Risk Assessment

for visiting groups

Education home pageLondon Canal Museum - home page


1. Preface

The museum is generally a safe environment but there are inevitably risks to child and adult visitors. The purpose of this document is to review those risks so that they can be managed successfully. An internal document covers our assessment of risks which are unrelated to visiting groups and these are not included.

Section 4 of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act places duties on the Trust in respect of the health and safety of persons not in the Trust's employment who may be affected by its activities. This includes our volunteers, visitors, and anyone else who comes into the Museum. The management of this responsibility requires risks to be assessed, and control measures put in place to eliminate or reduce them. The law recognises that some measures may not be worthwhile, as being not "reasonably practicable" i.e. the cost and difficulty of the control measure is disproportionate to the risk. In this document risks are assessed on the basis of likelihood and consequences, and a simple "high medium or low" measurement system is used.

Risk Assessment for School and Similar Groups

Hazard Thise Affected Control measures Potential consequences Residual Risk Notes
Fire All participants
  • Smoking is prohibited in the museum
  • Fire extinguishers are provided throughout the premises
  • Clearly signed fire escape routes are provided
  • Emergency lighting is provided
  • A fire alarm system with smoke detectors is provided, with a link to a control room who can alert the fire service
Death Low  
Slips/Trips/Falls All participants
  • Leader to point out hazards to other adults, including stairs and ramp
  • Ramp to be roped off while groups of children present
  • All adults to supervise children appropriately
  • Children to be encouraged to use hand rails when ascending/descending the stairs
  • Stairs to be illuminated unless well lit by daylight.
  • Spills cleared up immediately to avoid slippages
  • Trip hazards removed by staff
  • Access to ice well locked or fully controlled
Minor injury Low to Medium
  • First aid kits available, but groups are encouraged to bring their own and provide first aiders
  • Education Officer is qualified paediatric first aider.
Climbing/falling into ice well Children
  • All school groups and children are prohibited from descending into the ice well
  • Gate leading to ice well steps is kept locked.
  • Ice well void is securely fenced
  • All adults are to ensure that children are not allowed to climb on any fence.
Death Low  
Manual handling - wheelchairs Carers, wheelchair users
  • Carers/users to be shown the lifts for movement from floor to floor
Minor injury only Low  
Falling in the canal
  • Drowning
  • Leptospirosis
  • Injury due to hazards under water
All participants
  • Adults to supervise children at all times
  • Warning notices displayed on the rare occasions when the water surface is covered in weed, which can lead to the illusion of grass in the eyes of small children
  • No unsupervised access to boats - museum personnel must be present
  • Life-saving equipment is provided
  • Advice on Leptospirosis precautions is readily available
Consequences range from embarrassment to death.
  • Very low chance of death by drowning as rescue is relatively easy.
  • Very low risk of leptospirosis - staff will advice anyone who falls in on precautions.
  • Low risk of under-water hazards causing injury
Child protection risks Children
  • The museum has a child protection policy in place
  • Staff receive training in this area
  • Children are always to be supervised by teacher or other accompanying adult
  • Children remain in groups
Serious emotional or physical harm Low  
Electrical hazards All participants
  • Regular visual inspections of equipment
  • Any equipment giving cause for concern checked by competent person
  • Residual current devices are in place covering all circuits
  • Trailing leads to be taped down (or rubber protector used) to avoid equipment being damaged and trip hazard.
  • Equipment brought into the museum only used after inspection by a member of staff
Injury or death Low  

3. Notes

4. Special situation risk assessments

We have two special situation risk assessments that may be downloaded as PDF files. They cover factors that are particular to:

5. Going on Boats

Boat trips are fun, educational, and a new experience for many children. You may fear that they are dangerous but in fact accidents to children on such trips are extremely rare. London canal Museum does not operate any passenger boats. We act in an agency capacity to help you book boats from partner charities and they all have their own risk assessments. However we can offer some general information about the hazards of going boating. Effective supervision is of course the key measure that you need to take in ensuring the safety of children.

Top of page

Canal scene illustration