SCHOOL SAFETY STATEMENT

The Board of Management of Rathmichael Parish National School is committed to protecting the safety, health and welfare of all its employees, voluntary workers, pupils and visitors to the school (school users) insofar as is reasonably practicable.

The Board will determine and maintain appropriate policies on school safety, welfare and supervision for all school activities, whether taking place in or outside school premises. In order to fulfil this commitment the Board will identify and evaluate and then eliminate or reduce all hazards to which employees, pupils or other school users may be exposed.

The Board will follow the under noted procedure to identify and control risks:

  • Carry out a safety inspection of the school at least annually and identify any hazards that might expose any of the school users to risks of injury or property damage.
  • Implement a programme of risk assessment and reduction to eliminate or reduce the risks identified during these inspections.
  • Provide and maintain a safe system of work, including safe access and egress from the school, for all employees and school users, having regard to statutory requirements.
  • Provide as far as is reasonable, resources of time, personnel, training and finance necessary to support the safety standards adopted in the safety policy of the school.
  • Encourage and integrate a climate of safety and health into all school work and school activities.
  • Review the safety policy each year in May to repeat the safety inspection, update the policy, and take into account any changes in school activities or premises.
  • Consult with teachers, employees, voluntary workers and school committees on safety and health and supervision matters.
  • Make copies of the school safety policy available to employees, voluntary workers, school committees and any other persons who are entitled to see it.
  • Appoint, if deemed necessary by the Board, a school safety officer and/or obtain competent outside advice on safety and health issues.

This statement was discussed and approved by the Board on 11th Sept 2014

Signed: Chairperson of the Board

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Board is responsible for compiling, approving and maintaining the safety policy of the school and is also responsible for ensuring all employees, voluntary workers, committees, pupils, contractors and visitors are informed of and adhere to it.

The Board may, if they wish, appoint a school safety officer to carry out the safety audits and to monitor adherence to the agreed safety policy on a day to day basis.

The safety officer for this school is:

Peter Williams, who can be contacted via the Principal’s Office.

DUTIES OF THE BOARD

The Board and (if appointed) the safety officer have the following duties:

  • To ensure, as far as possible, the provisions of the school safety statement are observed on a day to day basis.
  • To ensure the Safety Statement is brought to the attention of all employees, voluntary workers, pupils, visitors and contractors and they act in such a way that their actions do not put either themselves or others in danger.
  • To ensure the Safety Statement is revised at least annually, and whenever necessary to reflect changes and developments in the school, and in health and safety regulation.
  • To organise and document the safety audit each year.
  • To ensure appropriate supervision is in place to monitor and control the school activities.
  • To establish an emergency evacuation procedure and ensure regular evacuation drills are practiced each term.
  • To ensure that all escape routes are properly marked, access to emergency exits is not obstructed and assembly points are clearly marked.
  • To ensure all employees and voluntary workers are given safety training appropriate to the risks to which they are exposed.
  • To investigate all accidents or near accidents to employees, voluntary workers, members of the public or pupils.
  • To ensure all accidents or near accidents are recorded in the school incident book and that remedial action is taken to prevent a recurrence.

DUTIES OF EMPLOYEES

Employees, voluntary workers and visitors, are required to co-operate and assist fully in the observance of and compliance with all the commitments in the school safety policy.

All school users have a duty to report any perceived hazard or dangerous practice to the Board or safety officer.

Although the primary responsibility for health and safety at school rests with the Board, it will be unable to reach its goals in this regard without the assistance and co-operation of all employees, pupils, committees, voluntary workers and visitors. Health and safety regulations recognise this and impose specific duties on all employees to support the Board’s efforts in maintaining safer working conditions.

Employees are also reminded of their own obligations under the regulations to preserve their own safety and of other school users.

Employees are entitled to appoint if they wish, a safety representative to co ordinate their views on safety matters, and to represent the other employees in any safety related discussions with the Board.

ANNUAL SAFETY AUDIT

A safety audit will be carried out at least annually of all school property, grounds and boundaries. The purpose of this audit is to identify potential hazards, state how they may be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level and to record the findings in a hazard identification sheet.

The school will be inspected each year in May to identify the hazards in

  • the perimeter, entrances and approaches
  • the play areas and grounds
  • the school buildings and services

The safety audit will consider the school activities, whether in or outside of the premises, or while travelling to school-organised events and identify the hazards that may arise.

FIRE SAFETY PLANNING

  • Extinguishers will be installed where necessary and serviced at least annually.
  • Emergency evacuation drills will be carried out each term.
  • All emergency exits will be checked and clearly marked.
  • Access to exits will not be blocked or obstructed.
  • All portable heaters, cooking and kitchen equipment and fixed heating and electrical installations will be checked and serviced annually.
  • All maintenance and cleaning tools and equipment will be checked and serviced annually and all chemicals, detergents and cleaning fluids will be kept only in clearly identified containers in locked storage.
  • Surfaces with potential for trips and falls such as broken steps, uneven surfaces, loose floor coverings, staircases, floors and playgrounds will be examined.
  • Determine where safety training needs exist for the reduction or elimination of risks.
  • Determine what personal protective clothing and equipment is necessary for the safer performance of employee duties.

 

SAFETY AUDIT REPORT

A written record of this safety audit will be prepared by the person(s) inspecting, submitted for the attention of the Board and a permanent record kept within the school safety policy file.

The safety audit report will include details of the following:

Premises inspected.

  • Date of inspection.
  • Details of who carried out the inspection.
  • Hazards identified and their risk of injury.
  • Remedial action(s) taken.

The report will be signed by the person(s) who undertook the inspection and counter signed by the Chairperson of the Board.

CONSTRUCTION, MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR WORK

The Board of Management recognises that particular hazards may occur when work of this nature is being carried out at the school.

General responsibility for regulating persons who undertake such work, whether contractor or direct employee, remains with the Board of Management.

When engaging any contractor the Board will:

  • Bring the requirements of this safety statement, insofar as it affects them, to the attention of the contractor.
  • Ensure the contractor is aware that he is required to comply with the school safety statement, and must do nothing that will compromise or oppose the school safety rules and evacuation procedures.
  • Advise the contractor of any special hazards or features at the school that might endanger his health or safety or of his employees.
  • Require the contractor to submit a copy of his site safety plan before any work starts. The contractor must prepare this in compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 1995 and it must deal specifically with such issues as curtailment of work when children are on breaks, regulation of incoming and outgoing vehicles, control of noise and dust, hours of work, times of access and exit, fencing and security of the work site and any other matter required to recognise the shared nature of the premises during the work.
  • Require the contractor, where hot work, cutting, welding or torched applications are to be carried on, to put in place a formal hot work permit system.

When engaging an employee to carry out such work the Board will:

  • Bring the requirements of this safety statement to the attention of the employee.
  • Ensure the employee is aware he is required to comply with the school safety statement, and must do nothing that will
  • compromise or oppose the school safety rules and evacuation procedures.
  • Advise the employee of any special hazards or features at the premises, or in the work he is required to do that might endanger his health or safety or of his employees.
  • Ensure the employee has adequate training to enable him to perform the work.
  • Ensure adequate protective clothing and equipment is provided and worn.
  • Ensure any equipment, ladders, machinery, and materials are in good condition and suitable for the work involved.

OTHER SCHOOL POLICIES

The Board of Management and the school also maintain policies and procedures relating to:

  • School hours, attendance and supervision
  • Holding and dispensing of medicine
  • Prevention of bullying and harassment of employees
  • Organisation and supervision of pupils when out on school trips.
  • Protection of children from physical, sexual and emotional harm .
  • Policy on violence in the school.

These policies and procedures have a direct bearing on the safety of pupils and teachers and are taken into account when the overall safety policy for the school is decided.

The details of these policies are set out in the school regulations, and observance of them is required in the same way as if they were reprinted as an integral part of this safety policy.

Details of these policies may be obtained from the school principal on request.