Health and Safety Statement
Darrara National School
The Board of Management brings to the attention of its staff the following arrangements for safeguarding the safety, health and welfare of those employed and working in the school in compliance with the 2005 Health and Safety Act.
2. Board of Management Philosophy
The Board of Management recognises and accepts not only its statutory responsibilities, but also its obligations as an employer to direct, manage and achieve, in so far as is reasonable and practicable, the Safety, Health and Welfare at work of every employee, pupil and visitor to the school.
The Board of Management believes that each employee accepts his or her legal and moral responsibilities for improving and maintaining safety, health and welfare in the workplace and for personal safety, health and welfare or that of others.
This policy requires the co-operation of all employees. It shall be reviewed annually or more frequently if necessary, in the light of experience, changes in legal requirements and operational changes. A safety audit shall be carried out annually by the Safety Officer and the Board of Management Safety Officer and a report made to staff.
4. Safety Officer
The principal is the Safety Officer. She shall be responsible for overseeing the safety provisions on behalf of the school. Ms Yvonne Walsh is the Staff Safety Representative elected under the provision of the 2005 Health and Safety Act. They should be consulted if any of the employees have queries regarding any of the safety provisions mentioned in this statement.
The Safety Officers shall make the Board of Management aware of their duties with regard to the following:
a) To guide and advise on all health, safety and welfare matters.
b) To ensure that the school fulfils all statutory requirements in respect of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989.
c) To ensure that the appropriate safety education and training are co-ordinated and carried out using both in house and external resources.
d) To undertake regular and appropriate revision and auditing of the school safety procedures and methods of operation, to ensure that they are kept up to date.
e) To ensure that adequate fire protection and prevention measures are provided.
The Safety Officers shall investigate all accidents and dangerous occurrences and shall ensure that appropriate statutory notification procedures are properly completed. Causes of accidents shall be determined as far as is practicable and where, appropriate, remedial action shall be specified.
5. General Safety:
The Board of Management of Darrara National School recognises that its statutory obligations under legislation extends to employees, students, to any person legitimately conducting school business, and to the public. The Board of Management wishes to ensure that as far as is reasonably practical:
• The design, provision and maintenance of all places in the school shall be safe and without risk to health.
• There shall be safe access to and from places of work.
• Plant and Machinery may be opened safely in so far as is possible.
• Work systems shall be planned, organised, performed and maintained so as to be safe and without risk to health.
• Staff shall be instructed and supervised in so far as is reasonably possible so as to ensure the health and safety at work of its employees.
• Protective clothing or equivalent shall be provided as is necessary to ensure the safety and health at work of its employees.
• Plans for emergencies shall be complied with and revised as necessary.
• This statement will be continually revised by the Board of Management as necessity arises, and shall be re-examined by the Board on at least an annual basis.
• Employees shall be consulted on matters of health and safety.
• Provisions shall be made for the election by the employees of a safety representative.
The Board of Management of Darrara National School undertakes to ensure that the provisions of the safety, Health and welfare at Work Act 1989 are adhered to.
6. Duties of Employees
The attention of employees is drawn to the following duties of persons employed as laid down in Section 9 off the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989.
(a) to take reasonable care for his/her own safety, health and welfare, and that of any person who may be affected by his/her acts or omissions while at work.
(b) To co-operate with his/her employer and any other person to such extent as will enable his/her employer or the other person to comply with any of the relevant statutory provisions.
(c) To use in such manner so as to provide the protection intended, any suitable appliance, protective clothing, convenience, equipment or thing provided (whether for his/her lone use or for use by him/her in common with others) for securing his/her safety, health or welfare at work.
(d) To report to his/ her employer or immediate supervisor without unreasonable delay, any defects in plant, equipment, place or work, or system of work, which might endanger safety, health or welfare of which he/she becomes aware.
No person will intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse any appliance, protective clothing, convenience or other means or thing provided in pursuance or any of the relevant statutory provisions or otherwise, for securing safety, health or welfare or persons arising out of work activities.
Hazards shall be divided into two categories. Those which can be rectified will be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Those that cannot will be clearly indicated and appropriate procedures listed beside them. All hazards shall be eliminated in so far as resources and circumstances allow.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that:
(i) The Board of Management will ensure that an adequate supply of fire extinguishers, suitable for the type of fires likely to occur in each area, is available, identified and regularly serviced by authorised and qualified persons. Each fire extinguisher shall have instructions for its use and the Board of Management will ensure relevant employees will be provided with training in the safe use of the equipment.
(ii) The Deputy Principal will ensure that fire drills shall take place at least once a term.
(iii) Fire alarms shall be clearly marked. (Responsibility of Safety Officer)
(iv) Signs shall be clearly visible to ensure that visitors are aware of exit doors and routes. (Staff Safety Representative)
(v) All doors, corridors, and entries shall be kept clear of obstruction and shall be able to be opened at all times from within the building. Each teacher who has an exit in her classroom must ensure it is kept clear. P.E. hall and main door. Principal will see they are free of obstruction.
(vi) A plan of the school shows assembly points outside the school. (Staff Safety Representative)
(vii) Assembly areas are designated outside the building, and the locations specified. (Staff Safety Representative)
(viii) Exit signs shall be clearly marked. (Staff Safety Representative)
(ix) All electrical equipment shall be left unplugged when unattended for lengthy periods and when the building is empty. Teachers are responsible for their own classroom. The secretary/Principal, as appropriate, is responsible for the office. Staff room is every teacher’s responsibility.
(x) Bottled gas shall be stored in a secure place in such a manner as to minimise the danger of explosion in the case of fire.
(xi) Principal and Deputy Principal shall be responsible for fire drills and evacuation procedures.
(xii) All recommendations made by a Fire Officer in addition to these provisions shall be implemented.
The following hazards (in so much as can be identified) are considered by the Board of Management to be a source of potential danger and are brought to the attention of all concerned.
1. Wet corridors
2. Climbing frames
3. Gas tanks
4. Trailing leads
5. Typewriters, Computers
8. Fuse Board
9. Electric kettles
10. Boiler house
12. Excess gravel on school yard
13. Protruding units and fittings
14. Flat roof of hall and flat roof of school
15. External store to be kept locked
17. Slabs around perimeter of school
18. Garden stores
19. Icy surfaces on a cold day
20. Mats in hall
21. Windows opening out
22. Carpet lifting in areas
23. Goalposts on the pitch
24. Basketball posts without protective padding
25. During inclement weather the Board of Management reserves the right to keep the school closed if it is felt that there is a risk to staff and pupils by travelling to or attending school.
To minimise these dangers the following safety/ protective measures must be adhered to (also see duties of employees section of this document):
(a) An annual audit is carried out inspecting furniture, floors, apparatus, equipment and fittings. (Safety Officer and Staff Safety Representative to complete in every June)
(b) Access to and operation of plant/equipment is restricted to qualified members of the staff, whose job function is that of running, maintaining, cleaning and monitoring particular items of plant in the course of their normal duties. Copies of this Safety Statement will be sent to all contractors prior to contract by the Principal/Board of Management. Any other contractors entering the school must be shown a copy of the schools Safety Statement and shall adhere to its provisions.
(c) In addition, all such plant and machinery is to be used in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.
(d) Where applicable the Board of Management will ensure that members of the staff will have been instructed in the correct use of plant, machinery and equipment.
(e) All machinery and electrical equipment are fitted with adequate safeguards.
(f) Precautionary notices, in respect of safety matters are displayed at relevant points.
(g) Ladders must be used with another person’s assistance.
(h) Avoid use of glass bottles where possible by pupils. Remove broken glass immediately on discovery.
(i) Board of Management will check that floors are clean, even, non-slip and splinter-proof.
(j) Principal and teachers will check that PE equipment is stacked securely and is positioned so as not to cause a hazard.
(k) Check that all PE and other mats are in good condition. (all teachers before use)
(l) Check that wooden beams, benches etc. Are free from splinters and generally sound. (all teachers before use)
(m) Check that vaulting horses, beams and benches are stable and do not wobble when in use. (teachers before use)
(n) Check that there are no uneven/broken/cracked paving slabs. (Safety Officer)
(o) Will check that roofs, guttering, drain pipes etc as far as can be seen are sound and well maintained. (Safety Officer)
(p) Check that manholes are safe. (teacher on duty)
(q) Check that all play areas, especially sand pits, are kept clean and free from glass before use. Check the play areas are ice free. (teacher on duty)
(r) Check that outside lighting works and is sufficient. (Safety Officer)
(s) Check that all builder’s materials, caretakers’ maintenance equipment, external stores etc are stored securely. (Caretaker and Safety Officer.)
(t) Check that refuse is removed from building each week and is carefully stored outside. (Senior room teacher)
(u) All video display units should have a screen in front of the computer.
Machinery, Kitchen equipment, Electrical appliances.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that machinery, kitchen equipment and electrical appliances are to be used only by competent and authorised persons. Such appliances and equipment will be subject to regular maintenance checks.
1. Electrical Appliances
Arrangements will be made for all appliances to be checked on a regular basis at least annually by a competent person (i.e.) maintenance person, the supplier or his agent. Before using any appliance, the user should check that:
• All safety guards which are a normal part of the appliance are in working order
• Power supply cables/leads are intact and free of cuts or abrasions.
• Unplug leads of appliances when not in use.
• Suitable undamaged fused plug tops are used and fitted with the correct fuse.
• Follow official guidelines issued by the Health and Safety Authority.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that all chemicals, photocopier toner, detergents etc be stored in clearly identifiable containers bearing instructions and precautions for their use and shall be kept in a locked area, and protection provided to be used when handling them. (Secretary/Cleaner/Principal where appropriate).
3. Drugs And Medication
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that no drugs, medications, etc be kept on the premises.
4. The Code of Conduct
The code of conduct and Dignity in the Workplace statement provides for a level of appropriate behaviour to minimise personal risk or stress to any employee.
The Anti-Bullying Policy is a stand-alone policy, which provides a framework for dealing with instances of bullying among pupils. The procedures for dealing with Adult Bullying are in accordance with the INTO publication ‘Working Together: Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations (2000)’ and our ‘Dignity at Work Statement’.
6. Access to Employees is by Consent
When an employee feels at risk from or threatened by a particular person on school property, this must be drawn to the Board of Management’s attention. The Board of Management will undertake to ensure that in such circumstances all appropriate measures will be taken to protect employees.
To ensure the continued welfare of the staff and children, toilet and cloakroom areas are provided. A Staffroom separate from the work area is provided, where tea and lunch breaks may be taken. Staff must co-operate in maintaining a high standard of hygiene in this area.
A high standard of hygiene must be achieved at all times. Adequate facilities for waste disposal must be available. An adequate supply of hot and cold water, towels and soap and sanitary disposal facilities must be available.
Members of staff and students are reminded:
(a) A person who is under medical supervision or on prescribed medication and who has been certified fit for work, should notify the school of any known side effect or temporary physical disabilities which could hinder their work performance and which may be a danger to either themselves or their fellow workers. The school will arrange or assign appropriate tasks for the person to carry out in the Interim.
(b) Staff and students are not allowed to attend the premises or carry out duties whilst under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol. Any person found breaking this rule will be liable to disciplinary action.
8. Highly Polished Floors
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that every attempt will be made to avoid the creation of slippery surfaces. The washing of floors shall be conducted, as far as is possible, after school hours to eliminate as far as possible, the danger of slipping. Where floors are wet, warning signs regarding wet floors shall be used. Attention is drawn to the possibility of outside floors and surfaces being affected by frost in cold weather.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that the school shall be a non-smoking area to avoid hazard to staff and pupils of passive smoking.
10. Broken Glass
The Board of Management shall minimise the danger arising from broken glass. Staff are asked to report broken glass to the Principal so that it may be immediately removed.
11. Visual Display Units
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that the advice contained in the guidelines on the safe operation of visual display units, issued by the Health and Safety Authority be carefully followed. Any up-to-date information regarding hazards relating to the use of VDU’s will be studied and recommendations and directives implement
12. Infectious Diseases
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that all infectious diseases shall be notified and steps taken to ensure the safety of staff and students against all such diseases. The Board of Management will endeavour to minimise the risk by adherence to sound principles of cleanliness, hygiene and disinfection and have provided disposable gloves for use in all First Aid applications, cleaning tasks, etc. Toilets and washrooms shall be provided at all times with an adequate supply of water, soap, towels and a facility for the safe disposal of waste.
13. First Aid
It is the policy of the Board of Management of Darrara National School that a member of staff shall be trained to provide First Aid to staff and pupils. The Board of Management are responsible for organising this training.
All incidents, no matter how trivial and whether to employees or to students or to members of the public must be reported immediately to the person responsible for the hazard identified in the Statement or in the event that the accident/incident occurs in any other place to which that paragraph dealing with hazards does not relate to the Safety Officer. This is necessary to monitor the progress of safety standards and to ensure that the proper medical attention is given where required. An Accident Report File is to be maintained for the recording of all accidents and incidents by the Safety Officer.
The Safety officer will see to it that a properly equipped First Aid Box is available to staff at all times containing:
• sticking plasters
• Eye lotion (e.g.) medical grade saline solution only.
• Cotton Bandage
• Antiseptic Wipes
• First Aid Chart
• Ice/heat packs
Disposable gloves must be used at all times in administering First Aid
14. Collecting Children
(1) All parent/guardians/carers in the interest of safety must obey all signs upon entering the school grounds.
(2) Cars are advised to drive slowly on entering school grounds when collecting children.
(3) Those parking outside the school grounds are responsible for accompanying children to and from the school gates.
15. Educational Visits
Educational visits will be booked with a reputable, properly insured coach service with fully seat-belted coaches. We will aim for a ratio of ten pupils per adult (teacher or parent) but not more than fifteen. Every effort will be made to ensure the safety of the pupils at events or activities they are participating in, such as visiting the theatre, swimming pool, playground.
16. Visitors to the School
In as much as is compatible with the practical layout of the school premises, anyone entering the school premises shall be required to identify themselves to the Principal or the Secretary as relevant before gaining admittance to the school.
Any contractor should make direct contact with the Principal, or Vice Principal before initiating any work on the school premises. The contractor and his workmen shall not create any hazard, permanent or temporary, without informing the principal or his nominated agent and shall mark such hazard with warning signs or other suitable protection.
All outside facilitators, teachers, coaches etc. who are delivering workshops to pupils will do so under the supervision and direction of a teacher where possible. Any outside professionals working with children without such supervision must have appropriate qualifications and Garda vetting.
17. Wet Days
On wet days, children will be supervised indoors. The pupils stay in their classroom or in the hall, where they read, draw, play board games or chat. The teacher on duty will walk between the classrooms supervising the pupils.
18. Walking/Cycling to school
Written confirmation should be received from parents of children who are allowed to walk/cycle home from school without a parent or guardian.
19. Accident/Incident Reporting
All potential serious accidents, whether involving employees, pupils or members of the public must be reported immediately to the Safety Officer. This is necessary to monitor the progress of safety standards and to ensure that proper medical attention is given where required. An accident report file should be retained for recording of all such accidents.
Revision of This Safety Statement
This statement shall be regularly revised by the Board of Management of Darrara National School in accordance with experience and the requirements of the Health and Safety Act and the Health and Safety Authority.