Safety Statement

  • This statement is prepared in accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989.
  • The Board of Management of St. Marnock’s National School acknowledges its statutory obligations to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees, pupils and guests.
  • The Board seeks the co-operation of all school users in helping to maintain the school as a safe, healthy and caring place in which to work, study and play.              

The objectives of the Safety Statement are to:

  • Identify the hazards.
  • Assess the risks arising from identified hazards.
  • Specify the manner in which safety, health and welfare are to be secured.

The Hazards – Assessing the Risks, Ensuring Safety and Providing Resources:-

 

  • The Board accepts that accidents will sometimes occur when children are at play.
  • School rules are designed to allow children play in safety while minimising the risk of injury.

Playgrounds:-

  • A monthly roster of teachers on supervision during recreation periods is made available to every teacher in advance and a copy is posted on the staffroom notice board.
  • A Supervision Roster covering absent teachers is made available to every teacher and a copy is posted on the staffroom notice board.
  • The Board approves the use of separate play areas for pupils of different ages.
  • Rules governing pupil behaviour in the playground are issued to teachers and explained to pupils. 
  • Hazards such as broken glass are dealt with by the caretaker.
  • The playground boundaries are clearly marked.
  • There are specific assembly lines marked in the playground for each class.
  • Games likely to give rise to accidents are not permitted in the playground.

Classrooms:-

  • Teachers in adjoining classrooms have a reciprocal arrangement for supervision when a teacher has to leave the classroom e.g. to meet a parents, attend a meeting etc.  In such cases the teacher in the adjoining classroom oversees the class in the absence of the class teacher.  The class teacher will set work for the class before leaving.  Children are not allowed remain in classrooms unsupervised.  The responsibility to inform the teacher in the adjoining classrooms rests with the teacher who has to leave. 
  • Pupils whose teachers are absent without substitution are usually divided among other classes.
  • Pupils whose teachers are absent for part of the school day are usually dispersed to other classes for the duration of the absence.
  • Activity type lessons e.g. P.E., Art and Crafts and Games require greater vigilance, especially where pupils are using P.E. equipment, scissors etc..
  • Classroom fittings and furniture must be kept in good condition.
  • Schoolbags should be stored in classrooms in such a way so as not to obstruct passageways.
  • Pupils remain in classrooms during recreation periods if weather is inclement.  Pupils staying indoors during recreation periods must remain seated.  Pupils wishing to leave their place must get the permission of the supervising teacher.
  • Damaged carpets are to be reported immediately and repaired as a matter of urgency.

Circulation Areas:-

  • All school users are reminded of the danger of spillages on corridors, stairs and other tiled floor surfaces.
  • Corridors should be kept free of furniture and other objects.
  • Pupils will walk in single file in an orderly manner in corridors.
  • Pupils should hold onto the banister when using the stairs.
  • Door closures are to be kept in good condition and particular attention is to be paid to the opening and closing of external doors on windy days.

Electricity:-

  • All electrical fittings, power points and appliances are to be kept in good condition.  Particular attention is to be paid to correct wiring, safe leads and appropriate plug and fuse fittings.
  • Children must never have access to fuse and power distribution boards.
  • Care must be exercised that pupils/teachers do not trip over trailing leads.

Fire:-

  • An evacuation plan has been prepared and employees understand their role as outlined in it.
  • Fire drill arrangements and emergency evacuations are the responsibility of the Principal or in his absence the most senior teacher in attendance.
  • Fire drill will take place at regular intervals.
  • Fire Safety notices are displayed in classrooms and in the School Hall.
  • Battery operated smoke alarms are fitted in the ground floor and landing of the two storey block.
  • Escape routes are inspected regularly to ensure that they are unobstructed and that fire exit doors are readily openable.
  • The Fire Alarm system is to be kept in good working order.
  • The location of fire extinguishers is described in the Fire Extinguisher Inventory.
  • Fire Extinguishers are serviced regularly and the most recent service statement is attached.
  • Gas fires are not permitted in classrooms. 

Boiler House:-

  • Children are not allowed into the Boiler House.
  • The heating system is serviced under contract annually.  The burner is activated automatically in the event of severe frost.
  • The Boiler House is not to be used for storing goods.

Staffroom:-

  • Children are not allowed access to cookers or permitted to pour or carry boiling waters.

Car Park:-

  • A designated car park is provided for staff and visitors’ cars.
  • Vehicles are prevented from entering the playgrounds by clearly distinguished steel posts and chains which are locked into position.
  • Pedestrians are advised to use the pedestrian gates when entering or leaving the school grounds.
  • Pupils are advised to enter and leave the school grounds via the pedestrian gate.
  • Parents should not drive into the school car park during school hours without the expressed permission of the school authorities.  The school recommends that parents use the church car park.

P. E.. Hall:-

  • Wooden benches must be splinter free and stable.
  • Vaulting horses must be wobble free.
  • Floors must be clean, even and spillage free.
  • Pupils are not permitted to occupy the stage during P.E. lessons.
  • Pupils must wear runners when taking part in P.E. lessons.

Swimming:-

  • Swimming is one of the out-of-school activities organised by the Parents’ Association and approved by the Board of Management.
  • Parents must accept responsibility for children on the way to and from swimming lessons in P.S.L.C..
  • Children must not enter the water until permitted to do so by the swimming instructors.
  • Children must be under the supervision of qualified instructors at all times while in the pool.
  • The maximum number of children permitted in the pool at one time is determined by the number of qualified instructors available.
  • Children must obey the rules of the pool at all times. 

Extra-Curricular Activities:-

  • Pupils taking part in field games must wear appropriate footwear and in the case of hurling protective helmets with visors are obligatory.
  • A First Aid Kit must be available at matches.

Vandalism, Litter and Refuse:-

  • Glass splinters, damaged fittings and equipment following acts of vandalism constitute a serious risk to pupils, teachers and others using the school.  Vandalised classrooms should not be occupied until it is safe to do so.
  • Broken glass and litter constitutes a hazard in the playground.  The caretaker will remove glass and litter from the playground before the first recreation period.
  • Refuse is a health and safety hazard and should not be allowed to accumulate within the building or in the playground.
  • Refuse should be collected daily and deposited in the shed provided for this purpose.
  • Pupils are required to take lunch wrappings and left-overs home.

Ladders:-

  • Ladders are the cause of many accidents.
  • Straight ladders more than 10 feet long should either be secured at the top or footed at the base.
  • Faulty ladders should be removed from service immediately and repaired or replaced.
  • Extension ladders require two people to operate.
  • Children should never be allowed to climb ladders to retrieve items from the school roof.

Lifting:-

  • The Board acknowledges that employees have occasion to lift and carry audio visual equipment and other materials in the course of their work.  Injuries occur when people lift or attempt to lift weights which are too heavy for them or when they incorrectly lift weights which are within their capacity.  To avoid injuries the Board recommends that:
  • If an object is too heavy assistance is sought.
  • Mechanical aids are used when they are available and suitable.
  • Obstructions should be removed before lifting and a space cleared where the load is to be set down.
  • Gloves be used when handling sharp or slippery objects

First Aid and Injuries:-

  • A First Aid Kit for the treatment of minor injuries occurring in school is located in the secretary’s office.
  • The First Aid Box contains a selection of sterile dressings, cotton wool, antiseptic ointment, dettol, safety pins, scissors, surgical gloves, dressing strips and notes on administering emergency First Aid.
  • A separate First Aid Kit for games and athletics is kept in the Secretary’s Office.
  • First Aid assistance given by the school secretary or teachers should be of an elementary nature.
  • Teachers may only administer medicine to pupils in accordance with the school’s “Administration of Medication Policy”.
  • Parents/minders must be contacted as soon as possible when a serious injury to a pupil is suspected.  The decision to send a pupil to hospital should be taken by the most senior teacher in attendance in consultation with the pupil’s parents/minders.
  • Parents are required to notify the school of any change in address or telephone number.
  • A First Aid Kit and a list of emergency services telephone numbers are available in the secretary’s office.

Weather Conditions:-

  • The Board recommends that weather conditions be taken into account when assessing hazards to   pupils’ health and safety.
  • Play should not be allowed outdoors if rain, snow, frost or high wind would be harmful to the health of pupils or teachers.

School Outings:-

  • Bus/coach companies providing transport for school outings must produce evidence of an up-to-date insurance policy.
  • Parents are required to sign consent forms for pupils travelling on school outings giving teachers the right to authorise medical intervention in the event of an accident.
  • Parents should be advised of departure and return times.
  • The safety of pupils must be of primary importance when selecting a venue for a school outing.
  • Pupils who have a record of indiscipline and disruption may not be taken on school outings.

Sending Pupils on Messages Outside of School Grounds:-

  • Pupils unaccompanied by an adult must not be sent on messages outside the school grounds.

Pupils Transporting Furniture:- 

  • Pupils transporting classroom furniture should be supervised.  This is particularly important when pupils are required to carry classroom furniture up or down the stairs.

Office Equipment:-

  • The guillotine blade is partially protected by a fixed guard.  The guillotine blade could cause injury if used carelessly or incorrectly by employees.  Pupils are not permitted to use it.
  • The Secretary and the Principal are familiar with the hazards associated with the use of office equipment and should take appropriate precautions.

Dangerous Substances:-

  • Pupils are not permitted to bring Tippex to school or to have access to it while in school.
  • Asbestos containing materials have been identified in certain locations in the school.  Drilling, cutting, abrading or disturbance of the named materials should be avoided.

Washing Machine:-

  • The door is fitted with an interlock which prevents the machine from operating until the door is closed and will not permit opening of the door during the wash cycle.

Lawnmower/Petrol:-

  • The school caretaker or other competent adults are authorised to operate the school lawnmower.  Pupils are not permitted to use it.  The lawnmower must never be left unattended while the engine is running.  Petrol for the lawnmower is stored in a secure shed.  The quantity of petrol held is kept to the minimum and is stored in a suitable fire resistant safety container.

Lighting:-

  • The school grounds are well lit after dark and this should minimise the risk of injury to school users.  Emergency lighting is installed in the school hall.

Boundary Walls:-

  • Boundary walls are to be checked regularly for loose coping stones. Loose coping stones are to be reported immediately and removed by the caretaker.

Cycling:-

  • Pupils are not allowed to cycle on school grounds unless they are attending a cycling course.  Pupils attending a cycling course organised by an instructor should wear cycling helmets.

Glass Containers:-

  • Pupils are not allowed to use glass containers for drinks because of the risk of injury resulting from broken glass.

School Concerts:-

 

  • Exit doors should be kept free and unobstructed whenever people are on the premises.
  • Exit doors should be marked.
  • The route from exit doors to the public way needs to be clear.
  • When the audience is seated but before the performance starts an announcement should be made pointing out the exits.
  • The emergency lighting must give proper illumination in the event of power failure.
  • The seating layout must comply with the regulations for seating in places of assembly.

Safety Representative:-

  • The Principal will act as Safety Representative.
  • The Safety Representative may consult with and make representations to the Board on safety, health and welfare matters relating to employees in the place of work.

Accident Reporting:-

  • Serious accidents requiring medical attention occurring in the school whether to employees, pupils or members of the public must be reported immediately to the Principal.  An Accident Report File must be retained in the office for recording accidents.  Accidents will be fully recorded by the persons reporting them.

Pupils on School Property before or after Official School Hours:-

  • A circular informing parents of the official school opening and closing hours is issued at the beginning of the school year. The circular states:

St. Marnock’s School will open to receive pupils at 8.45a.m..

Infant Classes will end at 1.30p.m..

All other classes will end at 2.30p.m.. 

Parents who wish to escort their children home should arrange to have them met at the school not later than 1.30p.m. in the case of Infants and not later than 2.30p.m. in the case of all other classes.

The school cannot accept responsibility for children arriving before the official opening time or for children remaining in the school grounds after official school hours.

Parents who wish to have their children escorted home after extra-curricular activities should ascertain the finishing times of such activities from the teachers in charge and arrange to meet the children at the appropriate times.”