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Special needs case studies

School playground equipment

The issue

New playground equipment needs to be installed.

What could go wrong?

Solutions/control measures

An assessment of the potential risks in relation to the playground equipment including students’ limitations, and whether the controls were adequate or in place was undertaken.

The following documents helped to identify solutions or control measures for each risk identified:

Hazards Issues to consider People at risk Existing controls Standard to be reached Immediate/future actions

Play equipment

Did the equipment meet BS EN 1176 standard?

Students

New equipment not built to British and European standards

Ensure it is to BS EN 1176

Take out of use until manufacturer/ supplier  modifies the equipment in accordance with standards
Resilient surface

Did the resilient surface meet BS EN 1177 standard?

Did it meet the students’ needs?
Not suitable as risk of falls from heightEnsure it is to BS EN 1177 standards
Faulty equipment

Is the equipment adequately inspected and maintained?

Have findings been recorded?

Students None Manufacturer’s guidelines Equipment to be maintained and inspected as per the manufacturer’s guidelines and findings to be recorded
Supervision Is the ratio of employees to students adequate? Students Supervision is provided but does not take into account students’ limitations eg is student able to grip the fireman’s pole? Ensure there is adequate supervision that takes into account any student limitations, so that equipment can be used safely. Review risk assessment

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Reasonable adjustments for a student returning to school with a broken leg

The issue

A student with a broken leg is due to return to school following a hospital stay.

What could go wrong?

Solutions/control measures

The individual's needs were assessed and reasonable adjustments made to the student's day. These included:

The student, relevant professionals and the carer all worked together in the assessment process.

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Special school - generic moving and handling assessment for students with profound and multiple learning difficulties

The issue

A teacher is required to repetitively lift students throughout the school day.

What could go wrong?

The teacher suffers an acute back strain and as a result is off work for six months.

Solutions/control measures

The school reviewed its approach and identified the repetitive lifting as a significant moving and handling risk to employees.  The risks were then avoided or minimised in a number of ways:

A number of employees, students and managers worked together to assess the risks; they established good communication systems and cultivated understanding and co-operation between all parties.

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Individual manual handling assessment for student with spina bifida

The issue

A student with spina bifida requires support when being transferred from a wheelchair to the toilet.

What could go wrong?

Solutions/control measures

The school assessed the risks involved, including the physical environment/accessibility.  This highlighted that a restricted workspace might affect the ability to assist a student properly.  The risks were avoided or minimised in a number of ways by the use of handling aids.  One such aid was a moulded plastic shell with an aperture for toileting, which could be used with a hoist.  Wherever possible, similar techniques to those used at home were employed.  

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Updated 2013-09-18