How do your folks risk assess their practical lessons?

Discussion in 'Science Technicians - General Discussion' started by Julie Delaney, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Julie Delaney

    Julie Delaney COMMITTEE

    Thinking about risk assessments, how is it done in your school? I am keen to have a streamlined system.
    Do your have a separate one for each practical?
    Just refer to CLEAPSS hazcards and hope for the best?
    Do teachers have their own risk assessments in their classroom or a central area for access?
    Do they provide you techies with one for prepping their lessons?
    any other methods.
    thanks as always folks.
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  2. Craig Astle

    Craig Astle Superhero in training

    Having seen some teachers in the last few years doing science, i assume not all of them know what a risk assessment is.
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  3. We have written a template for each practical they have planned for the syllabus - these were written by us

    They have to download them and adapt them to their individual classes with a few notes at the bottom (so-and-so is disruptive, have him removed etc.)
    This must then be attached to the order or there will be no equipment delivered
    If this is not filled in correctly it will be bounced back to redo, failure to change it/include it before the start of the lesson will also mean they get no kit

    Importantly they also need to have it out and obviously on display during the lesson or else there is no point in having them written
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  4. Julie Delaney

    Julie Delaney COMMITTEE

    Thanks @CovTech. any chance of a copy of your blank template for ideas please? :cool:
  5. Another reason to get 'Lablogger' With using 'lablogger' we have employed the use of the 'Risk Assessment Notes' box and placed the safety issues from the practical on all the templates. Once on the template it's done forever - when the teacher selects the template a written list of safety issues (or whatever you want in this box) is already imported (along with all the experiment requirements) so the print out with the equipment does the risk assessment for them - for example, below (which is the printout they get):


    Attached Files:

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  6. Beaker, CrowyTech, stelden and 6 others like this.
  7. It's all our responsibility for safety and we have to make sure that we give out the correct concentrations, correctly labelled (including hazard warnings) and the equipment is sound and safe - not just the teacher.
  8. Of course - this one's mine so no worries - I'll put up a fairly common one so you get the idea but we have over 100 of these written out and on the local network for access

    Attached Files:

  9. All ours are centralised on the intranet - all files are digitally time stamped when opened and by who so IF ever needed we can check - . Teachers are required to inform me that they have not just done one but read it on their equipment request form, specifics for classes or individuals are noted in diary's or on the equipment request - if they cant say they have done it then they are not allowed equipment. - all request are kept in a file for rotation of 3 years.
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  10. Julie Delaney

    Julie Delaney COMMITTEE

    Thank you so much, I really appreciate it. :cool::D
  11. I have no idea how it’s done here...
  12. PhysicsSimon

    PhysicsSimon COMMITTEE

    Our dangerous equipment* is individually risk assessed - each teacher (and technician) has to read each of them once/year & when it changes (this is auto recorded). Then, when ordering, each teacher signs in a box to say, in writing, that they've assessed the risks of using THAT equipment, with THAT class, in THAT lab, at THAT time of day etc - exactly how they assess this & what records they each keep is up to them - we also enforce this for PGCE students - no practical equipment without reading the relevant RA etc

    We also link to these RA's from the scheme of work & they themselves link to CLEAPSS or other sites where appropriate - & it's all in t'cloud (am doing the arm gestures as I type) too. I think we're covered.

    EDIT: *physics only - could be the HT supply which can kill; soldering irons; rubens tube etc etc or even as simple as LED's (use without a resistor & they're easy to explode - I've done this myself when on auto pilot/distracted one morning)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  13. Our lot write every RA on their lesson plans (ooh, hang on, I think I just saw a piggy fly past the window).

    In all seriousness, they tend to use the exam board/CLEAPSS ones, adapted in their own heads(!!!). (Unless of course they are SLT, but that's another story.....) Us technicians tend to leave notes for certain ones reminding them of hazards, disposal, etc, but that is just because we are nice people :)

    We also have a signature box on the weekly requisition form that they have to sign to say they understand and assessed the risks involved, and they have trialed or carried out said practicals previously (put that in after we heard from a very reliable source that one of our teachers [now left] had been banned from doing practicals in a previous school, after a small explosion)
  14. As far as I am aware & have been told on various courses, it is the teachers responsibility to do risk assessment for their lessons.
    Our responsibility is for us only .
    Legally it is the teachers. We can advise but that is it. Obviously if there is anything ordered that we feel is unsafe we will say so. Everything we give out is clearly labelled, but again we are under no obligation to do so. There is a big difference between moral & legal obligation.
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  15. On the H&S course I was on yesterday (hello to everyone that was in Skipton) we had it drummed into us several times that techs should not write the RAs but our employer (county council, academy trust) should create them not necessarily the teacher themselves, but CLEAPSS has model ones on their site. But as you have said the teachers should be altering theirs for each lesson.
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  16. I don't think for one minute that the teacher will be legally at fault if we label the chemicals wrongly either the strength or the material/substance - could we be?
  17. Depending on the teacher I doubt they would even notice if you labelled some CuSO4 as HCl.
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  18. Absolutely agree. It all depends on the wording of the H&S policy, of course, but if you have adopted the CLEAPSS version, then the Head of Department has the responsibility for overseeing the department. If a school has signed up to CLEAPSS, it is accepted that the school will adopt the Risk Assessments and then adapt to local conditions. There is no legal requirement to have forms, and most H&S advisors will say that proformas are not necessarily good practice, as people tend to say that the RA is 'done" once the form is completed. Good practice is for the teacher to annotate their Scheme of Work or individual lesson plan to show how they have assessed any risk.
    Technicians do their own risk assessments (or annotate the CLEAPSS ones to show how it applies to them). We cannot risk asses a class practical because we are not in charge of the class, do not know the pupils and how they will react at any given lesson, nor do we know how confident the teacher is in managing any given practical.
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  19. What is the best thing to do if it appears risk assessments aren’t being done?
  20. Craig Astle

    Craig Astle Superhero in training

    Raise the issue with your head of department via email so you have a paper trail to show that you have highlighted the problem. We can only advise them that risk assessments must be carried out.
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