaking extension cables should be used.
  • Instruct all students, including late starters, in safe evacuation procedures.
  • Ensure that you have a Personal Evacuation Plan (PEP) for anyone in your class who has mobility problems.
  • Make sure you know the fire evacuation route and check it if your class is moved.
  • Ensure learners are placing bags and coats in a way that doesn’t block exits or hinder movement around the room.

Teaching dance or exercise programme classes

  • Ensure that all guidance in CYC Risk Assessment 01909 is followed – any questions or if you have not seen a copy, please contact your line manager or Will Harris.

Use of blades or cutting

  • Instruct learners in how to use equipment safely each time that they use cutting equipment.
  • For students with language, learning difficulties and disabilities, demonstrate on a one to one basis and ensure any support staff are also trained.

Use of solvents and chemicals

  • Only use in small quantities and if absolutely necessary.
  • Inform students as to the nature of the chemical and solvents and check with group any possible allergic reaction to the substances used.
  • Ventilate room wherever possible when using solvents/chemicals.


Use of equipment – electrical

  • All non-new equipment must have a current green test sticker
  • Instruct students in safe use of equipment
  • For students with LDD, demonstrate one to one as appropriate.
  • If using equipment with long leads, make sure that there are no tripping hazards.


Use of cookers

  • You should have knowledge of how to treat a scald or a burn and instruct students.
  • Instruct students in the safe use of cookers when boiling liquids and using hot ovens.


Food Preparation

  • Tutors to reinforce key food hygiene messages as emphasized on food hygiene training.

Use of computers

  • Ensure students know how to adjust chairs to the correct height for the desk and screen: feet on the floor, arms parallel to the desk, screens in line with or slightly below eye level.
  • Instruct students to get up from the chairs at least once every hour and stretch and reinforce correct posture during the lesson.
  • Make sure students are instructed in how to use the internet safely and are directed towards the guidance on our website.


Visits and enrichment activities outside the learning room

  • If planning a visit off site as part of your class or as an enrichment activity, ensure that you have liaised with Will Harris at least two weeks beforehand to allow a risk assessment (including possible site visit) to be done for you. or 07887 545795.

You are not expected to do the formal risk assessment yourself but you and any other helpers on the visit need to have read the completed risk assessment and have a copy in your Course File before the visit takes place.

  • For all enrichment activities where a visitor/group comes to the normal learning venue, a risk assessment is not required.


Should you wish to make yourself familiar with the full risk assessments, they can be found in L:\GROUP\Comm_Ed_Entrust\YORK LEARNING\POLICIES & PROCEDURES\ H&S and Risk Assessments.      The ‘Generic Low Risk Activities RA Annex 1’, ‘Generic Medium Risk Activities RA Annex 2’ and ‘Generic Medium Risk  Activities Exercise RA Annex 3’ are the ones that cover almost all classes.

See also:

York Learning Health & Safety Handbook
Illness, Health & Emergency Policy
Manual Handling Policy
Outdoor Play Policy
Food & Drink Policy
No Smoking Policy
Missing Child Procedure
Procedure for Non-Collection of a Child
Cleaning & Maintenance of Premises & Equipment Policy


  1. Aim

  •  We are committed to promoting the health & safety of all our service users and staff
  • We aim to make children, parents/carers and staff aware of health and safety issues and to minimise hazards and risks where appropriate


  1. Responsibilities

  •  Overall responsibility lies with the Learner Support Manager
  • Day-to-day responsibility is delegated to the Sessional Childcare Workers


  1. Practice

    All practice is carried out alongside the guidance laid out in the York Learning Health and Safety Handbook

3.1 Risk assessment

  • Risk assessments of all childcare venues will be carried out annually or sooner if required, by the Childcare and Learner Support Coordinator or an experienced member of the childcare staff. Should issues be raised as part of that inspection a second follow up inspection will be carried out by the York Learning Health & Safety Assessor to address issues that have not been resolved.
  • Records of risk assessments and subsequent action plans will be stored by the Learner Support Manager
  • Risks identified during a Risk Assessment requiring action or monitoring by childcare staff will be listed on the ‘Daily Risk Assessment Checklist’
  • The Sessional Childcare Workers will conduct a visual check of the childcare space and outdoor area prior to every childcare session and complete the ‘Daily Risk Assessment Checklist’.


3.2 Awareness raising

  • Induction training is given to all new staff and volunteers which includes an explanation of health and safety procedures and risk assessments
  • Health & safety is explained to children through their daily routines


3.3 Insurance

  • Public & Employer Liability Insurance Certificates are held in the Red File in each setting


3.4 Security & supervision

  • A ‘Signing In/Out Sheet’ is completed as children and staff arrive, and when they leave, which indicates children’s time of arrival and departure
  • Whenever children are on the premises at least 2 adults are present
  • A record of visitors is maintained, including times of arrival and departure and purpose of visit
  • Children are supervised by adults at all times
  • Children will only leave the session with authorised adults
  • The entrance door to the childcare space is to be kept locked when a childcare group is in operation


3.5 Fire

  • Fire doors are marked, not obstructed and easily opened
  • Fire equipment is checked annually
  • Childcare staff will make or review the ‘Fire Evacuation Plan’ at the beginning of each session
  • Fire drills are held regularly and recorded
  • Fire safety and evacuation procedures are displayed


3.6 Outdoor area

  • The outdoor space is checked before use
  • Children will be supervised continuously whilst outside


3.7 Storage

  • All dangerous materials (cleaning or medication) are stored out of reach of children and where appropriate in a locked cupboard


3.8 Hygiene

(See ‘Cleaning & Maintenance of Premises and Equipment’)


3.9 First Aid & accidents

(See ‘Illness, Health and Emergency Policy’)


3.10 Layout & Equipment

  • The layout of the room allows children and adults to move safely and freely between activities
  • Sleeping children are checked regularly
  • Children do not have access to kitchen areas
  • Children are shown how to handle and store equipment safely
  • All materials used are non-toxic


3.11 Electricity & Water

  • Socket covers are used in electric sockets when within children’s reach unless they are not required due to the design of the socket (see manufacturers information)
  • The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds


3.12 Manual Handling

(See ‘Manual Handling Policy’)


Review Date:  December 2020