Health & Safety Policy

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.

This policy requires the cooperation 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 Board of Management Safety Officers and a report made to staff. All records of accidents and ill-health will be monitored in order to ensure that any safety measures required can be put in place to minimise the recurrence of such accidents and ill-health.

The Board of Management of Glenahulla NS 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.
  • Julie Willers has been elected by the employees as a safety representative for staff.

The Board of Management of Glenahulla NS 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 of Glenahulla NS undertakes to ensure that the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 are adhered to:

Duties of Employees

It is the duty of every employee while at work:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. To report to the Board of Management 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.

Employees using available facilities and equipment provided should ensure that work practices are performed in the safest manner possible (see section 9 of safety, health and welfare at Work Act 2005).

Consultation and Information

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS to consult with staff in preparation and completion of hazard control forms, to give a copy of the safety statement to all present and future staff, and to convey any additional information or instructions regarding health, safety and welfare at work to all staff as it becomes available. Health, safety and welfare at work will be considered in any future staff training and development plans.

Hazards

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.

Fire

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS that:

  1. 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.

  1. The deputy principal will ensure that fire drills shall take place at least once a term.

  1. Fire alarms shall be clearly marked. (Responsibility of Board of Management Safety Officer)

  1. Signs shall be clearly visible to ensure that visitors are aware of exit doors and routes.(Staff Safety Officer)

  1. 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.

  1. A plan of the school is on display which shows assembly points outside the school.

  1. Assembly areas are designated outside each building, and the locations specified.

  1. Exit signs shall be clearly marked.

  1. 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. Cleaner to check when cleaning.

  1. Principal and Deputy Principal shall be responsible for fire drills and evacuation procedures.

  1. 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. Stairs
  3. Trailing leads
  4. Computers/ iPads
  5. Guillotine
  6. Projectors
  7. Fuse Board
  8. Electric kettles
  9. Boiler house
  10. Ladders
  11. Wet leaves/ moss on yard
  12. Protruding units and fittings
  13. Fence around perimeter of school
  14. Maintenance stores
  15. Icy surfaces on a cold day
  16. Mats in hall
  17. Windows opening out

To minimise these dangers the following safety/ protective measures must be adhered to (see duties of employees)

Safety Hazards Risk Assessment Control Measures Review
Low  Medium High
Leaves on yard; slippery surface X Leaves are cleared by caretaker as required Monitor on an ongoing basis.
Spillages – slips and trips X Area is cleaned and caution given, wet floor warning sign displayed. Working satisfactorily
Running in corridor X ‘No running’ rule to be strictly enforced.  Teacher appoints leader to lead the class out of room and children are supervised. Working satisfactorily
Admission requests from pupils with history of violence in other schools towards pupils and staff. X Refuse/defer admission pending safety audit & professional advice. Monitor on an ongoing basis.
Children staying in at break time X Must have a written note to be kept out of yard Working well
Children being collected early from school X All children must be signed out on collection. Working well
Fire doors in school must be signposted X All fire doors are labelled Monitor on an ongoing basis.
Parking/ Traffic at the beginning and end of each school day X All staff informed of staff parking zones. Providing supervision to allow for staggered drop off and collection times. Works well most of the time.
Ice/Snow X First staff arriving to school early will salt/clear areas. Delayed roll call and text message to parents/ guardians. Working well.
ICT Equipment is subject to regular maintenance checks X Each teacher regularly inspects their ICT equipment and reports faults. Working well.
Accidents on yard X Teacher on duty/ SNA on yard will bring injured child to first aid area where they will be looked after. Please refer to Accident and Injury policy. Working well.
Access to/operation of Plant/equipment by qualified members of staff in the running, maintenance of particular items of plant. Plant to be used in strict accordance with manufacturers instructions and recommendations X Copy of this Safety Statement will be shown to all contractors and staff prior to contract by the Principal/BOM, who will adhere to its provisions.

Manual handling course completed by relevant staff.

Working well.
Machinery & Electrical Equipment X All equipment fitted with adequate safeguards. No problems
Precautionary Notices in respect of Safety Matters X Signs displayed at relevant points. No problems
Ladders X Use of ladder only with another person’s assistance.  No problems
Floor maintenance, level etc X Staff Safety Rep will check that floors are clean, even, non-slip and splinter proof. Working well
Storage/Condition of PE Equipment  X Active School’s Committee will check that PE equipment is in good condition and is stacked securely so as not to cause a hazard. Working well
Furniture, floors, apparatus, equipment and fittings X Annual routine inspection to be carried out by BOM Safety Officer and Staff Safety Rep To be implemented
Wooden benches, beams X Staff Safety Rep will check that all are free from splinters, are stable, do not wobble and are in good condition No problems
Roof, guttering, drain pipes etc X BOM Safety Officer will check that roofs, etc as far as can be seen are sound and well maintained. Maintained on a regular basis.
Manholes X Caretaker checks that manholes are safe No problems
Play area X Staff Safety Rep will check that all play areas are kept clean and free from glass before use. All staff check that front gate is locked before play. No problems
Outside lighting X BOM to check that outside lighting works and is sufficient. No problems
Caretaker’s maintenance equipment X Caretaking maintenance equipment to be stored securely in the shed. Working well
Refuse X Refuse is removed from school premises as required and is stored in wheelie bins in locked shed. Working well.
Cleaning agents and equipment   X Cleaning agents and equipment are stored in a locked cleaning storeroom.

Cleaning agents used as per manufacturer’s instruction.

Working well.
Electrical Store   X Remains locked unless in use. Access restricted and supervised at all times.

All work carried out by competent electrician.

Monitor on an ongoing basis.
Lift/ Lift Motor Room   X Access restricted and children supervised at all times. Working well
Stairs   X Clear rules for using stairs displayed on each stairwell and revised on a regular basis.

Age appropriate supervision.

Ensure handrail is held when using stairs.

All children file up and down stairs in an orderly manner.

Infant classes are located on ground floor.

Monitor on an ongoing basis.
Rats and mice X Monitored by professional pest control. Working well



The 2005 Act places strenuous responsibility on the Board of Management and its employees.  The Board has a duty to show that it has discharged its obligations.  However, the Act limits the responsibilities of the Board to do what is required to do as is “reasonably practicable”.  So the duties placed on the Boards of Managements are qualified by the term “reasonably practicable”.  This means that it is a matter of balancing the degree of risk against the time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty of the measures necessary to avoid it.  

This is similar to the concept of reasonable “Duty of Care” which exists in compensation cases. Boards of Management are obliged to play a key role in the management of Safety and Health in a school.  A competent person means someone who is able to give informed and appropriate advice on Safety & Health to management (rather than a person with technical knowledge). 

It is highly desirable that schools should cross reference the Safety Statement with other legal policies like the Code of Discipline and Admissions Policy.  If a school had to suspend/expel a pupil on the grounds of Health & Safety, both the Code of Discipline and the Health and Safety Statement would need to cross reference each other in relation to the proposed action.  If the school were to refuse admission to an applicant on the grounds of Health & Safety, both the Safety Statement and the Admissions Policy would need to be cross referenced with each other.  Relevant professional advice should be sought in such circumstances.



Constant Hazards

Machinery, Kitchen equipment, Electrical appliances.

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS 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.

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/her 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 in tact 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.

Chemicals

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS that all chemicals and detergents be stored in clearly identifiable containers bearing instructions and precautions for their use and shall be kept in a locked area (cleaner’s store), and protection provided to be used when handling them. (Caretaker/Cleaner/Principal where appropriate).

Drugs And Medication

See Administration of Medication Policy

Welfare

To ensure the continued welfare of the staff and children, toilets are provided. A Staff Room 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/ paper towels and soap and sanitary disposal facilities must be available. 

Members of staff and students are reminded:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Highly Polished Floors

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS 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, and staff and pupils shall be told to use handrails when going up or down stairs. Step edges shall be fitted with clearly marked edges of a non-slip nature wherever practical.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted within the school grounds.

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.

Visual Display Units

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS 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 implemented.

Infectious Diseases

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS that all infectious diseases shall be notified (as per HSE guidelines) 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.

First Aid

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Glenahulla NS that a member of staff shall be trained to provide First Aid to staff and pupils.

  1. Notices are posted in staffroom detailing:
  • arrangements for giving first aid,
  • location of first aid boxes,
  • procedure of calling ambulances etc….,
  • telephone numbers of local Doctor, Gardaí, Hospital.

  1. 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.

Staff will see that there will be maintained in the school a properly equipped First Aid Box available to staff at all times containing:

  • sticking plasters
  • Tape
  • Cotton Bandage
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Scissors
  • Vinegar (stings)
  • Icepacks 

Disposable gloves must be used at all times in administering First Aid

Access To 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 must make direct contact with the Principal before initiating any work on the premises and shall be shown a copy of the safety statement applying to the school and shall agree to its provisions.

While work is in progress, any noise shall be avoided wherever possible during school hours and shall at all times be reduced to the minimum necessary. The contractor and his/ her 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.

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 advised to accompany children to and from the school premises.

Revision Of This Safety Statement

This statement shall be regularly revised by the Board Of Management of Glenahulla NS in accordance with experience and the requirements of the Health and Safety Act and the Health and Safety Authority.

Signed on behalf of the Board of Management:

Chairman:_________________________________   Date:__________

Principal:_____________________ ____________   Date:___________

Safety Officer:_______________________________ Date:___________Nominee of BOM

Safety Officer:_______________________________ Date:___________Nominee of staff 

Policy statement in accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

Members of the Board of Management:

Chairman: Andrew O’ Regan

Board Members: Pádraig Fitzgerald; Canon Michael Leamy; Marie Sheehan; John Murphy; Jim Morrison; Robin Smith

Safety Officer: 

Staff Nominee: Orlaith Courtney Deputy Principal

Prepared by representatives of the Board of Management, in consultation with parents and teachers in accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare Act at Work Act 2005