Safety, Health & Welfare
In accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, it is the policy of the Board of Management to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of all staff and to protect students, visitors, contractors and other persons at the school from injury and ill health arising from any work activity. The successful implementation of this policy requires the full support and active co-operation of all staff, students, contractors and visitors to the school.
It is recognised that hazard identification, risk assessment and control measures are legislative requirements which must be carried out by the employer to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all staff.
The Board of Management, as employer, undertakes in so far as is reasonably practicable to:
a) promote standards of safety, health and welfare that comply with the provisions and requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and other relevant legislation, standards and codes of practice;
b) provide information, training, instruction and supervision where necessary, to enable staff to perform their work safely and effectively;
c) maintain a constant and continuing interest in safety, health and welfare matters pertinent to the activities of the school;
d) continually improve the system in place for the management of occupational safety, health and welfare and review it periodically to ensure it remains relevant, appropriate and effective;
e) consult with staff on matters related to safety, health and welfare at work;
f) provide the necessary resources to ensure the safety, health and welfare of all those to whom it owes a duty of care, including staff, students, contractors and visitors.
The Board of Management is committed to playing an active role in the implementation of this occupational safety, health and welfare policy and undertakes to review and revise it in light of changes in legislation, experience and other relevant developments.
Thomas Cosby 20/06/2018
Chairperson, Board of Management, Cosby N.S. Date
Cosby N.S. is a two teacher school, under Church of Ireland management, in Stradbally, Co. Laois. The original structure was built in 1872 and a second classroom extension was built in 1985. A double portacabin was located on the site in 2008 to provide for a Resource room and an office. The site is well-fenced and the play area is to the back of the school.
We have received grant approval from the DES to build an extension comprising 2 x 80sq m classrooms, a resource room, an office and a universal access toilet. Plans have been prepared and provisional planning approval received. When full approval is granted, Paddy O’Hora, MCOH, our PSCS (Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage) will progress the project on our behalf as per DES guidelines.
The Board of Management of Cosby N.S. is committed to protecting the safety, health and welfare of all its employees, 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 2005, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, the Safety, Health at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2008, as well as all other relevant statutory provisions and Codes of Practice.
It is a legal requirement under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, for every employer, in conjunction with employees, to prepare a Health and Safety Statement.
• To create a safe and healthy school environment by identifying, preventing and
tackling hazards and their accompanying risks.
• To ensure understanding of the school’s duty of care towards pupils.
• To protect the school community from workplace accidents and ill health at work.
• To outline procedures and practices in place to ensure safe systems of work.
• To comply with all relevant health and safety legislation (so far as is reasonably
• practicable) to include the following areas –
o Provision of a safe workplace for all employees.
o Encouragement of safe work practices.
o Safe handling and use of hazardous substances and equipment.
o Maintenance of equipment.
o Provision of appropriate personal protective equipment e.g. gloves for
Responsibilities of the Board of Management
It is the responsibility of the Board of Management to ensure that there is a Health and Safety Statement in place in Cosby N.S. and that this Safety Statement is made available to all relevant personnel. Moreover, this statement needs to be reviewed on a regular basis and needs to be complied with by all relevant person
Duties of the Board of Management
• comply with its legal obligations as employer under the 2005 Act;
• ensure that the school has written risk assessments and an up to date Safety Statement;
• review the implementation of the Safety Statement;
• set safety, health and welfare objectives;
• receive regular reports on safety, health and welfare matters and discuss matters arising from same;
• review the safety, health and welfare statement at least annually, and when changes that might affect workers’ safety, health and welfare occur;
• review the school’s safety, health and welfare performance;
• allocate adequate resources to deal with safety, health and welfare issues;
• appoint competent persons as necessary, to advise and assist the Board of Management on safety, health and welfare at the school.
Actions to be taken by the Board
• Carry out a safety inspection of the school regularly and identify any hazards that might expose any of the school users to risks of injury and damage.
• Implement a programme of risk assessment and reduction to eliminate or reduce the risks identified during these inspections.
• Provide and maintain a safe system of work, including safe access and egress to and
• from the school, for all employees and school users having regard to statutory
• 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.
• Review the Safety Statement regularly and update where necessary, taking into account any changes in school activities or premises.
• Consult with teachers, employees, voluntary workers and school committees on safety, health and supervision matters.
• Make copies of the school Safety Statement available to employees, school committees and any other persons who are entitled to see it.
The designated person acting on behalf of the Board is Daphne Harding
• Comply with the requirements of the 2005 Act;
• Report to the Board of Management on safety, health and welfare performance;
• Manage safety, health and welfare in the school on a day-to-day basis;
• Communicate regularly with all members of the school community on safety health and welfare matters;
The Safety Representative is Jackie Cooper
• Ensure all accidents and incidents are investigated and all relevant reports and statutory reports completed;
• Organise fire drills, training, etc;
• Carry out safety audits and risk assessments with the designated Board member, Thomas Cosby
Duties of Teachers / SNAs / Non-teaching staff
It is the duty of every employee while at work to:
• comply with all statutory obligations on employees as designated under the 2005 Act;
• co-operate with school management in the implementation of the safety statement;
• inform pupils of the safety procedures associated with individual subjects, tasks etc;
• ensure that pupils follow safe procedures.
• formally check classroom/immediate work environment to ensure it is safe and free from fault or defect;
• check that equipment is safe before use;
• ensure that risk assessments are conducted for new hazards.
• report accidents, near misses and dangerous occurrences to relevant persons as outlined in the safety, health and welfare statement.
• To inform the Board of Management of any disease or illness that adds to safety risks.
Other School Users
Other school users such as pupils, parents, volunteers and visitors should comply with school regulations and instructions relating to safety, health and welfare.
Contractors must comply with statutory obligations as designated under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 and any other relevant legislation such as the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006.
• The school must make available the relevant parts of the safety, health and welfare statement to any contractors working in the school on behalf of the school.
• The school must provide to contractors the school regulations and instructions relating to safety, health and welfare.
• Contractors must make available relevant parts of both their safety, health and welfare statement and risk assessments in relation to work being carried out.
• Where the school is sharing a workplace with a contractor they must co-operate and coordinate their activities in order to prevent risks to safety, health and welfare at work.
Short duration, low risk, single contractor works involving routine maintenance, cleaning, decorating or repair:
From time to time the school will call on the services of a smaller contracting company, such as a plumber, electrician or carpenter, to carry out a variety of construction tasks. Due to the hazards and risks involved in construction work there is specific legislation governing the manner in which it is carried out. Where this work involves a single contractor and where there are no particular risks present and task duration will not exceed 30 working days or 500 person days, to comply with safety, health and welfare requirements and to ensure this type of work is carried out safely with minimal disruptions, the following key points should be followed:
• The Board of Management must ensure that the contractor is competent. This means that the contractor is suitably qualified and experienced and is registered. The school has a list of maintenance personnel and this will only need to be reviewed if any changes occur.
• The contractor and the principal meet before the project commences to ensure communication links are established before work starts and throughout the contract. The contractor should advise the principal about the likely duration of the work and any possible hazards, and how these will be addressed.
• The contractor should also provide the principal with a copy of its safety statement including any relevant risk assessments for the project to be undertaken. Likewise the principal should advise the contractor about necessary precautions which need to be considered, particularly if work is being carried out during school time.
• It is important that proper consultation takes place and that the Board of Management, principal and all staff know about the work to be carried out and the impact this will have on work activities, including any necessary changes that need to be made.
Substantial building works, (e.g. extension to school building):
Where substantial building work lasting more than 30 days or 500 person days is being considered, the board of management take on the responsibility of “client”. The client must:
• appoint, in writing before design work starts, a Project Supervisor for the Design Process (PSDP) who has adequate training, knowledge, experience and resources;
• appoint, in writing before construction begins, a Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage (PSCS) who has adequate training, knowledge, experience and resources;
• co-operate with the project supervisors and supply any necessary information;
• notify the HSA of the appointment of the PSDP on Approved Form AF1 “Particulars to be notified by the Client to the Health and Safety Authority before the design process begins”;
• retain and make available the safety file for the completed structure. The safety file contains information on the completed structure that will be required for future maintenance or renovation.
The Project Supervisor for the Construction Stage further develops the safety and health plan for the construction stage of the project. This includes coordinating appropriate safety, health and welfare arrangements on site to prevent accidents occurring, e.g. keeping vehicles and pedestrians apart.
Prior to carrying out any construction work the Board of Management, as client, must familiarise itself with its legal health and safety responsibilities, as detailed in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006. These Regulations have wide-ranging application covering large projects such as capital builds, small projects such as renovations, erecting pre-fabs and routine maintenance such as replacing light fixtures etc. The Regulations introduce such terms as client, project supervisor for the design process (PSDP), project supervisor construction stage (PSCS), safety, health and welfare plan, safety file and contractor. Details can be found in the Guidance publications from the Department of Education and Skills and the Health and Safety Authority listed below.
These guidance documents also define the terms mentioned above. For example a client means “a person for whom a project is carried out, in the course or furtherance of a trade, business or undertaking, or who undertakes a project directly in the course or furtherance of such trade, business or undertaking.” Clients are usually those with control over key aspects of a project such as who is appointed as contractor to carry out the work in question. For example, you are a client if you are a principal or Board of Management responsible for hiring trades people to paint a block of classrooms or to build new desks or shelving in a classroom.
Section 19 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 specifies that, “Every employer shall identify the hazards in the place of work under his or her control, assess the risk presented by those hazards and be in possession of a written risk assessment of the risks.”
Step 1: Identify the hazards
Step 2: Evaluate the risk in proportion to the hazard
Step 3: Put in place appropriate control measures to eliminate or minimise the risk
Putting in place control measures means the employer does all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that a hazard does not cause actual harm or is less likely to cause harm. There is no need to consider every minor hazard or risk, that we accept as part of our lives.
The school will be inspected to identify the hazards in
• The perimeter, entrances and approaches
• The play areas and grounds
• The school buildings and services
The inspection process will also consider the school activities, whether in or outside of the
premises, or while travelling to school-organised events and identify the hazards
that may arise.
A written record of this risk assessment audit will be
• Prepared by the persons inspecting
• Submitted for the attention of the Board
• kept with this Health and Safety Policy, at Appendix A
The risk assessment audit report will include details of the following
• Premises inspected.
• Date of inspection.
• Details of who carried out the inspection.
• Hazards identified and their level of risk.
• Remedial action(s) taken / to be taken
The report will be signed by the persons who undertook the inspection.
Jackie Cooper and Thomas Cosby will carry out the Risk Assessment at the end of August each year, prior to the school re-opening, and organize any necessary remedial work
Risks identified by any staff member during the school year will be reported to the principal, and the risk and remedial action taken will be noted on the Risk Assessment report form.
An annual Safety, Health and Welfare Audit will be carried out in the Autumn term and presented at the December Board meeting. The Safety Statement will then be revised as necessary and reviewed at the June Board meeting, along with the Risk Assessment reports of remedial actions taken during the school year and to be undertaken during the summer holidays.
Procedures to Deal with Emergencies:
Family Contact Details
These are updated annually at the beginning of the school year. Contact details are kept in the office and are also available to the teachers and secretary via Aladdin. In case of an emergency, parents/guardians are contacted by telephone – home and work land lines and mobile phone numbers are kept on record.
Emergency Phone Numbers (Appendix B)
The telephone numbers for the gardaí, the fire station, the hospital and the local G.P are displayed by the phones in the classrooms and the office.
Fire Evacuation Plan (Appendix C)
Evacuation of the premises should be carried out in accordance with the Fire Evacuation Plan which is in each of the classrooms, resource room and office. No one under any circumstances should go back into the school searching for a missing person. The Fire Brigade personnel are trained and have the protective equipment to do this.
Serious Accidents/ Injuries
Parents/guardians are immediately informed, particularly if there is a suspicion of broken bones or head/eye injuries. The child is kept under intense observation until parents/guardians arrive, with the emphasis on making the child as comfortable and as settled as possible.
Very Serious Injuries
In the event of very serious injury, if the considered opinion of the staff is that immediate professional help is required, an ambulance is called and parents/guardians are immediately contacted. On rare occasions the staff, acting on advice from the emergency services, may agree to take the child to Accident and Emergency in a private car, particularly in the case of rapid blood loss. Parents are kept informed of the developing situations.
All school users should be aware of the following sources of potential danger where due care should be taken. The Board of Management will make every effort to minimise all risks to safety from these sources. However, all school users are obliged to take extra care with these hazards.
- Electric Kettle and under-sink water heater – Microwave
- Guillotine – Laminator
- Step ladder – Fuse Board
- Icy surfaces on a cold day – Trailing leads
To minimise these dangers, the Board of Management insists that access to the equipment listed above is limited to staff members only.
All cleaning agents, chemicals and solvents are stored in the locked Cleaner’s cupboard in the corridor. Only school staff members and cleaning staff have access to this cupboard. Cleaning staff should always wear appropriate protective clothing such as gloves when using these chemicals.
Access to School
All visitors to the school report to the secretary in the school office, located in the portacabin. As the Principal and Assistant Principal are teaching, the secretary deals with all queries/business, and relays the information to the principal later.
Office hours are currently from 8.30am – 12.30pm, Monday to Thursday. At all other times visitors will report to the Assistant Principal at the door to her classroom.
From September 2018, all visitors will be required to sign a visitors’ book on arrival at the school, as per our Child Safety Statement.
Resources for safety, health and welfare in the school
a) Funding for Remedial works and maintenance. The Board of Management ensures that funding is always available to remedy assessed risks in a timely manner and carry out regular maintenance.
b) School Policies and procedures that have a direct bearing on safety, health & welfare of pupils and teachers
School hours, attendance and supervision. Critical Incident Mangement Policy
Anti-Bullying Policy. Child Protection Policy.
Code of Behaviour Substance Use Policy.
Dignity in the workplace Administration of Medicine
School tours Special Educational Needs
Internet Safety: Acceptable Use Policy RSE
These policies and procedures have a direct bearing on the safety of pupils and teachers and are taken into account when the overall Safety Statement for the school is decided and reviewed.
o High viz vests for staff and pupils
(when walking in town eg. to the library, GAA grounds, community activities etc)
o First Aid kit
o Fire extinguishers & fire blankets
o Smoke detectors (batteries checked regularly)
o Salt for treating icy surfaces
o Emergency exits & assembly points clearly marked
d) Cleaning contract. All areas of the school are cleaned twice weekly to a high standard. A cleaning schedule is displayed in the cleaner’s store cupboard.
e) First Aid training for all staff, organized every two years
f) Security Alarm System
A contract is in place with Phonewatch. The school alarm system is set each time the school is left unoccupied. In the case where the alarm is activated and the Monitoring Company contact the key holders (currently Thomas Cosby, Rev. Alec Pursar, David Walsh-Kemmis), it is the responsibility of the keyholder to contact the gardaí if he/she judges it necessary.
The whole school premises is a non-smoking area.
Monitoring and Review
This Health, Safety and Welfare Statement will be reviewed annually at the June Board meeting to ensure its optimum implementation. The Board of Management reserves the right to modify details at short notice. Such modifications may be needed in an ever-changing environment and social context.
Policy Ratified on: 20th June 2018
Signed by: Thomas Cosby Chairperson