Thousands of teachers are gearing up for the start of term, checking and prepping classrooms for the arrival of students.
Safety is paramount in schools and the classroom is no exception. A review of risk management should be completed in school and to help academic professionals, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has developed a checklist, through a public consultation, to help schools comply with health and safety law.
Members of staff can use the checklist to help ensure ordinary classrooms meet minimum health and safety standards and it is ideal for class teachers, teaching assistants, premises staff or department heads.
Topics covered in the checklist include:
Movement around the classroom
Working from height
Furniture and Fixtures
Electrical equipment and services
Ventilation and heating
The HSE provides comprehensive guidance for prevention of accidents in a number of situations. It states: “The checklist is a tool for school staff to raise awareness of areas of concern in a classroom. Employers in the education sector, whether they are a local authority, governing body, trust or proprietor, have wider responsibilities under health and safety law.
“This checklist covers the most common areas of concern/risk in ordinary classrooms but is not exhaustive. It does not cover drama and sports facilities or specialist classrooms, including laboratories, art, IT, design and technology facilities or pupil referral rooms.”
The HSE says the checklist can be used at the start of a term to provide reassurance to teaching staff that the most common areas of risk in the classroom are being adequately controlled.
Click here for a copy of the checklist.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) also has guidelines for schools ‘Managing safety in schools and colleges’, which is designed to help schools and colleges understand the importance of managing health and safety.
ROSPA states: “Our approach is that we should endeavour to make schools as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible.”
Download the brochure here
Additional useful links: