How to start a new term safely

Safe Schools

School resumes in a few days but you’re confused about what to do about your safety performance this term. Yes?

Do you need to get safety right this term but you’re not sure where to start?

Not to worry. I usually do a 7-day challenge that I converted to a blog post but it’s always good to do something different. So I have worked on this article sharing 5 key things you should do as you start a new term. I know you will find it useful.

So happy reading.

1. Have a goal in mind

Your goal could be reducing accidents rate. It could also be getting all nursery teachers first aid trained or even the entire team.

Your goal really should be based on your needs.

What is giving you the greatest concern?

Do you have a health and safety policy?

Are your parents preventing you from reaching safety compliance?

Think it through and involve your team to help you set the right safety goals.

That said, safety compliance is a goal you all must hope to attain.

2. So what does it take to be safety compliant?

If you’ve been following our content or even have my book, you should have a good idea what this entails.

Everything starts from having a health and safety policy. It paves the way for other processes and policies to be created. You can get an editable template from us and get working on your policy fast.

You also need to have risk assessments for all your tasks, activities, processes and environment including classrooms, laboratories etc. So this means you should ideally have a good number of risk assessments to ensure every area that presents risks is assessed.

With risk assessments, you identity anything that can cause harm and introduce measures to eliminate or control them.

You also need to plan for emergencies especially things like fire, medical problems and even violent attacks. How do you manage and recover from such emergencies? You need to plan in advance, practise, practise and practise.

3. Plan for Maintenance

This is one thing many lack and do not plan for.

I have worked with many schools who think safety is a one-off thing.

Just get a policy, some fire extinguishers and we’re good to go. Wrong!

Your fire extinguishers need to be serviced every year. Some companies will do it 6 monthly but yearly is sufficient.

You first box contains materials that expire. Yes bandages and plasters expire😁. They need to be replaced.

Your staff need training and yearly/3-yearly refreshers depending on the course/training.

Your equipment need maintenance.

Electrical installations need safety checks and repairs.

The list of endless.

All these things cost money.

Have you got a maintenance plan in place? That is where budgeting comes in.

4. Have a Safety Budget

Everybody wants to be safe but nobody wants to do what it takes. This is something I have observed in all my experience as a Safety Practitioner both in Nigeria and in the UK.

Safety is not cheap. It costs money. Only people who are willing and dedicated to creating a safe school will be willing to spend what is required.

You must put a reasonable amount aside for safety. There really are no excuses.

Start by planning as I explained above and then identify what it costs to achieve your safety goals.

Just the same way you plan for resources, books and other things your school gets involved in. You can use same method to plan for safety.

What’s important is knowing what you need to plan for and what it will cost.

We know safety costs money and many can’t afford it.

The Total School Revolution is a cost effective program we introduced to help schools especially those with low income start taking action on safety. Registration is closed now but we will reopen during SAFEtober and it will cost more. You can register your interest here.

5. Get everyone involved.

One question people love to ask is – Who is responsible for safety?

The answer is usually Everybody 😁.

Who really is everybody? And why?

This everybody story cannot hold water if the head/owner of the business hasn’t put in any safety measures.

If you the business owner has done nothing, there is nothing “EVERYBODY” can do.

You start and carry everybody along. In your health and safety policy, you specify what everyone’s role is, get them trained, provide information and keep them updated.

I have delivered training where the head/owner thinks the training is for their staff only. Your staff have no decision making power so why do you think it’s just them that need the training?

If anything, the training receiving should start from management. If management are trained, it is easy to pass down information to other staff. It will be easy to get everyone else committed if management is seen to be doing their part and more.

Another thing is…

Many think only management need protection from hazards and things that can cause harm or injury.

Are the staff members not human beings?

Everyone in your school including your visitors and parents deserve to be protected.

Whatever measures you put in to protect management from injuries while in school, must be in place for staff and children.

Any staff or child who dies or gets injured in your school will make you look bad if it is down to ignorance or neglect.

Did you find this useful?
I have shared just 5 simple things you need to work on as you start a new term/session.

To recap:
– You need to plan for safety, not just with identifying a goal but also a budget and maintenance.

– Having a health and safety policy is very important and even a legal requirement in some countries.

– Eliminating or reducing risks can be achieved through risk assessments which is also required if you’re trying to ensure safety.

Is there anything you would add to this list?

Do you need help working on any of these or becoming safety compliant? Then please feel free to contact us. We can certainly help you!

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