- Goutham Ravikumar
Health & Safety at School
Why is health and safety at school and other organisations so important? We have seen that now a days, simple accidents such as slips or trips might seem to become a trivial part of the day-to-day hustle and bustle in school children’s life and these simple things might turn out to be dangerous and sometimes might even cost your life.
One such simple accident case recorded in the HSE website is that an employee of a school canteen had once slipped on some food that had been dropped off on the floor of the school’s dinning room. As a result of this, she broke her leg and later on she was dead because of the blood clot. This can also be called as an extreme case but having all the safety measures and safety equipments placed in a proper order is highly recommended and important to avoid such accidents.
Hence planning the safety measures, placing the safety equipments and playing a safe game at situations and at certain places plays an important. This is where the employees training, students training comes into light. This training should include: educating staff as to how to identify the risks and providing first aid training to the staff and the students.
When we look at first aid training specifically, it should be important that every employee/staff should be knowing how to use the first aid kit, and other emergency equipments. Imagine a visitor, or a student, or any other member of the working staff becomes unconscious and is in immediate need of help, having someone who can react proactively at this time becomes handy. He/she should be in a position to call the ambulance and should be confident enough to use the emergency kit properly.
Managing Health and Safety is important
To manage the health and safety risks in the schools successfully, the management need to firstly remember that their environment is a workplace and need to follow certain set of legislative requirements. These days, many businesses do not give the much required importance to first aid. The safety issue stats also shows that less than or equal to 50% of them do not follow the safety guidelines and the same applies to schools as well and hence the chances of risk or the unexpected happenings are more. On the other side, if a school has a proper and an effective safety strategy in place then the risk might be reduced and the tackling to such emergencies can be done on time and properly.
Relevant guidance on the required health and safety regulations can be found on the Department of Education and Employment and the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) websites, both these sites mostly speaks about the range of questions relating to the first aid and safety at work place. However, placing the safety strategy and guidelines of the schools and Local Education Authorities(LEAs) lies in their own hand based on the assessment of the local needs.
In addition to the above mentioned guidelines and rules, the HSE has developed a health and safety checklist which is specifically developed for the classroom, which comes handy for schools to identify and manage possible risks.
Safety training for employees is important
For a school or an organisation to be fully equipped and safe, the employees and the staff should undergo certain safety related training. This training enables them to react quickly and effectively in emergency situations. The number of trained aiders will be based on the number of the students. Example: For a school consisting of less than or equal to 250 students, 3-4 trained first aiders will be fine. However this will again depend upon the availability of them at that situation. Hence to be on a safer side, having more than 6 trained aiders will be good.
Safety training for Students
A recent survey conducted by the Health and Safety Laboratory showed that 97% of the employees have rated that providing safety training for the students are important. The survey also showed that 73% of the school students showed interest in learning these new and important topics like how to resuscitate someone and give first aid etc. Despite of the reports and the results, the safety training is still not upto the mark has much as it is required to be.
Also it is very important to have staff and the employees who can respond quickly in the emergency situations. Providing in-house training for the students helps them to care for others and this training helps the pupils to equip themselves and know the difference between the lives lost and the lives saved. Research conducted by the St. John Ambulance states that 93% of the teachers wanted to have the first aid training included in the curriculum as this will help them to be more responsible.
This is one really important topic that schools should really and seriously look into. Schools should really elevate the health and safety topics especially first aid as this is an important skill. First aid should be given the supreme importance. Having a thorough and a well equipped first aid strategy will not only keep the schools safer but it will also benefit the wider communities.
First aid is an important life skill that anyone for that matter should be aware of. This will help reduce dangers and enables the faster treatment for the injuries. It also plays an important role to the staff and pupils as this creates a sense of purpose and achievement, giving them the skills that will potentially save lives.
To sum it up, a child that is safe is the child that is happy. Keeping the children happy and safe is the ultimate goal of every school. While most of the safety measures can be taught at schools and at home by the trainers and by the parents to some extent which enables the students to tackle any kind of emergency situation.
There are many dangers which requires quite a few teachings, but proper training to raise the awareness of the children and making them confident that they can handle any issues, concerns, or dangers confidently will take them a very long way in their happy life.
We at Infimind Educate Foundation run a Safety Programme for students which has benefitted many students, teachers and parents in many ways by making them safer and happier than they were before in their life.