Whether it is safely handling chemicals in the science lab or preventing slips and falls, students and staff should be provided with the tools and knowledge to promote a safer learning environment.
1. According to OSHA, slips, trips, and falls cause some of the most serious and disabling injuries among students, staff, and visitors. Slippery surfaces, inadequate lighting, and objects left lying on floors are common causes for accidents. Prevent slips and falls by displaying wet floor signs and cones during floor maintenance. Clean spills up immediately and create barriers to let people know that the floor is still wet. Cleaning staff should wear the proper footwear while maintaining floors, such as shoes with rubber soles.
2. Provide first aid supplies. Cuts, bruises, and scalds are common accidents among school children. Make sure first aid supplies are available and routinely checked and replenished.
3. Handling chemicals in the science laboratory requires a detailed hand hygiene plan, as well as a clear plan for handling spills. Students and staff should always wear gloves and eye protection while handling chemicals. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) should be kept in an SDS binder and readily accessible. Eyewash stations are important elements of a school chemistry lab. They should be inspected and tested annually to ensure they are in proper working order.
4. Accidents among younger children often occur on the playground. Have custodians routinely inspect the outdoor areas for faulty equipment, such as swing sets, and ground hazards, such as potholes. Create barriers around hazards until repairs can be made.
5. Conduct regular staff safety meetings. By reminding staff to practice and teach safety tips on a periodic basis, you can reduce injuries among staff, students, and visitors.