4 Ways To Help Ensure Health & Safety In And Around Your School Buildings - MPH Building Systems

Posted by Liz Seyi on January 4th, 2023

There are very few school administrators, project managers, or headteachers who will need to be reminded of the importance of taking every possible step to ensure optimal health and safety for everyone using their school site.

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) encourages school decision-makers to adopt a sensible and proportionate approach to managing the risks that school buildings and the associated activities can present.

But what specific steps might be involved in your efforts to make your school premises a safer place to be for teachers, pupils, and everyone else who might be on-site during the typical day?

Carry out a classroom risk assessment

Within just one classroom – never mind all those that make up an entire school premises – all manner of significant health and safety issues can present themselves.

A thorough classroom risk assessment will enable you to inform yourself on these issues – as will be impacted by such factors as class sizes, pupil behaviour, layout, and equipment – so that you can make the best decisions on measures for lessening the risk.

Put in place sensible measures to help avoid trips, slips & falls

Staff and pupils alike can be prone to losing their footing, slipping or tripping in a school, particularly given the high level of movement that is constantly taking place across a school site.

With slips, trips, and falls on the same level accounting for almost a third of non-fatal employee injuries according to recent HSE statistics, it is imperative that you take seriously the risk presented by this type of accident.

Such measures as ensuring flooring within your school buildings is always in good condition, lighting is sufficiently bright to enable safe movement around your premises, and gangways between desks are kept clear, will therefore go a long way to minimising the chances of injury.

Be mindful of the different risks on different types of school settings

One of the most distinguishing aspects of a school site compared to many other kinds of premises where people may work, is the sheer diversity of settings involved. This, in turn, brings an exceedingly broad range of common risks.

In a science laboratory, for instance, it is much likelier that naked flames will be used than is the case in other classrooms, including with chemicals that might burn. This means it could scarcely be more important to ensure the appropriate types of fire extinguishers are suitably located and easy to access.

This naturally contrasts with such an environment elsewhere on the same premises as the sports field, where sports and physical education (PE) classes will take place. These sites will therefore present such potential risks as a pupil suffering an injury involving blood and/or broken bones. This underlines the importance of staff being First Aid trained so that they can immediately attend to injuries, and know how and when to call the emergency services if this turns out to be needed.

Consider modular buildings for your next school extension

Something else that school administrators tend to be very familiar with, is the fact that a school’s needs from its estate can change within a very short space of time. And when those needs do change so swiftly for your school, you will not want your staff and pupils’ health and safety to be an afterthought.

We have covered elsewhere on the MPH Building Systems website the ways in which modular school buildings make sense, including their relatively low costs, smart appearance, and the fact that they can be constructed relatively quickly, with little disruption to a school’s day-to-day operations.

However, it is worth emphasising that such minimised disruption can apply to the health and safety aspect of your institution’s operations, too. Our modular buildings can be created in part off-site alongside the completion of groundworks, and once the modules do arrive on your school site, the final construction can happen fairly swiftly and safely.

These advantages help to make a modular school extension a sensible choice for many schools where there is a need to increase space rapidly, but also a wish to guard against some of the health and safety risks that construction sites near school buildings can traditionally present.

Would you like to learn more about the possibilities for your own modular school extension or other work involving prefab buildings on your educational institution’s premises? If so, please don’t hesitate toget in touch with the MPH Building Systems team today, via phone or email.

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Liz Seyi

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Liz Seyi
Joined: August 13th, 2019
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