This guidance is designed to facilitate good thinking in relation to developing a robust and effective safeguarding culture. It is written as a thought piece, and offers a way of thinking that establishes your organisation’s approach. It will enable you to create your own, personalised checklist of actions to keep you and the young people you’re working with safe, and to manage risk well, as well as provide you with a set of suggested first 10 steps. It is not designed to tell you about the general aspects of establishing a youth group.

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Youth work organisations will regularly use, provide, and come into contact with substances which could be ‘hazardous to health’ and should therefore be aware of the potential risks.

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The term manual handling covers a wide variety of activities including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling and carrying, all of which present a risk of injury if not managed appropriately.

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A health and safety policy provides a youth work organisation the opportunity to detail what it will do to manage health and safety, and how it will make youth programmes safe. 

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Youth work organisations and workers must be prepared and know what to do if faced with an emergency or critical incident i.e. a situation that overwhelms the immediate staff team and requires the wider support of the organisation and/or external support services.

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Youth work organisations use a range of different venues for delivering their services. The venue itself is a key part of the overall safety management system so advance planning is required.
When using residential venues that are not owned or managed by the youth work organisation, workers should ensure that procedures are in place to manage the safety and wellbeing of young people and workers at the venue.

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Fire safety should always be of paramount concern. Youth work organisations should ensure that all workers, volunteers and young people are aware of fire safety and evacuation procedures relevant and specific to the venue, setting and activity.

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Youth work organisations should give particular consideration to road transport safety. Travelling in various means of transport is likely to be one of the higher risk activities involved in the delivery of youth work services. This guidance focuses upon private hire and self-drive road transport and not other methods such as rail, air or ferry. Safety should always be considered when planning transport but other factors will also need consideration such as convenience, cost, health benefits (i.e. walking or cycling) and environmental impact (i.e. use of public transport). All national and local regulations must be adhered to at all times.

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The information included within this resource applies to any equipment used during youth work activity, either by young people themselves or the workers who are with them. Information in this resource does not cover workers’ use of occupational work equipment. For example equipment used in office settings which young people do not have access to, or where a contracted third party may be operating machinery to set-up a site in advance of a youth programme i.e. to put up marquees or teepees.

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All youth work organisations, regardless of the extent to which they prepare or supply food, should consider and apply principles of good food hygiene and safety. Some organisations may qualify as a ‘food business’ and be subject to the regulations of the food industry (see section below for more details), but all organisations should be mindful of hygiene and safety principles as part of their general health & safety responsibilities.

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COVID-19 Readiness Level

Readiness Level

G

What does this mean?

** From 27th January 2022 we can confirm that the youth sector moves to GREEN in the readiness framework**

(Version 10)

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