Health and Safety and assessing risk are challenging areas for School Technology Departments. If you have ever asked your Education Authority Advisor which Health and Safety courses are a legal requirement - it is likely that he/she will not be able to give a straight answer. To be fair, the Department for Education have not stated categorically which courses Technology staff must take in order to be suitable qualified.

It is not unknown for an accident to take place in a school workshop. For this reason, Health and Safety must be the most important consideration for Design and Technology teachers. A Technology Department cannot rely on the experience of its staff especially when some members may be newly qualified. Health and Safety must be built into every lesson and this can only be achieved through the Department working together. Therefore, it is necessary that an atmosphere of health and safety permeates through the department and that this is reflected in the approach of all staff to teaching. For this reason WATT have developed a quality system aimed at establishing an ethos of Health and Safety in Design and Technology Departments.

The Health and Safety at Works Regulations, 1992, state very clearly that it is the duty of the employer to carry out suitable assessments of risks to employees and to other persons. In terms of the Technology Department this means that risk assessments must be carried out in order to protect both staff and pupils. The regulations state that competent persons must carry out risk assessments. They must be recorded and regularly reviewed/updated.

Risks to health and safety must be minimised as far as possible and this is the focus of the WATT Risk Assessment System.

The World Association of Technology Teachers recommends, Eamonn Durkan  a Design and Technology Association Consultant,  for Health and Safety training in Schools.
The World Association of Technology Teachers recommends, Health and Safety for School Children website, for Health and Safety information for Schools.
The World Association of Technology Teachers recommends, Phoenix Health and Safety
The World Association of Technology Teachers recommends, IOSH accredited Health & Safety e-Learning
The World Association of Technology Teachers does not recommend, European Education Consultants Ltd. On-line Health and Safety Management Suite.
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