There is some confusion among the early years sector about Safety Statements and many services are experiencing a return of their statements from Tusla during the Registration process.
The Safety Statement is not a Safeguarding Statement which is the Statement you must develop to protect the Welfare of Children under the Children First Act 2015 and in accordance with Children First, the National Guidelines on the Protection and Welfare of Children
The Safety Statement is not your Statement of Purpose and Function which is a policy required under the Child Care Act 1991 (Early Years Services) Regulations 2016 and which outlines the definition of your service, its mission, opening hours and other key details. These are outlined in Tusla’s Quality and Regulatory Framework.
The Safety Statement is required by law under Section 20 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure it is fit for the organisation under his/her control. The Health & Safety Authority inspector may review a Safety Statement during an inspection of a workplace. It is also a requirement of Tusla and an important part of the registration process.
The statement of general policy on health and safety at work sets out your commitment to managing health and safety effectively, and what you want to achieve. The responsibility section sets out who is responsible for specific actions. The Safety Statement should include the results of a risk assessment.
If producing developing your own statement you should use the following
- The BeSmart tool available through the HAS
- The Quality Regulatory Framework (Tusla) which sets out the required content and has some very specific industry focused requirements.
Our Health and Safety Team in Canavan Byrne can take the time and pain out of this process. We can (a) give you a downloadable template that incorporates both the HSA and Tusla requirements (the piece you can struggle with) and you can use this template to carry out your own risk assessment and write your statement or (b) we can do all this for you, following a phone consultation to find out more about your service or (c) we can visit your service and carry out a comprehensive risk assessment and write up your statement.
Call us on 016235908. We are here to help.