How To Maintain Health and Safety in Schools

Whether it's playing tag on the playground at break time or conducting experiments in the science classroom, health and safety risks can present themselves in numerous areas of a school.

To ensure the safety of students in schools, it is important to understand the varying health and safety risks that are associated with different classes and activities. This blog aims to explain where potential accidents could occur, who is responsible and how to prevent them by using the correct signage. 

What is Health and Safety in Schools?

 Health and safety in schools refers to the measures taken to ensure students, staff and visitors are protected from harm while on school grounds or participating in school activities. It can be maintained through identifying potential hazards and implementing safety measures, such as signs, to prevent accidents.

Who is Responsible?

Whilst the employer of the school is legally accountable for the health and safety of the school, the responsibility extents to staff to implement and maintain measures to sustain the health and safety of students. When developing learning opportunities, the focus for staff should be on controlling the risks, not eliminating the risks altogether as health and safety should be about doing things safely.

Potential Risks

Within the school environment, an element of risk will always remain. However, having general measures in place, like health and safety signs, can indicate where potential dangers are for pupils and staff. So where do potential dangers occur?

Health and Safety on the Playground

 School playgrounds can be an exciting place for children to socialise and play and schools should be aware of the potential dangers. From ball games to climbing equipment, students are prone to getting cuts and bruises when playing outdoors. Using information signs on the school playground, can minimise risk and promote a safe play environment for children. Signs such as, no running or ball games give clear and concise information, reducing the likelihood of incidents.

 Health and Safety in the Sports Facilities

 Sports and Physical Education (PE) can be a student’s favourite lesson; however, this can present some risks, whether held on the sports field or sports hall. Contact sports are widely enjoyed at school, but they are not without dangers. Having members of staff trained in first aid can reduce the severity of injuries if they do occur and having clear first aid facilities signage is essential. 

 Health and Safety in Classrooms

 Depending on the lesson, health and safety risks can vary from classroom to classroom. General health and safety precautions, such as fire safety signs to identify the location of fire safety equipment, are visible in every classroom. However, for specialised classrooms like science labs where hazardous substances are exposed, it is essential for the correct signs to be on display. Hazard signs such as, danger and caution signs, provide clear instructions for handling such materials and help students and teacher identify and mitigate potential hazards, promoting a safe learning environment.  

 Health and Safety in Food Service Areas

School food areas can present a range of potential risks to students and staff, from allergic reactions to slips and falls. To minimise these risks, schools can use signs to promote safe practices and behaviours. Using signage to promote safe practices, such as ‘now wash your hands please’ and ‘drinking water’ can minimise the health risks associated with food hygiene. Also, hygiene signs can be a useful reminder to students to encourage good hygiene and health and safety, while reducing the likelihood of foodborne illnesses.

 Health and Safety in Restrooms

Restrooms can be a potential area for risk is they are not maintained and supervised. Using warning signs, such as no smoking signs clearly enforce strict rules and keep your school smoke free. Bathrooms are the most common place for this to occur so by having signs and regular monitoring it can significantly reduce the health and safety risk. Also, fire exit signs are essential in bathrooms as there is usually only one exit, and it needs to be kept clear at all times.

Leading Supplier in Health and Safety Signs

At UK School Signs, we are a leading supplier of school health and safety signs, and with our wide range there is a sign for every occasion. However, if you cannot find what you are looking for, our custom signs are the perfect way to design your own bespoke school signs. Explore today or get in touch with our friendly team for assistance.