Health and safety
In music, safety is about more than rules and regulations. It is the responsibility of teachers to know and point out potential hazards and ensure precautions are observed. A part of a child's education should involve safe practice when participating in music. Good practice is safe practice. It is a teacher's responsibility to ensure that children act safely.
Products bought from educational suppliers for educational purposes are generally approved for school use and often have accompanying health and safety guidance.
Your school should have a health and safety policy which outlines the specific arrangements and responsibilities for the provision of health and safety in your own premises/organisation. The health and safety policy template is for schools to use in developing a policy which is specific to their premises/organisation.
This musical activities risk assessment template should be completed by all schools, and used for all occasions when musical learning or music making is to take place – including class music lessons, instrumental and vocal lessons, rehearsals, workshops and concerts. For ease of use, there are sub-headings for risks that apply to all musical activities (noise, moving and handling and other associated risks such as repairs, electrical issues, environment, posture, sharing instruments, behaviour), and for those that apply specifically to musical activities taking place beyond the normal school day or those involving external providers (vetting, lone working, public events and off-site activities).
Please note: the risk assessment is deliberately designed to cover nearly all eventualities. Most are therefore about common sense, and will already be covered by sensible, day-to-day practice. Where this is not the case, or the risk assessment acts as a memory-jogger with regard to a particular issue, action should be taken to ensure that the recommended control measures are incorporated into daily routine.
Therefore, the process for completing the risk assessment should be:
Confirm the list of hazards (and add any extras not already included)
Check the control measures are in place, and remove those that do no apply
If new actions are required (i.e. studying external guidance for specific issues), staff must be given appropriate time / resources to complete / implement the recommendation
Once completed, taking into account the relevant risks for their institution, the musical activities risk assessment should be reviewed at least every three years
Monitoring form for conducting an audit of health and safety in music – in addition to the risk assessment, all schools should complete this health and safety monitoring form and subsequently review it annually. Hampshire County Council will monitor schools each year randomly and would expect to see the completed musical activity risk assessment and monitoring forms.
Despite the use of effective risk control, accidents still happen. The above guide provides easy to read steps to assist managers and staff in the event of any accident, incident or near miss. It lists the immediate and secondary actions required, the type of reporting required, the investigation requirements and even includes links direct.
Hampshire Music Service may be able to answer general queries, and can be contacted directly via email: email@example.com or tel: 023 8065 2037
Hampshire Scientific Service can provide, on loan, equipment to check sound levels and may be contacted directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 023 9282 9501
Where additional or specific health and safety advice and support is required, the Children's Services Health and Safety Team should be contacted directly via email: email@example.com or tel: 01962 876220