Health and Safety Statement.

The Board of Management (the Board) of Drumcondra National School, Church Avenue, Dublin 9 is committed to the creation of a safe and healthy working environment for all members of the school community. It aims to protect the safety, health and welfare of all its employees, voluntary workers, pupils and visitors to the school (school users) insofar as is reasonably practicable, by compliance with the provisions and requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Requirements 2007 , the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2001, as well as all other relevant statutory provisions and Codes of Practice.

This policy reflects the Board of Management’s commitment to safety and health, and specifies the manner, the organisation and the resources necessary for maintaining and reviewing safety and health standards. As part of this commitment, the Board determines and maintains appropriate policies on school safety, welfare and supervision for all school activities, whether taking place in or outside school premises. The Board also will identify and evaluate and then seek to eliminate or reduce all hazards to which employees, pupils or other school users may be exposed.

The policy was reviewed and revised by the Board of Management of the school, in collaboration with the staff and parents of the school.

Through the implementation of this policy, Drumcondra N.S. aims to
1. Create a safe and healthy school environment by identifying, preventing and tackling hazards and their accompanying risks
2. Ensure understanding of the school’s duty of care towards pupils
3. Protect the school community from workplace accidents and ill health at work
4. Outline procedures and practices in place to ensure safe systems of work
5. Comply with all relevant health and safety legislation (so far as is reasonably practicable)
6. Provide of a safe workplace for all employees – teachers, SNAs, secretary, caretaker, etc.
7. Ensure the employees are competent to carry out safe work practices
8. Provide safe access and egress routes
9. Provide training where possible for the safe handling and use of hazardous substances and equipment
10. Provide safe equipment for use by the school community through regular maintenance and the use of appropriate guards
11. Provide appropriate personal protective equipment.

The Board will follow the under-noted procedures to enable it to fulfil the aims of this Health and Safety Statement:
1. Carry out a safety inspection of the school at least annually and identify any hazards that might expose any of the school users to risks of injury or property damage.
2. Implement a programme of risk assessment and reduction to eliminate or reduce the risks identified during these inspections.
3. Provide and maintain a safe system of work, including safe access and egress from the school, for all employees and school users having regard to statutory requirements.
4. Provide, as far as is reasonable, resources of time, personnel, training and finance necessary to support the safety standards adopted in the safety policy of the school.
5. Encourage and integrate a climate of safety and health into all school work and school activities.
6. Review the safety policy each year at the first Board meeting of each new school year, to complete the safety inspection, update the policy, and take into account any changes in school activities or premises.
7. Consult teachers, employees, voluntary workers and school committees on safety and health and supervision matters.
8. Make copies of the school safety statement available to employees, voluntary workers, school committees and any other persons who are entitled to see it.
9. Appoint, if deemed necessary by the Board, a school safety officer and/or obtain competent outside advice on safety and health issues.

The Board is responsible for compiling, approving and maintaining the safety policy of the school and is also responsible for ensuring all employees, voluntary workers, committees, pupils, contractors and visitors are informed of and adhere to it.

The Board may, if it wishes, appoint a school safety officer to carry out the safety audits and to monitor adherence to the agreed safety policy on a day to day basis.

The safety officer for this school is:____________________________

Responsibilities of the Board:
The Board and the safety officer (if appointed) have the following duties:
1. To ensure, as far as possible, the provisions of the school safety statement are observed on a day to day basis.
2. To ensure the safety policy statement is brought to the attention of all employees, voluntary workers, pupils, visitors and contractors and they act in such a way that their actions do not put either themselves or others in danger.
3. To ensure the safety policy statement is revised at least annually, and whenever necessary to reflect changes and developments in the school, and in health and safety regulation.
4. To organize and document the safety audit each year.
5. To ensure appropriate supervision is in place to monitor and control the school activities.
6. To establish an emergency evacuation procedure and ensure regular evacuation drills are practised each term.
7. To ensure that all escape routes are properly marked, access to emergency exits is not obstructed and assembly points are clearly marked.
8. To ensure all employees and voluntary workers are given safety training appropriate to the risks to which they are exposed, in the following areas

a. Manual handling.
b. Working at heights.
c. Evacuation procedures.
d. First Aid.
e. Use of fire extinguishers.

9. To investigate all accidents or near accidents to employees, voluntary workers, members of the public, or pupils.
10. To ensure all accidents or near accidents are recorded on the school Accident Report Form (appendix A) and that remedial action is taken to prevent a recurrence.

Responsibilities of employees:
Employees, voluntary workers and visitors are required to co-operate and assist fully in the observance of and compliance with all the commitments in the school safety policy

These responsibilities include:
1. Not to be under the influence of an intoxicant to the extent that they endanger any persons’ safety. Employees will be required to submit to tests for intoxicants as and when regulations specifying testing procedures are adopted
2. To co-operate with an employer or other people to ensure that the Health and Safety law is implemented
3. Not to engage in improper conduct that will endanger anyone
4. To attend Health and Safety training and correctly use any equipment at work
5. To use protective clothes and equipment provided
6. To report any dangerous practices or situations once noticed to the Safety Officer or the Chairperson.
7. Not to interfere or misuse any safety equipment at the workplace
8. If suffering from a disease or illness that adds to risks, to tell the Safety Officer or the Chairperson.

Entitlements of safety representative (Section 25 Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005):
The safety representative has the right to:
1. Represent the employees at the place of work in consultation with the employer on matters in relation to health and safety
2. Inspect the place of work on a schedule agreed with the employer or immediately in the event of an accident, dangerous occurrence or imminent danger or risk to the safety, health and welfare of any person
3. Receive appropriate training
4. Investigate accidents and dangerous occurrences
5. Investigate complaints made by employees
6. Accompany an inspector carrying out an inspection at the workplace
7. Make representations to the employer on matters relating to safety, health and welfare
8. Make representations to and receive information from, an inspector
9. Consult and liaise with other safety representatives in the same undertaking.

Annual Safety Audit:
A safety audit will be carried out at least annually of all school property, grounds and boundaries. The purpose of this audit is to identify potential hazards, state how they may be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level and to record the findings in a hazard identification sheet. (Appendix B)

The school will be inspected each year in September to identify the hazards in

• The perimeter, entrances and approaches.

• The play areas and grounds.

• The school buildings and services.

An important part of each school year is the participation in a variety of school outings. The staff carries out a risk assessment, when completing the letter accompanying each permission slip for each tour. The secretary will also complete the School Outing Assessment form (Appendix C) prior to each trip.

Fire Safety Planning

• Extinguishers will be installed where necessary and serviced at least annually.

• Emergency evacuation drills will be carried out each term.

• All emergency exits will be checked and clearly marked.

• Access to exits will not be blocked or obstructed.

All fixed heating will be checked and serviced annually. All maintenance and cleaning tools and equipment will be checked and serviced annually and all chemicals, detergents and cleaning fluids used by the cleaner will be kept only in clearly-identified containers in locked storage. There are common household cleaners such as washing-up liquid kept in the classroom for use on a daily basis.

The Board of Management will determine where safety training needs exist for the reduction or elimination of risks and provide such training. They will also determine what personal protective clothing and equipment is necessary for the safer performance of employee duties and supply same.

Safety Audit Report:
The Safety Audit Form (Appendix B) of the safety audit will be
Prepared by the person(s) inspecting,
Submitted for the attention of the Board

• A permanent record kept within the Board of Management minutes.

The Safety Audit Report will include details of the following:

• Premises inspected.

• Date of inspection.

• Details of who carried out the inspection.

• Hazards identified and their risk of injury.

• Remedial action(s) taken.

The report will be signed by the person(s) who undertook the inspection and countersigned by the Chairperson of the Board. It will then be filed in the Board of Management minutes.

Construction, Maintenance and Repair Work:
The Board of Management recognises that particular hazards may occur when work of this nature is being carried out at the school. General responsibility for regulating persons who undertake such work, whether contractor or direct employee, remains with the Board.

When engaging any contractor the Board will nominate a Board member to –

• Bring the requirements of this safety statement, insofar as it affects them, to the attention of the contractor.

• Ensure the contractor carries adequate insurance with appropriate indemnity to the Board and Diocesan Board of Education.

• Ensure the contractor is aware that he is required to comply with the school safety statement, and must do nothing that will compromise or oppose the school safety rules and evacuation procedures.

• Advise the contractor of any special hazards or features at the school that might endanger his safety or health or that of his employees.

• Require the contractor to submit a copy of his site safety plan before any work starts. The contractor must prepare this in compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2005 and it must deal specifically with such issues as curtailment of work when children are on breaks, regulation of incoming and outgoing vehicles, control of noise and dust, hours of work, times of access and exit, fencing and security of the work site and any other matter required to recognise the shared nature of the premises during the work.

• Require the contractor, where hot work, cutting, welding or torched applications are to be carried on, to put in place a formal Hot Work Permit system. (Appendix D)

The following rules must be observed.
1. No alcoholic beverages or drugs, other that those correctly prescribed may be brought onto the premises.
2. Smoking on the school premises is strictly prohibited, under current Smoking in the Workplace legislation.
3. All health and safety and other relevant signs must be obeyed.

When engaging any employee to carry out work the Board will –

• Bring the requirements of this safety statement to the attention of the employee and to sign the form stating this has been done (Appendix E)

• Ensure the employee is aware he is required to comply with the school safety statement, and must do nothing that will compromise or oppose the school safety rules and evacuation procedures.

• Advise the employee of any special hazards or features at the premises, or in the work he is required to do that might endanger his health or safety or that of his employees.

• Ensure the employee has adequate training to enable him to perform the work.

• Ensure adequate protective clothing and equipment is provided and worn.

• Ensure any equipment, ladders, machinery, and materials supplied by the school are in good condition and suitable for the work involved.

Other School Policies:
The Board of Management and the school also maintain policies and procedures relating to:
1. Administration of Medicines.
2. Supervision.
3. Code of Behaviour.
4. Child Protection.
5. Substance Use.
6. Anti-Bullying.
7. Complaints Procedure.
8. School Outings.
9. Visitors to School.
10. Critical Incidents.
11. Internet Policy.

These have a direct bearing on the safety of pupils and teachers and are taken into account when the overall safety policy for the school is decided. They are set out in the school regulations, and observance of them is required in the same way as if they were reprinted as an integral part of this safety policy. Details of these policies may be obtained from the school Principal on request.

This statement was discussed and approved by the Board, following consultation with the Parent Teacher Association and the Teaching Staff.

First created: May 2001.
Updated: November 2006, January 2007, September 2009
Most recent update: May 2012

Signed:__________________________ (Chairperson of the Board)
Date: ___________________

Appendix A: Accident Report Form

Appendix B: Safety Audit

Appendix C: Tour Assessment

Appendix D: Hot Work Permit

Appendix E: Contractor’s Notice