The management of Health & Safety in schools is the responsibility of the employer; be it the local authority, the governing body, proprietor or trust. Although it is a vast and complex subject to deal with, the Government stresses that health and safety measures should assist children in experiencing a wide range of activities, rather than preventing them.
Employers’ overall responsibilities broadly fall into three main areas: the risk to members of staff; the risk to pupils arising from school activities (on or off-site); and the risks to visitors and contractors.
Some of the most common areas of concern for safety within educational establishments include:
- Use of computers
- Falls from height
- Slips and trips
- Stress management
- Asbestos management (for schools built 1950s-1980s)
- Construction and maintenance
- Manual handling.
There are many myths about what Health and Safety Legislation allows and prohibits in relation to school activities, but common sense suggests that particular activities may carry more risk. These include:
- School trips
- Outdoor pursuits
- Science classes
- Design & technology workshops
- Building Construction
It is most likely that as an employer you would delegate specific areas of H&S management to key individuals, and in the main head teachers are responsible for the day-to-day management of H&S in schools. However, it’s essential to make sure that there is a clear statement of H&S responsibilities and that staff are adequately trained in the area they have been delegated.
Having effective health and safety management in your school will make sure that your legal duties as an employer are fulfilled, whilst maintaining a sensible and proportionate approach. At Park City we can take away the burden of health & safety. Your dedicated, highly qualified, professional consultant will manage and monitor your health & safety compliance, with regular site visits and delivery of all your required H&S policies. We also provide you with a 24-hour telephone and email helpline and can offer a whole range of training courses and e-learning to help your appointed staff undertake their responsibilities with confidence.
By using Park City’s outsourced Health & Safety Management for Education service you can reduce costs, free up time and lessen your exposure to risks.
We can offer you a free Health & Safety health check for your school – click here for more details.