Health and Safety Statement
[should be read in conjunction with COVID Response Plan]
St Patrick’s GNS, Hollypark
Policy ratified: April 2019
Signed: Margaret Keane
At the time of drawing up this policy, all details and the enclosed information are correct. It is possible that between now and the review date, changes may have to be made to the provisions, policies and procedures of the school. This may be due to external changes required by the Department of Education and Skills, the school patron or other agencies. Mandatory policies will be available on the school website and up to date information will be posted regularly.
This document has been prepared in compliance with The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. It has been formulated by the Principal who is the Safety Officer and by the Safety Representative in consultation with a Health and Safety committee.
Board of Management Philosophy
The Board of Management recognises and accepts not only its statutory responsibilities, but also its obligations as an employer to direct, manage and achieve, in so far as it is reasonably practicable, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work of every employee, pupil and visitor to the school.
The Board of Management expects that each employee accepts his or her legal and moral responsibilities for maintaining and improving safety, health and welfare in the workplace and for behaviour, which does not jeopardise the individual’s personal safety, health and welfare or that of others.
Safety is a management responsibility. Teachers are responsible for safety in their own areas and for the implementation of relevant safety procedures. The Safety Officer shall monitor safety generally and the operation of safety procedures and ensure that each employee shall have access to the Health and Safety Statement and be familiar with its contents.
Ms. Bernadette Gunning, the Safety Officer, is responsible for overseeing the safety provision on behalf of the school and Ms Catherine Glennon is the Safety Representative. They should be consulted if any of the employees have queries regarding any of the safety provisions mentioned in this statement. Their main duties and responsibilities are as follows: -
To guide and advise on all health, safety and welfare matters
To ensure that the school fulfils all the statutory requirements in respect of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
To ensure that the appropriate safety education and training are co-ordinated and implemented using both in-house and external resources.
To undertake, in consultation with staff, regular and appropriate revision and auditing of the school safety procedures and methods of operation and to ensure they are kept up to date.
To ensure that adequate fire protection and prevention measures are provided.
To ensure that the school Health and Safety Statement is reviewed regularly.
To ensure that all staff members are aware of the location of the Health and Safety Statement.
The Safety Officer shall investigate all accidents and dangerous occurrences and shall ensure that appropriate statutory notifications are properly completed. Causes of accidents shall be determined as far as practical and where appropriate, remedial action shall be specified.
Provide and maintain a safe place of work
Manage health and safety
Provide appropriate instruction to employees on health and safety
Duties of Employees
Take reasonable care for their own safety and that of others
Co-operate with employer on issues of health and safety
Attend training as required
Report defects to the Safety Officer or Safety Representative
Use equipment, protective clothing and appliances in such a manner as to provide the protection intended
Not be under the influence of an intoxicant to the extent that they endanger their own or other person’s safety.
If they are suffering from a disease or illness that adds to risks, to advise the Principal.
All employees will be
Advised of the nature and location of fire equipment and how it is safely operated.
Notified of any changes in safety procedures.
Provided with appropriate training as required.
Safety and Delivery of the Curriculum
It is acknowledged that there are potential hazards and danger spots involved in many aspects of teaching and learning, where there are children gathered together e.g. Science classes, outdoor activities, using stairways, Arts & Crafts etc. It is agreed that children need to be supervised at all times, that potential hazards are identified as far as possible and that children are reminded of safety routines and precautions and that their awareness of safety in general is raised.
Many of our policies include aspects of safety e.g. Child Safeguarding, Tours and Outings, Anti-Bullying, Response to Critical incidences etc. For details see relevant policies.
The following are considered by the school to be a source of potential danger and are brought to the attention of all concerned:-
Main fuse board cupboard.
Fuse boxes on corridor and classrooms.
Guillotines, photocopiers and risograph.
Railings in Yard.
Slippery surfaces indoors or outdoors
Mats and benches in hall
It is the policy of the Board of Management to consult with staff in the preparation and completion of an annual safety review. The hazards which can be eliminated will be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Those that cannot be eliminated will be clearly indicated and appropriate measures listed beside them.
See annual Risk Assessment Review Document (attached)
Arrangements will be made for all electrical appliances to be checked on a regular basis by a competent person. Before using any appliances the user should check that:-
All safety guards which are a normal part of the appliance are fitted and 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.
All chemicals such as detergents, photocopier toner etc. should be stored in clearly identifiable containers with instructions for their use. They should be kept in locked areas and protection should be used when handling them.
Members of staff and other personnel are reminded that:
Any person who is under medical supervision or prescribed medication and who has been certified fit for work, should notify the Principal of any known side effects or temporary physical disabilities which could hinder their work performance and which may be a danger to either themselves or their fellow workers or pupils. The Principal will arrange or assign appropriate tasks for that person to carry out in the interim.
Illegal drugs and alcohol: Staff are not allowed to attend the premises or carry out duties whilst under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
Drugs and Medication
It is school policy that parents make a request in writing to the Board of Management at the start of each school year if their child requires medication during school hours. Drugs/medications should be kept in a secure place and used only by authorised personnel. In certain circumstances arrangements may be put in place for children to carry inhalers.
Allergies /Serious Medical Conditions
A photograph and record of children with allergies or serious medical conditions requiring medication is kept in the First Aid Press in the staffroom. Teachers on First Aid duty are advised to check this regularly.
See separate policy on Administration of Medication
Crutches and Casts
Children on crutches or wearing a cast on the leg do not go out to yard as there is a potential risk of injury to themselves or others. They are supervised during breaks by the teacher on Sickroom duty.
Children with an arm in a cast or sling may go to the yard and sit on a bench in order to avoid potential injury to themselves or others
It is school policy that all infectious diseases shall be notified by parents in order that steps may be taken to ensure the safety of all staff and students. The Board of Management will endeavour to minimise the risk by adherence to sound principles of cleanliness hygiene and disinfection.
First Aid training for the whole staff is organised regularly and upskilling on the use of the defibrillator is provided for a group of staff on a regular basis.
There is a First Aid box available in the staff room and in the new building. Other kits are available for use at sporting events and on outings.
For further details – see separate policy on First Aid.
Accident/ Incident Reporting
All accidents, no matter how trivial, involving the children are recorded by the teacher on duty. All potentially serious accidents, whether to employees, pupils or 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 care is provided. Please refer to ‘Guidelines on Managing Safety, Health and Welfare in Primary Schools’ for further information. For procedures for the management of critical incidents- see Critical Incident Response Policy.
Fire extinguishers are provided and correctly sited to meet statutory and insurance requirements.
All fire-fighting equipment is regularly tested and serviced by specialised contractors. In accordance with the recommendations of the appropriate Irish Standard for Fire Equipment, the staff are trained periodically in the safe use of the equipment.
All fire exits and emergency paths are marked using appropriate symbols.
Evacuation drills take place at least twice a year. Employees are reminded to familiarise themselves with the procedures so that a fast and effective evacuation of the premises can be completed in the event of an emergency.
See separate Fire Drill and Evacuation Policy
Smoking is prohibited in the school building and school grounds.
Access to the School
In as much as is compatible with the practical lay-out of the school premises, anyone entering the school shall be required to identify themselves to the school secretary before gaining admittance.
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.
Dropping / Collecting Children
In the interest of safety all parents /guardians/carers must obey all signs upon entering the school grounds.
Cars must drive slowly and children alight on the correct side (furthest from the roundabout) as per safe traffic management guidelines issued to parents at the start of the school year.
Children must be collected from the school itself if leaving early for an appointment etc. and parents must sign child out at the office.
The aim of the Board of Management is to provide a healthy and safe working environment. This can be achieved with the help and assistance of all employees and pupils by:
Observing the general rules of safety.
Using all machinery and equipment in a safe and proper manner.
Employing the proper procedures when carrying out tasks and ensuring that no practices are used which may act as a source of danger to themselves and/or others.
Keeping work areas clean and tidy at all times.
Making sure all corridors and passageways, particularly those leading to escape routes are kept free of obstruction at all times.
Taking care that fire points are not blocked or covered up in any way and that they are ready for use if the need arises.
This Safety Statement has been prepared by a safety committee on conditions existing in the premises of the school at the time of writing. It will be revised annually and altered, revised or updated as required.