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How do we maintain a safe learning space?

Saturday January 23 2021
By Paul Owere

School is meant to be a place where children enjoy their learning on a daily basis. But this sometimes is not the case as children come home complaining of one injury or another. Keeping a school full of children and staff members safe and accident-free is a priority of every school. But, as we all know, it is no easy task.

A water spill in the hallway or a pothole on the playground can cause an injury and possibly expose the school to unwanted attention if not addressed immediately.

To avoid accidents at school, it is important to formulate a clear set of safety guidelines and keep an eagle’s eye on facilities.

Train staff and students on ways to prevent accidents from happening - and what to do if someone does get hurt.

Repair all unsafe areas within the school. Refer to your list of hazardous areas and make repairs an immediate priority. For example: if there are potholes on the playground or a classroom door that slams closed, ask the school custodian or grounds man to place those repairs at the top of his list.

Design a set of safety rules that all pupils and staff must follow.

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Using your list from the safety committee, create a set of school-wide safety rules. Rules could include telling the custodian about all spills on the floor immediately to no running in the hall.

Give a copy of the safety rules to all students and staff members, and create large posters that list the safety rules. Hang safety posters in common areas such as the office, near rest rooms and in the front hallway.

Invite safety experts such as firefighters, the Red Cross and health care workers to hold discussions about how to avoid accidents and keep students safe

Conduct monthly inspections of playground equipment and facilities. Ask safety committee members to conduct routine checks of designated ‘unsafe or hazardous’ areas. Supply the group with a checklist to assist with the monthly review.

Repair or address any broken equipment or unsafe areas immediately after the monthly inspection and re-address any areas that are a habitual problem.

For example, if a piece of playground equipment continues to break down, remove the entire piece off the playground.