Health and safety is a top priority for anyone working in the early childhood education (ECE) sector. The large amount of requirements and regulations creates a lot of work for ECE centre staff and managers. Records have to be well kept so that accurate data can be collected and utilised.
While this might sometimes feel like a thorn in your side, it is essential for the wellbeing of the children and staff at your centre. Effective use of this data can also make a huge difference to the efficiency and culture of your business.
Health and safety data provides valuable insight that should be utilised in meaningful ways to benefit everyone. Here are the top ways that you can use your data to improve your centre…
Using Your Health And Safety Data To Improve Your Centre
Analyse and compare data
The more data you record, the more useful it is. If you have a detailed data set going back months or years, you can analyse this to determine current trends at your centre and identify areas of concern. By categorising and comparing your data, you will be able to see similarities between various incidents and isolate and remedy the causes.
Predict health and safety trends
Once you have analysed what your data is telling you, you might even be able to predict certain trends in advance. This gives you the ability to remove or minimise risks and hazard areas before they become serious problems. For example, in the winter months you might see an increase in reports of people slipping in water left from frost or rain. Steps can then be taken to address the most problematic areas, laying down mats or improving drainage. This will result in fewer incidences the following year.
Record and report
Having your health and safety data on hand and easily accessible is vital. There will be instances where you need to provide this information for audits, to check for legal requirements, or during the investigation of an incident. Having all the detail in one place will mean you can easily lay your hands on what you need, when you need it.
The health and safety link between staff and children
A 2017 study carried out by ChildForum found that 46% of ECE staff reported a work related injury, physical health problem or mental health problem. This is an increase from the 2014 survey, when the rate was only 29%. Mental health issues were almost equal to physical issues and were attributed largely to not having time for days off, being overworked, or workplace bullying.
The health and safety of staff members impacts on the children in the centre too. If a staff member is stressed or overworked, they may not be in the best state of mind to provide adequate attention and care to the children. If a staff member was to trip over while carrying a child, they could both suffer injuries.
Health and safety data will capture issues like stress, exhaustion, or repetitive strain injuries suffered by staff members. By using this information to prevent problems and keep staff safer, you are further enhancing safety for the children.
How SafetyNest can help
SafetyNest allows you to efficiently manage your health and safety requirements, You can take advantage of their automated task reminders, reporting tools, and data analysis capabilities to ensure that your centre is compliant and your people are safe.
Plus, all of the data is in the cloud. That means you or any of your team can access it whenever you need it – at the centre, at home, or on the go.