Health and Safety Policy



• Safety Equipment

• School Environment

• Health Awareness

• Accidents

• Procedures for Disclosures / Suspicions of Abuse

• Fire Drill Instructions.



• To provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for both pupils and staff.

• To develop an awareness of health and safety rules.

Statement on General Policy

The board of management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. recognises the importance of the legislation enacted in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work act, 1989. This safety statement sets out the safety policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. and sets out the means to achieve that policy. The Board of Management’s objective is to endeavour to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all our employees and pupils, and to meet our duties to members of the public with whom we come in contact. The policy requires the co-operation of all employees. It is our intention to undertake regular reviews of the statement in light of experience, changes in legal requirements and operational changes.

The Board of Management will undertake to carry out a safety audit annually and report to staff. The inspection / safety audit will be carried out more frequently if requested by either staff or the Board of Management. All records of accident or ill-health will be monitored in order to ensure that any safety measures required can be put in place, wherever possible, to minimise the recurrence of such accidents and ill-health.

Signed: —————- Chairperson, Board of Management.

Health and Safety statement for St. Columba’s B.N.S.

1.2 The Board of Management will ensure that in so far as it is practicable, the highest standards of safety shall prevail and that at a minimum, the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989 are applied.

1.3 Specifically, the Board of Management wishes to ensure so far as it is reasonably practicable:

1) The design, provision and maintenance of all places in a condition that is safe and without risk to health.

2) The design, provision and maintenance of safe means of access to and from places of work.

3) The design, provision and maintenance of plant machinery.

4) The provision of systems of work that are planned, organised, performed and maintained so as to be safe and without risk to health.

5) The provision of instruction to staff on proper lifting techniques of pupils and dealing with pupil challenging behaviour.

6) The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure safety and health at work of its employees.

7) The provision and maintenance of suitable protective clothing or equivalent as necessary to ensure the safety and health at work of its employees. 8) The preparation and revision as necessary of adequate plans to be followed in emergencies. E.g. fire drills, injuries etc.

9) The safety and prevention of risk to health at work in connection with use of any article or substance.

10) The provision and maintenance of facilities and arrangements for the welfare of employees at work.

11) Obtaining where necessary, the services of a competent person for the purpose of ensuring the safety and health at work of its employees.

12) The continuing updating of the Safety Statement.

13) The provision of arrangements for the selection from amongst its employees of a representative.


1.4 The Board of Management recognises that its statutory obligations under legislation extends to employees, students, any person legitimately conducting school business and the public.

1.5 The Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. will ensure that the provisions of the safety Health and Welfare at work Act, 1989 are adhered to.

1.6 A safety Committee may be established to monitor the implementation of the safety and Health policies of St. Columba’s B.N.S. and the requirement under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989. DUTIES OF EMPLOYEES

1. It is the duty of every employee while at work:

1) To take reasonable care for his/her own safety, health and welfare and that of any person who may be affected by his/her acts or omissions while at work.

2) To co-operate with his/her employer and any other person to such extent as will enable his/her employer or the other person to comply with any of the relevant statutory provisions.

3) To use in such manner so as to provide the protection intended, any suitable appliance, protective clothing, convenience, equipment or anything provided (whether for his/her use alone or for use by him/her in common with others)for securing his/her safety, health or welfare while at work.

4) To report to the Board of Management without unreasonable delay, any defects in plant, equipment, place of work or system of work, which might endanger safety, health or welfare, of which he/she becomes aware.

2. No person will intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse any of the relevant statutory provisions or otherwise, for securing safety, health or welfare of persons arising out of work activities.

3. Employees will, by using available facilities and equipment provided, ensure that work practices are performed in the safest manner possible. CONSULTATION AND INFORMATION It is policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S.

• To consult with staff in the preparation and completion of the health and safety statement and of Hazard control forms.

• To give a copy of the Safety Statement to all present and future staff.

• That any additional information or instructions regarding Health, Safety and Welfare at work not contained in the document will be conveyed to all staff as it becomes available.

• That health and safety and Welfare will form an integral part of any future staff training and development plans.


1) The Board of management in consultation with the employees will review and make recommendations for the elimination of hazards. Hazards that can be rectified or minimised will be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Those that cannot will be clearly indicated and appropriate procedures listed beside them. Specific Hazards Fire It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. that :

• There is an adequate supply of fire extinguishers, which will deal with any type of fire.

• All fire equipment is identified and regularly serviced.

• Regular fire drills take place at least once a year.

• Instruction is given in the use of fire extinguishers for specific materials/equipment

• Fire alarms are clearly marked.

• Signs will be clearly visible to ensure visitors are aware of exit doors.

• All electrical equipment be unplugged or turned off outside office hours and when premises are vacated for lengthy periods.

• An assembly area is designated outside the building.

• Those leaving buildings/classrooms should let someone know.

• Exit signs are clearly marked. Other Hazards Examples:

• Condition of school buildings, dampness, draughts, roof slates, leaks, electrical fittings, windows opening out at head level , yard surface etc.

• Storage, maintenance, and appropriate use of PE equipment will be adequately documented.

• Individual classrooms, sockets, lights etc.

• Hallway condensation, slippery floor surface, protruding units such as coat rails etc.

• Toilets, water, towels, sanitary disposal units, hand dryers floors, cleaning policy etc.

• Water, drinking/non-drinking areas clearly marked and specified

• Staff room, facilities, safety measures etc.

• Ice/flooding on yards, steps etc.

Constant Hazards

1) Machinery, Kitchen Equipment and Electrical Appliances It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. that: Machinery, kitchen equipment and electrical appliances are used in accordance with instructions. Such appliances and equipment will be subject to regular maintenance checks.

2) Chemicals It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. that all chemicals, detergents etc. be stored in clearly identifiable containers bearing instructions and precautions for their use and kept in a secure area, and protection for use when handling them.

3) Drugs Medications It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. that all medications, drugs etc. be kept in a proper medication cabinet, locked at all times, ‘key to which is kept in a secure and safe place.

4) Polished or Wet Floors It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. that washing and polishing of floors is conducted after school hours to ensure, as far as it is reasonably practicable, elimination of danger of slipping. To this end warning signs regarding wet floors will be used.

5) The Code of Discipline The Code of Discipline in the school provides for a level of behaviour to minimise personal risk or stress to any employee.

6) Access to Employees is by Consent. When the employee feels at risk or threatened by a particular person on school property this must be drawn to the Board of Management’s attention. The Board of management will undertake to ensure that in such circumstances all appropriate measures will be taken to protect employees.


It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. that all required remedies and equipment are made available for first aid function. There will be an adequate supply of properly equipped First Aid Cabinet available at all times to staff which will contain:

• Elastoplast Plasters

• Alcohol Wipes

• Cotton Bandage

• Scissors

• First Aid Chart

• Disposable gloves which must be used at all times when administering First Aid.

• Water and soap will be available and should be used before and after administering First Aid. Any contractor should make direct contact with the Principal before initiating work on the school premises. It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. to minimise sound pollution – room to room, yard to room etc. When people are working on the premises with drills or other loud implements they must, wear protective earmuffs. Where such work is taking place, which constitutes any threat to Health and Safety, the school will be closed or the work will not take place during school hours. All flammable, toxic and corrosive substances must be kept in the locked press/room provided. All the above substances must be clearly and accurately labelled at all times. When a child who needs to be lifted is enrolled in the school suitable support services must be provided, arrangements made and training provided for the lifting of the child in order to minimise strain on staff. Arrangements will be made to ensure the protection of staff from violent or disturbed children.

COLLECTING CHILDREN during school time. Adults collecting pupils during school time must call to the office to Sign Out the pupil and collect a Signing Out Slip which they will then submit to the teacher. Motorists are advised to drive slowly in the school grounds.


To be done once a term, the first one recommended in September/October.

On Hearing the Fire Alarm (in the event of it not being a drill)

• The Principal in charge will be responsible for ensuring that the fire brigade is called immediately.

• Orders will be given by the teacher. Follow them strictly.

• Persons in charge of classes will take the class in an orderly manner to the assembly point away from the fire. Class teacher brings rolla to count children.

• Other members of staff will immediately make their way to the assembly point.

• Any student not with his/her class or group when the alarm sounds will make their way directly to the assembly point and join their appropriate class or group.

• There must be no rushing or overtaking on the way to the assembly point. No running. Form single file and go by the most direct route to the assembly point.

• As soon as classes are assembled, teachers will take a roll call or count and report to the principal teacher if anyone is missing. *If any person is found to be missing, an immediate check must be made by the staff.

• No other person must leave the assembly point to recover clothing, books etc. until permission has been given – in case of a drill by the Principal teacher – in the case of a fire by a fire officer in charge.

THE SCHOOL’S RESPONSE TO DISCLOSURE AND SUSPICIONS OF CHILD ABUSE (In accordance with the guidelines of the Department and the stay safe programme.)

DISCLOSURES “The initial response to a disclosure is crucial.” In the event of a disclosure the teacher should:

 Listen

 Allow the child to tell you what happened in his/her own words without too much prompting. Give the child time and space. Let the child know that you are not afraid to hear what happened.

 Tell the child that you believe him/her

 It is rare for the children to lie about abuse.

 Stress that the child was right to tell. This cannot be done too many times. It is very important to counterbalance the messages the child has been receiving from the abuser.

 Emphasise that the child is not at fault

 Stay in Control

 Stay calm. The initial response is crucial, as the child may not continue to tell if he or she senses anger, embarrassment or other strong emotion in the adult.

 Be honest about what will happen next

 Do not make unrealistic promises. Explain that you will have to talk to another person in order to get help.

 Record

 Make notes of dates and details as soon as possible after the child has disclosed.

 Suspicions. Direct disclosure of abuse to a teacher is unusual. It is important to document the grounds for suspicion. Over a period of time, these may build into a more definite picture. General Advice Teacher is merely forwarding information to the relevant authority-DLP. Teacher is acting in the child’s best interests and is not making personal allegations. Informal consultation to help to decide whether a referral is warranted. If the teacher and DLP feel that there are sufficient grounds for concern, the next step is to implement the Department of Education guidelines. When making a written referral to the Health Board, what is needed is clear, concise and factual information about: • What was seen – if a physical injury is involved, a simple sketch would be helpful • When – record the date and time • What was said – record exact words if possible. In the interests of confidentiality, teachers may wish to use a code or roll number instead of the child’s name in these records. It is useful to retain any relevant written material or drawings. When a child has disclosed or there is serious suspicion of child abuse and a referral is being made to the local Health Board, it is not the responsibility of school personnel to make enquiries of parents or guardians. Such enquiries are in breach of Department of Education Guidelines. It is the responsibility of Health Board personnel to investigate suspected abuse and determine what action to take, including notifying parents and Gardaí (Department of Education, 1991) Health and Safety Statement for St. Columba’s B.N.S.

Clarification of Roles and Responsibilities

1) School informs Health Board (appropriately)

2) Health Board Response to child abuse. The responsibility for the management, monitoring and co-ordination of child abuse cases rests with e ‘designated officer’ in each Health Board Community Care area.

• This policy was completed and made ready for the school plan on November 2010

• This policy was ratified at a meeting of the Board of Management of St. Columba’s B.N.S. on 22nd November 2010

• This policy document is available upon request from the school office.

• This policy was discussed at a staff meeting on December 3rd 2010; staff were advised to familiarise themselves with the policy document.

• This policy document will be updated as necessary. All amendments/additions will be recorded below.

• This policy will be reviewed annually by post holder: Gerard O’Shea

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