Design and Technology in Schools – Health and Safety Considerations

Design and technology (D&T) is a practical subject which allows students to learn about the design and manufacturing of products. It is a popular subject in schools, but it is important to be aware of the health and safety considerations involved.

Common D&T workshop  hazards

  • Sharp tools and equipment: D&T students use a variety of sharp tools and equipment, such as saws, knives, and lathes. It is important to ensure that students are properly trained in the safe use of these tools and equipment. 
  • Electrical equipment: D&T workshops also contain a variety of electrical equipment, such as power tools and machinery. It is important to ensure that all electrical equipment is properly maintained and that students are aware of the risks of electric shock. 
  • Hazardous materials: D&T students may also be exposed to hazardous materials, such as chemicals, paints, and solvents. It is important to ensure that students are aware of the risks associated with these materials and that they take appropriate precautions. 
  • Noise and vibration: D&T workshops can be noisy and dusty environments. It is important to ensure that students wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as ear defenders and goggles. 


Steps schools can take to manage health and safety risks in D&T workshops 

  • Risk assessment: Schools should conduct a risk assessment to identify all the potential hazards in their D&T workshops. Once the hazards have been identified, the school should implement controls to reduce or eliminate these risks. 
  • Training: All D&T staff should receive training on health and safety procedures. Students should also receive training on the safe use of tools and equipment before they are allowed to use them. 
  • Supervision: D&T workshops should be adequately supervised by qualified staff. 
  • Maintenance: All tools, equipment, and machinery should be properly maintained and inspected regularly. 
  • PPE: Students and staff should wear appropriate PPE when using tools and equipment or working with hazardous materials. 


Specific health and safety considerations for D&T students 

  • Age and maturity: D&T students can range in age from 11 to 18. It is important to tailor the health and safety training and supervision to the age and maturity of the students. 
  • Special needs: Some D&T students may have special needs, such as physical disabilities or learning difficulties. It is important to make sure that these students can participate in D&T safely and effectively. 
  • Mental health: D&T can be a stressful subject for some students. It is important to be aware of the signs of stress and to provide support to students who are struggling. 


D&T is a valuable subject that can teach students important skills. However, it is important to be aware of the health and safety considerations involved.  

The iProtectU health and safety software provides: 

  • An inspection and Audit App which allows for safety inspection of the workplace and associated report 
  • eLearning on a wide range of EHS topics 
  • Scheduling functionality for managers to send eLearning, risk assessments and documents out to all staff via the software with tracks completion and compliance 
  • Risk assessment template covering D&T in schools 
  • Management system to document control the policy on safety in the curriculum 
  • Method Statement module for the creation of working instructions 
  • Legal register that provides legislation guidance on safety in the curriculum 
  • Incident investigation module that tracks incidents involving D&T both with an app and via desktop 
  • Hazard observation app where staff can report and record any concerns regarding D&T equipment or tasks to the organisation 
  • Asset management App ensuring assets are recorded in the software 



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