The 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 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 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 Management of DCE 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.
- 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 Management of DCE 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 DCE 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Management of DCE 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 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 Management of DCE that:
- The 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.
- The principal will ensure that fire drills shall take place at least once every four months.
- Fire alarms shall be clearly marked.
- Signs shall be clearly visible to ensure that visitors are aware of exit doors and routes.(Staff Safety Officer)
- 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 his or her classroom must ensure it is kept clear.
- A plan of the school shall show assembly points outside the school.
- Assembly areas will be designated outside each building, and the locations specified.
- Exit signs shall be clearly marked.
- All electrical equipment shall be left unplugged when unattended for lengthy periods and when the building is empty. Teachers are responsible for their own classrooms. The secretary/manager, as appropriate, is responsible for the office. The staff room is every teacher’s responsibility. The cleaner should check this when cleaning.
- Any bottled gas shall be stored in a secure place in such a manner as to minimize the danger of explosion in the case of fire.
- The manager shall be responsible for fire drills and evacuation procedures.
- 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.
- Wet floors
- Trailing leads
- Craft materials such as scissors
- Fuse Board
- Electric kettles
- Ladders and steps
- Protruding units and fittings
- Construction work outside school
- Icy surfaces on a cold day
To minimise these dangers the following safety/ protective measures must be adhered to:
- Precautionary notices, in respect of safety matters are displayed at relevant points. Any ladders must be used with another person’s assistance.
- Avoid use of glass bottles where possible by students. Remove broken glass immediately on discovery.
- The Board of Management will check that floors are clean, even, non-slip and splinter-proof.
- An annual routine for inspecting furniture, floors, apparatus, equipment and fittings should be followed by the Board of Management Safety Officer and Staff Safety Representative.
- Check that there are no uneven/broken/cracked paving slabs outside the school, and warn students if any are discovered.
- Check that roofs, guttering, drain pipes etc. as far as can be seen are sound and well maintained.
- Management should check that outside lighting works and is sufficient.
- Management should check that any builders’ materials, caretakers’ maintenance equipment, external stores, etc., are stored securely.
- Management should check that refuse is removed from the building on a regular basis and is carefully stored outside.
- Care should be taken when using computer equipment; anyone unsure of how to use the equipment should seek help first.
It is the policy of the Management of DCE 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.
Arrangements will be made for all appliances to be checked on a regular basis at least annually by a competent person (i.e. maintenance worker, supplier, or supplier’s 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.
- Suitable undamaged fused plug tops are used and fitted with the correct fuse.
- They follow official guidelines issued by the Health and Safety Authority.
All leads should be unplugged when not in use.
It is the policy of the Management of DCE that all chemicals, photocopier toner, detergents, etc., be stored in clearly identifiable containers bearing instructions and precautions for their use, they shall be kept in a locked area, and protection shall be provided to be used when handling them. This is the responsibility of the secretary and the managers.
Drugs and Medication
It is the policy of the Management of DCE that all drugs, medications, etc., be kept in a secure cabinet, locked at all times, and the key kept in a separate and secure place. They should be used only by trained and authorised personnel.
To ensure the continued welfare of the staff and students, toilet and cloakroom areas 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 maintained at all times. Adequate facilities for waste disposal are available. An adequate supply of hot and cold water, towels and soap and sanitary disposal facilities are available.
Members of staff and students are reminded:
- 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.
- 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 Management of DCE 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 ground and surfaces being affected by frost in cold weather, and staff and students shall be reminded 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.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of DCE that the school shall be a non-smoking area to avoid hazard to staff and students of passive smoking. It is illegal to smoke in any public building and anyone in breach of this rule will be liable to a fine.
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 DCE 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.
It is the policy of the Management of DCE that all infectious diseases shall be reported and steps taken to ensure the safety of staff and students against all such diseases. The Management will endeavour to minimise the risk by adherence to sound principals 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.
It is the policy of the Management of DCE that a member of staff shall be trained to provide First Aid to staff and pupils.
- Notices are posted in the office and at Reception detailing:
- Arrangements for giving first aid.
- Location of first aid boxes.
- Procedure for calling ambulances, etc
- Telephone numbers of local Doctor, Gardaí, and Hospital.
- 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 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 is to be maintained for the recording of all accidents and incidents by the Safety Officer.
We will see that there is maintained in the school a properly equipped First Aid Box available to staff at all times, containing:
- sticking plasters
- Anti-histamine for Stings, etc.
- Disinfectant (e.g.) Savlon
- Eye lotion (e.g.) Optrex
- Antiseptic cream
- Cotton Bandage
- Cream for First Aid treatment of Burns
- Antiseptic Wipes
- First Aid Chart
Disposable gloves must be used at all times in administering First Aid