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Health and Safety Policy

Health and Safety Policy

 

Rationale

Our school is the working environment for many groups of individuals and plays host to many others. It is important, therefore, that a safe environment is established in which children and adults can work together with confidence. It is the responsibility of the senior management team and governing body to ensure this is the case.

In order to promote this we must all take responsibility for being vigilant and be aware of possible risks. Children and adults should be encouraged to keep themselves and one another safe and share any concerns they may have swiftly and appropriately.

We must also, however, be aware of the need to keep a balance between security and safety and the maintenance of a comfortable, welcoming learning environment. This policy aims to address and provide guidance on this balance, identifying individual and group responsibilities.

 

Aims

  •       To provide a safe, secure and healthy working environment for staff and children 
  •       To encourage everyone to take responsibility for being vigilant and to be aware of possible risks whilst also feeling confident and comfortable within their environment

 

Objectives

  •       Be vigilant around the school premises for intruders finding a balance between challenge and confrontational behaviour
  •       Ensure there is sufficient information, instruction and supervision to enable all people and pupils to avoid hazards and to contribute to their own safety and health at work
  •       Maintain electrical equipment to an appropriate standard and ensure a safe environment for handling, storing and transporting items
  •       Administer appropriate procedures according to fire regulations
  •       Have procedures in place for the safe administration of medicines and for dealing with accidents and illness
  •       Have  a procedure in place for reporting faulty equipment and near misses
  •       Maintain regular checks of the building and safety and security
  •       Be aware of the pressures on teaching staff and the possible effects which stress may have
  •       Give guidance on lone working and personal safety 
  •       Give guidance on the use of images
  •       Inform about what should be done in a case of emergency

 

Informing people of this policy

New members of staff receive health and safety information as part of the induction policy.

 

Responsibilities of individual class teachers

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires governors and employees, according to their particular roles, to take the initiative on certain matters. The following list is a guide to the particular responsibilities that individuals have.

  1. Know the safety measures and arrangements to be adopted in their own working areas and ensure that they are applied
  2. Observe standards of dress consistent with safety and/ or hygiene
  3. Keep good standards of hygiene and cleanliness
  4. Know and apply the procedures in respect of emergencies
  5. Co-operate with other employees and the safety representative  in promoting  health and safety measures
  6. Report any hazard or breakage
  7. Follow health and safety instructions and use appropriate safety equipment and protective clothing
  8. Maintain safely tools and equipment
  9. Report any incidents, assaults or ‘near misses’
  10. Set a good example to the children in their care
  11. Supervise pupils and ensure that they know about emergency procedures and safety measures
  12. Ensure that pupils’ bags, coats and belongings are safely stowed away
  13. Include all relevant aspects of safety in the curriculum  according to the science and PHSE and C curriculum.
  14. Make parents/ volunteers aware of safety procedures in the classroom/ work area
  15. Give clear instruction and warning as often as necessary
  16. Ensure that relevant risk assessments are completed and followed
  17. Ensure that pupils are made aware of existing and new health and safety information.

 

Responsibilities of SMT

Those responsible for others should ensure that:

  •       Members of their team are complying with health and safety regulations
  •       New members of staff receive health and safety information as part of the induction policy.
  •       Draw the attention of the Head teacher to any breach of procedure amongst their team which cannot be dealt with
  •       Supply teachers, temporary staff and new members of permanent staff are made familiar with health and safety procedures
  •       The Head teacher or school site supervisor is informed of any difficulties that occur and that near misses and accidents are reported and recorded
  •       They set a good example to members of their team and children
  •       They keep an overview of the parts of the premises for which they are responsible
  •       They keep up-to-date with new pieces of advice relating to health and safety
  •       They keep an overview of equipment and substances kept in their areas
  •       They complete necessary risk assessments and check that members of their team complete them when necessary
  •       They implement existing policies and follow advice and instructions
  •       They ensure up-to date training to comply with current health and safety standards

 

Responsibilities of the Governing Body

  1. Ensure the high profile of health and safety in relation to financial planning, personnel decisions and in-service training
  2. Ensure that policies relating to health and safety are in place and updated regularly
  3. Enable a member of the governing body to have a  key monitoring role in relation to health and safety including a termly walk around the school building  with the site supervisor and Head teacher
  4. Approve as appropriate arrangements for residential trips according to LA guidelines
  5. Ensure that safety standards for purchased goods and equipment are met and that items offered for sale by the school are safe

 

Responsibilities of the Head Teacher

  1. To ensure that the school meets as far as is reasonably practicable, the requirements of the health and safety legislation
  2. To regularly review the safety and security of the school building during an annual Governors’ meeting
  3. To undertake risk assessments as and when required and review regularly
  4. To put into practice and monitor the procedures described in associated policies i.e. first aid, emergency, fire, reporting of defects
  5. To act upon referrals from employees
  6. To ensure staff and pupils comply with agreed procedures
  7. To record and inform relevant external agencies as and when appropriate
  8. To ensure access to this policy and other health and safety information as legally required
  9. Advise and inform the Governing Body as to health and safety practice, legislation and compliance
  10. To ensure that appropriate logs and records of incidents are completed and acted upon
  11. To ensure policies and employees are updated as to new legislation and guidance
  12. To ensure that employees have adequate training and information to enable them to act upon health and safety recommendations
  13. To ensure that temporary/ supply staff are informed of health and safety practice
  14. To report matters of health and safety to the governing body 
  15. To report on any audits/ inspections to the governing body and follow-up any necessary actions
  16. To ensure that procedures are in place to ensure the safety of contractors and hirers
  17. To make sure that  fire drills are held at least once per term and cover a variety of situations including the blocking of an exit, a child not registering and lunchtime evacuation
  18. To ensure that escape routes are kept clear and monitor on a daily basis for hazards and emerging issues effecting the health and safety of staff, pupils and visitors, immediately acting with a view to the highest priority the safety of all on site
  19. Ensure adequate first aid cover is provided
  20. Health and safety team to include staff, governors and school council carry out safety walks at least twice per year to identify potential issues and act on them

 

Responsibilities of visitors 

Regular visitors and other users of the school will be required to observe the safety rules of the school.  The Head teacher will ensure that visitors are informed of health and safety matters which may affect them during their visit.

Parents helping out in school will be made aware of the health and safety arrangements by the teacher who they are working with. 

 

The Governing Body and Head teacher have agreed that the following procedures/ codes of practice shall be followed within the school:

Defects 

  1. Any member of staff finding a defect in the building, furniture or equipment will take steps to remove the hazard or ensure that the risk is minimised and report the details immediately to the Site Manager or Head teacher
  2. The Site Manager, in consultation with the Head teacher, if necessary, will take steps to have the defect rectified, i.e. by  contacting property services via the hotline, school technical services or other competent contractor. Minor defects to be rectified by the site manager.
  3. Details of significant defects will be recorded by the site manager
  4. Any member of staff discarding a faulty item or electrical item must ensure this item is removed from the Electrical Appliance Inventory

 

Accident reporting

All serious accidents that occur on the site should be recorded on a Local Authority recommended accident form and the details forwarded immediately or as soon as is possible. All minor accidents should be reported in the minor accident book. Where necessary, parents/ guardians or other persons should be notified of the accident.

If the accident is serious, senior management should be informed immediately and action taken to ensure the location of the accident is still safe to use.

Electricity

Our school has opted into the Corporate Procurement service Package. The testing of portable appliances is arranged by the site manager as part of statutory testing. Registers are kept in the office itemising each appliance and details of tests carried out. Electrical items received or purchased by the school are recorded in the register by the Bursar or Stock Holder. All defective items are removed or repaired.

Staff should be vigilant for:

  •       Damage to plugs and switches
  •       Damage to leads
  •       Correctly fitted connectors
  •       Coloured insulation of the internal wires not showing at plug or appliance
  •       Damage to outer case of equipment
  •       Signs of overheating
  •       Signs of liquid spillage or entry of foreign materials, ventilation ports not blocked
  •       The appliance being used for the purpose it was designed for 

Pupils in years 5/6 are allowed to connect/ disconnect electrical equipment (under supervision),

COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)

Our school is alert to the need to limit the use of any hazardous substance and use alternative substances where possible. A file is kept in the site manager’s office which includes all cleaning materials. All COSHH materials have a data sheet which is kept in the site manager’s secure box.

 

Access equipment

Staff are reminded that they should only use approved equipment to put up displays and access higher level shelving. Consideration should be given to the appropriate clothing and footwear necessary. All possible risks assessed.

 

Risk assessments

Risk assessments must be completed whenever there is the possibility that a hazard or danger might be encountered as part of a school activity. A list of risk assessments and pro formas are kept in the school office. These are reviewed annually.

Staff should inform senior management if they notice that any risk assessment appears dated or does not deal with the potential risks encountered. It is important to note that expectant mothers should be risk assessed and every off-site visit should be risk assessed.

 

Manual handling

All members of staff should be aware of manual handling activities involved in their day-to-day activities i.e. the movement of bundles of paper, the reorganisation of classroom furniture, the moving of dinner tables, the carrying of books, the movement of audio/ visual equipment and musical equipment.

Children should be taught how to safely move P.E. equipment. They should not be required to move heavy objects and should only move awkward objects with appropriate supervision.

Staff are reminded about correct posture when lifting and carrying equipment. All staff should alert senior members of staff if they feel that an action they are involved with is having an affect on their physical health and well-being.

 

Educational visits

Off-site educational visits are an important part of school life. Children benefit enormously from the opportunity to experience residentials and ‘days out’ at selected venues. However, it is crucial that these visits are prepared well in advance, that risk-assessments are completed and that parents, LA and school staff are involved in the preparation.

Our school has a trained Educational Visits Co-ordinator who is known to staff. She will help support the planning process of a school visit and will give advise where needed. Necessary arrangements, information and preparation are to be completed by the line manager responsible for the children experiencing the visit.

Pre-site visits are always recommended in order that staff can feel sure about potential risks involved and prepare alternative arrangements in the case of inclement weather. Staff should also consult with colleagues who have previous experience of the venue or children involved.

All residential visits need approval from the LA and governing body.

Further details are included in our ‘educational visits policy’.

 

Students in School

We accept students who are training to become teachers and teaching assistants. In order to make sure that their experience is beneficial it is important to:

- ensure an appropriate match between the student and the activity

- ensure appropriate supervision at all times

Teaching students are co-ordinated by the Assistant Head teacher. Their school based mentor and class teacher are responsible for ensuring their induction and mentoring them whilst on site. Teaching assistant students are co-ordinated by a qualified teaching assistant who ensures their induction. Day to day management lies with the teachers and teaching assistants in the placement year groups.

 

PE equipment

The PE equipment is inspected annually. The PE co-ordinator is responsible for overseeing this inspection and for keeping a regular check of whether equipment is fit for purpose. Any significant findings must be reported to the site manager.

The PE policy outlines procedures for safe use of equipment. Careful consideration should be given to the use of apparatus. Staff should be particularly alert to the use of equipment with children with behavioural needs or disabilities. It may be necessary for additional TA support to be given where there are concerns. Risk assessments are carried out for all areas used for P.E.

 

Contractors and visitors

All contractors and visitors entering the premises are required to sign in and wear a visitors’ badge. They are alerted to important health and safety information. In addition, contractors are advised about the location of asbestos and asked to sign to acknowledge that they have received this information.

 

Asbestos

An asbestos register is available and shown to contractors prior to work beginning. This should be signed to confirm. An asbestos risk assessment is available. Further information is contained in the LA asbestos policy.

 

Fire

Fire drills are held termly and will on occasion include:

- the blocking of an exit

- the removal of a child to test effectiveness of register checks

- lunchtime drills

 

Responsibilities during fire drill

Head teacher/ deputy head teacher

Supervision of evacuation

Evaluation of procedures

Training and guidance

Administration  assistant/ member of office staff

Calling the fire brigade

Teachers (teaching assistant/ mid-day supervisor)

Roll call

Take absence books outside

Office staff

Registers

Checking visitors

 

Responsibilities for class teachers (or teaching assistant/ mid-day supervisor if class teacher not onsite)

During the first day of school all class teachers should explain to children what the procedure is should the fire bell sound. This should include information about:

  •       Fire exit to be used
  •       Assembly point
  •       Action on discovering a fire
  •       Keeping gangways clear

 

Fire exit to be used – is the nearest available exit. Please also make note of alternative exits should this one be blocked.

Assembly point – is on the front playground standing in registration groups. Where children have been in sets or working in other groups, they should return to their registration group for roll call.

Action on discovering a fire – children inform someone immediately and should never try to put a fire out themselves.

Keeping gangways clear – children should be reminded about hanging coats and bags out of the way

Reporting – registers will be taken out on to the playground by office staff and handed over to class teachers. Once the register has been checked teachers should let the head teacher know that the class are all present. 

The same procedure will be used in the event of any other emergency where evacuation of the school building is needed. For further information see ‘Emergency procedure’ document. This also provides information about the notification of staff, parents and LA in the event of school closure.

 

Tests and checks

Daily

(site supervisor)

On arrival

Exits and routes to remain unobstructed

Exit doors unlocked

Main fire panel working

On leaving

Electrical equipment disconnected or switched off

Exit and windows adequately secured

All fire doors closed

Weekly

(site manager)

Test fire alarm systems and record in caretaker’s log

Test one alarm each week on a rota

Monthly

(site manager)

Check extinguishers are in the correct place

Check emergency lighting and record in log

Termly

(the headteacher)

Fire drill – on occasions to include the blocking of an exit, removal of a child and lunchtime evacuation Fire notices are contained in each room.

Six monthly

(statutory testing)

Check emergency lighting and record in log

Annually

(landlord)

 

Statutory testing

Test fire alarm system

Check door closers all in order

Annual inspection of fire extinguishers

 Check emergency lighting and record in log

 

Lone working and personal security

The LA, as a responsible employer, does not expect any employee to go into a dangerous situation for which he/ she is not prepared. If you think you may be exposing yourself to danger in entering a building or site you should not do so.

 

Key holders responding to an alarm

Please note:

  •       Always assume an alarm is genuine
  •       If possible, speak to anyone who has drawn your attention to the alarm or incident to find out if they have any information about what may be happening
  •       Take a torch and  a personal attack alarm with you
  •       Take a mobile phone
  •       Look outside your own home before going out in case someone is watching you leave
  •       Tell someone where you are going and how long you are likely to be

 If police are attending the incident then wait for the police to arrive before entering the site.

 If the police are not attending:

  •       Never confront an intruder or approach or enter a building if you think an intruder may be in there. Call the police and wait outside
  •       Do not enter or approach a building on your own if you are concerned for your safety
  •       Check from outside of the school and at a distance to see whether there are any signs of an intrusion
  •       Check whether there are any unexpected vehicles in the area
  •       Make sure you have a mobile phone to summon help if necessary

 

Staff working alone in the building

If you are working alone in the building or in an isolated situation, take the following precautions:

  •       Tell somebody where you are and what time you will be home
  •       Ensure that entrances are secure – ensure that the main entrance is bolted and that you can get out of another door in case of an emergency without using a key
  •       If you are the last member of staff to leave ensure that the door through which you leave locks behind you
  •       If anyone suspicious attempts to enter the building or you see or hear anything suspicious contact the police using the telephone in the headteacher’s room, main office or mobile phone
  •       Always be alert when leaving the building

 

Key holders managing lettings

  •       As far as possible only open up the part of the building which has been hired
  •       For locking up, return to the building before the hirers leave
  •       Check the areas for any hidden intruders before the hirers leave

 

Leaving an empty building

  •       Carry out locking up and security checks from the inside of the building wherever possible
  •       Start the locking up process while there is still staff inside the building
  •       Set all alarms
  •       Always be on the alert when leaving an empty building in case someone is waiting for you to do so

 

In the event of trespassers

Where a person is not immediately recognised as having legitimate reason to be on the school grounds they should be politely asked if they need any help. Assuming the person seems to have a valid reason they should be directed towards the office where they will be asked to sign in and out and be given a visitor’s badge.

If it emerges that the person has no right to be on school premises then 

  •       They should be asked to leave by the nearest exit and observed until they do so
  •       The most senior member of staff available should be informed

If an intruder refuses to leave becomes abusive or seems to present a threat to the safety of others the police should be called without delay.

If you feel in anyway threatened do not approach but find a safe place and call the police. Don’t try to physically remove trespassers from the site or engage in arguments with them. Make your point, withdraw and call the police.

 

In the event of a break in on site

Remember personal safety is far more important than the protection of property. 

  1. Ensure that if children are still on site any available barriers e.g. magnetised doors, are put into operation
  2. Alert colleagues who should call emergency services and seek assistance
  3. Monitor the intruders and check their progress

 

In the event of an abusive parent/ adult

Make sure any meeting with any adult whom you suspect may turn abusive is conducted in a room that can easily be monitored and with members of staff within easy reach. It may be appropriate to request that an additional member of staff meets with the parent depending upon circumstances.

Should a parent/ adult become abusive they should be asked to leave the premises in a calm and non-threatening way. It might be appropriate for a member of staff to alert the police should the adult refuse to leave or if their behaviour is causing concern in any way.

If any incident has occurred an incident form should be completed and it may be necessary to inform the governors and/ or LA for further action to be taken. Make sure you attend to your own emotional needs following any incident and seek help and support if necessary. In the case of an employee support should be offered following an incident.

 

In the event of it being suspected that a pupil is carrying a weapon

As a general rule, the police should be called to deal with any incident believed to involve a weapon. There may be exceptions where the circumstances appear to be wholly innocent and the matter can be dealt with on a disciplinary basis. If in any doubt, call the police.

In exceptional circumstances staff may decide that they need to take action before the police arrive. Where possible, staff should not confront a pupil in the presence of other pupils. Preferably two or more members of staff should divert the pupil or person to a place where no other pupils are present.

 

Reporting Incidents

Use an incident form to report all incidents, however minor, including all alarm responses and all trespass incidents. In addition, any occurrence where individuals are, or feel threatened must be reported to the police and the LA, as it is a serious matter. Use the official accident report form for this purpose and return it to the LA immediately.

 

Approved and accepted by governors September 2009.  Reviewed and accepted by governors September 2011.


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