The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) requires education employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees and non-employees - including any students with disabilities and/or students with SEN/ASN. This has to be balanced with the Equality Act in a way that ensures the rights of each group are maintained. Getting this balance right means employees and students are not exposed to an unacceptable level of risk, in a way that is consistent with employers’ duties concerning students under the Equality Act; and all without placing any unreasonable restrictions on students’ rights.
A sensible, proportionate risk management approach should help enable all students in mainstream education to have the same opportunities. Working together with all concerned – workers, students and carers, it may involve making reasonable adjustments. The risks to health and safety to workers and students need to be reduced so far as is reasonably practicable. This does not mean removing all risk: It means following the guidance, good communication between all parties involved and providing sensible pragmatic precautions.