Keeping students safe is a key responsibility of teachers and other school staff and there are many ways in which you can improve your site safety. Here are some of the most important
Every school should acquire first aid equipment and have trained personnel on site. For larger schools or those with several buildings spread over a campus or grounds, be sure to make sure that you have kits available for each building.
Best practice is to also keep individual kits in high-risk areas – so in your sports areas, kitchens, woodworking and science classrooms. As well as the essentials (gauze, plasters, etc) you can tailor your kits for their expected use – so chemical washes and burn creams in science class and splints and slings in sports areas, for example.
You can prevent your floors from becoming wet and slippery by installing good quality, absorbent entrance matting at all your external doorways. You’ll need matting that is designed to cope with heavy footfall, as you'll have hundreds of students walking over it multiple times a day.
You can source specific mats for the different areas of your school – so heavy-duty scraping mats at the doorways nearest to any fields or sports areas, absorbent mats with your school logo printed on them at your main entrance, etc.
Make sure that you have functioning fire alarms throughout your site, and that they are tested on a regular basis. Your firefighting equipment should be available and accessible only to staff – students should not be tempted to tackle any fire themselves as they could misjudge the situation.
As with first aid – keep appropriate equipment available for specific risks – fire blankets are best for kitchens, ABC powder extinguishers are best for science classrooms, CO2 extinguishers are great for electrical fires, for example.
A lot of school sites can be maze-like to new students, staff and first-time visitors. In an emergency, these people need to know how to respond appropriately – which is where safety signage comes into play. Wherever on your site someone is, they should be able to quickly figure out the quickest way to get first aid equipment or treatment, or evacuate safely.
Particularly in the winter months and if your school runs before or after school activities or clubs, you’ll need to have effective external lighting. This serves a dual purpose: people are less likely to trip or fall if the area that they are walking in is well lit, and criminal activity is also less likely if there is good lighting.
Car park safety
Whether your school caters for students of driving age or you just have a staff car park, you need to make sure that your car park is as safe as can be. You can use barriers to prevent unauthorised access, bollards to save specific spaces or block certain routes, and parking stops to ensure that cars do not overshoot spaces and damage buildings, injure pedestrians or overhang footpaths.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk