Health and Safety Statement 2016

Scoil Maelruain Senior

Health and Safety



  1. Title
  2. Introductory Statement
  3. Rationale
  4. Relationship To Characteristic Spirit Of The School
  5. Aims
  6. Guidelines

-Responsibility of the Employer

-Responsibility of the Employees

-Entitlements of the Safety Representative

Part 2

  1. Fire Drill and School Evacuation Procedures
  2. Emergency Contact Procedures
  3. Serious Accident Prevention and Accident Report Form
  4. Health Issues
  5. First Aid
  6. Safety and Welfare Issues: Pupils
  7. Safety and Welfare Issues : Staff

Health and Safety Statement  Scoil Maelruain Senior

Introductory  Statement:

This statement was reviewed by Margaret Murphy (Safety representative) and Caitriona Hogan in January 2016. It was then circulated to all staff members and presented to and discussed with the Board of Management in February 2016.This updated policy was  ratified on February 8th 2016..


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. It represents the Board of Management’s commitment to safety and health, and specifies the manner, the organisation and the resources necessary for maintaining and reviewing safety and health standards.

The Board of Management is required to document the school’s health and safety statement and make it available to all employees, outside services providers and Inspectors of the Health and Safety Authority. The Board of Management must also consider its ‘duty of care’ in the school and this must be an integral part of any Health and Safety statement.

Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school

While preparing this policy the Board is mindful of the unique place the school occupies as an extension of the home life of the child and the responsibilities entrusted to the personnel of the school by the parents of the pupils and by the Department of Education’s Rules for National Schools. Safety, Health and Welfare within the school is, and has always been acknowledged as a most serious duty incumbent on all members of the school community and one which calls for constant vigilance.


With this policy the Board of management of Scoil Maelruain Senior hopes;

  • 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
    • Provision of a safe workplace for all employees – teachers, SNAs, secretary, caretaker, etc.
    • To ensure competent employees, who will carry out safe work practices
    • Safe access and egress routes
    • Safe handling and use of hazardous substances and equipment
    • Safe equipment including maintenance and use of appropriate guards
    • Provision of appropriate personal protective equipment.


Responsibilities of employer – Board of Management

  • Provide and maintain a workplace that is safe and do likewise for all machinery and equipment etc.
  • Manage work activities to ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees
  • Ensure that risks are assessed and hazards are eliminated or minimized as far as is reasonably practicable
  • Prepare a safety statement and regularly update it, particularly when there have been significant changes or when the risk assessment is no longer valid
  • Provide and maintain decent welfare facilities for employees
  • Prepare and update procedures to deal with an emergency situation and communicate these procedures to employees
  • Appoint a competent person to oversee the functions of the Board in relation to Health & Safety
  • Provide training and information to workers in a format and language that is appropriate, including training on the commencement of employment
  • Report serious accidents to the Health and Safety Authority
  • Consult annually with employees and provide them with information in relation to safety, health and welfare
  • Require employers from whom services are contracted to have an up to date safety statement (e.g. painters, contract cleaners, bus companies…)

Responsibilities of employees

Health and safety is everyone’s business. As a worker you have legal duties designed to protect you and those you work with

Responsibilities include:

  • Not to be under the influence of an intoxicant to the extent that they endanger your own or other persons’ safety. To submit to tests for intoxicants as and when regulations specifying testing procedures are adopted
  • To co-operate with an employer or other people to ensure that the Health and Safety law is implemented
  • Not to engage in improper conduct that will endanger you or anyone else
  • To attend Health and Safety training and correctly use any equipment at work
  • To use protective clothes and equipment provided
  • To report any dangerous practices or situations that you are aware of to an appropriate person
  • Not to interfere or misuse any safety equipment at your workplace
  • If you are suffering from a disease or illness that adds to risks, to tell your employer.

Entitlements of safety representative (Section 25 Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005)

The safety representative has the right to:

  • Represent the employees at the place of work in consultation with the employer on matters in relation to health and safety
  • Inspect the place of work on a schedule agreed with the employer or immediately in the event of an accident, dangerous occurrence or imminent danger or risk to the safety, health and welfare of any person
  • Receive appropriate training
  • Investigate accidents and dangerous occurrences
  • Investigate complaints made by employees
  • Accompany an inspector carrying out an inspection at the workplace
  • Make representations to the employer on matters relating to safety, health and welfare
  • Make representations to and receive information from, an inspector
  • Consult and liaise with other safety representatives in the same undertaking.

Risk Assessment

Each year, the Board of Management should carry out a risk assessment, identifying hazards, assessing the risks and specifying the actions required to eliminate or minimize them. Hazards may include physical, health, biological, chemical and human hazards.

1. Fire-drill and School Evacuation Procedures

Fire Drills will be held at least once a term.

The following are the correct agreed procedures in the event of a fire in the school


On hearing the fire alarm:

  • The Senior teacher in charge will be responsible for ensuring that the Fire Brigade is called immediately
  • Persons in charge of classes will take up their registers and marshal the class in an orderly manner to the assembly point by an exit route away from the fire. Adults in charge should check toilets on their way past.
  • Other members of staff will immediately make their way to the assembly point.
  • Anyone not with their class or group when the alarm sounds must make their way to the assembly point and join their appropriate class or group. As soon as classes and groups are assembled each teacher and senior member of a group 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 staff
  • No other person must leave the assembly point to recover clothing, bags etc. until permission has been given- in the case of a drill by the Principal teacher- in the case of a fire by the Fire Officer in charge.
  • These instructions are not intended to preclude an immediate attack on the fire with the available fire appliances, where this can be done without personal risk.
  • The designated assembly points following evacuation are as follows;

Any employee/pupil/visitor on hearing the fire alarm will leave by the nearest safest exit and gather on the children’s yard areas

3rd/4th classes will assemble on their assigned lines on the junior yard

5th/6th classes will assemble behind the 3rd/4th classes on the junior yard.

(i)                 The Board of Management will ensure that an adequate supply of fire extinguishers, suitable for the type of fires likely to occur in each area, is available, identified and regularly serviced by authorised and qualified persons. Each fire extinguisher shall have instructions for its use.

(ii)              The principal will ensure that fire drills shall take place at least once a term.

(iii)            Fire alarms shall be clearly marked. (Responsibility of Board of Management Safety Officer)

(iv)            Signs shall be clearly visible to ensure that visitors are aware of exit doors and routes.(Staff Safety Officer)

(v)               All doors, corridors, and entries shall be kept clear of obstruction and shall be able to be opened at all times from within the building.

(vi)            Assembly areas are designated outside each building, and the locations specified.

(vii)          Exit signs shall be clearly marked.

(viii)       All electrical equipment shall be left unplugged when unattended for lengthy periods. Teachers are responsible for their own classroom. The secretary/Principal, as appropriate, is responsible for the office. Staff room is every teacher’s responsibility. Cleaner to check when cleaning.

(ix)            All recommendations made by a Fire Officer in addition to these provisions shall be implemented.

2.Emergency Contact Procedures

2.1             Parents/Guardians provide contact arrangements upon registering their children in Scoil Maelruain Senior. These contact details are kept on file on the school computer and teachers can access them via the Alladin computer programme. Teachers are to print off a copy of these contacts and store them in their top drawer. A hard copy of this information is stored in secretary’s office.

2.2             In September the Parents/Guardians are asked to supply contact details in the front of the child’s Dialann by their class teacher.

2.3 In case of an emergency the Principal/Deputy principal will contact the   parents/guardians. If no contact can be made and it is deemed necessary the Principal/Deputy Principal will accompany the child to the doctor/ hospital.

3. Serious Accident Procedure & Accident Report Form

3.1  A report must be made to the HSA in respect of the following types of incident:

  • An accident causing loss of life to any employed or self-employed person if sustained in the course of their employment
  • An accident sustained in the course of their employment which prevents any employed or self-employed person from performing the normal duties of their employment for more than 3 calendar days not including the date of the accident
  • An accident to any person not at work caused by a work activity which causes loss of life or requires medical treatment.

3.2  Critical incidents- see  School Critical Incident Policy updated in 2016

4. Health Issues

4.1                        Enrolment Form

There is a section on the enrolment form allowing parents to identify any allergies/illnesses of the applicant.

4.2                        Managing specific health issues

Teachers and SNAs are made aware of the health issues in relation to certain pupils during a staff meeting at the beginning of the school year and throughout the year. Staff meetings to discuss issues regarding the general running of the school are held at least twice a term.  When classes are moving on at the end of the year the current teacher will inform the new teacher of any specific health issues in the class.

4.3                        Administration of Medication – see school Substance Use Policy

4.4                        Sickness or Injury

Children who become sick or seriously injured during the school day are to be sent home. The secretary or teacher will inform parents/guardians and they will be asked to collect their child.

  • The Housekeeper of Scoil Maelruain Senior will keep a watchful eye on children, who for sufficient health reasons and on the written request of a parent, are permitted to remain seated in the assembly hall during break times. Should any behavioural difficulties arise the housekeeper will report to the class teacher or the Principal, Deputy Principal or Senior Teacher in charge. As a general practice in the school, no other children are permitted to be in the school during break time- either in classrooms or in the assembly hall.

4.5 Infectious Diseases

It is the policy of the Board of Management that all infectious diseases shall be notified and steps taken to ensure the safety of staff and students against all such diseases. A file containing letters for parents/guardians regarding such illnesses is kept in the secretariy’s office. K. Mc Hugh also has a book of these letters in her classroom.

The following is an example of some of the notifiable illnesses; Rubella, Chicken Pox, Measles, Ringworm, Swine Flu, Impetigo, Mumps, Scarlet fever, (this list is not exhaustive)

Head lice: If a case of head lice comes to the attention of the teacher a letter on treating head lice will be sent home with all the children in the class.

4.6 School Hygiene

Hygiene is the concern of everyone in our school. Good hygiene is essential for the health and welfare of all in the school. The staff, teachers and ancillary staff are requested to be vigilant in this regard. Teachers are asked to train their pupils in good hygiene practices and are asked to bring to the notice of the Principal teacher any corrective action which may be deemed to be necessary.

Toilets and washrooms shall be provided at all times with an adequate supply of water, soap, towels and a facility for the safe disposal of waste

4.7                        General cleanliness of school environment

The caretaker and housekeepers are generally responsible for the general cleanliness of the school environment. As part of our involvement in The Green Flag Project children are encouraged to keep our school clean and tidy and to be watchful for litter. Teachers should help to keep their classrooms/ sink areas free of general litter and encourage their classes to do the same.

Teachers/staff are encouraged to clean up after themselves in the staff room at break times.

Refuse bins are to be emptied every second day and before school holidays/breaks by the school caretaker.

4.8 Healthy Eating

Scoil Maelruain Senior has a Healthy Eating policy which is also included in the information section of the children’s dialann. Healthy eating is part of the S.P.H.E. curriculum (see school S.P.H.E. plan)

5. First Aid

5.1 The  whole staff has received training in First Aid . Further training will be organised in 2016 as part of our ‘Croke Park’ hours.

The Housekeepers of Scoil Maelruain Senior are responsible for the treatment of cuts, bumps or bruises received by pupils during playtime 12:30-13:00 .

Parents will be notified if a child bangs his/her head during the school day.

The classroom teacher is responsible for the treatment of minor injuries during the rest of the school day. Disposable gloves are provided for the persons treating cuts grazes etc. they should always be used and thrown away after each use. The sink in the kitchen area should not be used to treat cuts.

  • The sinks in the toilet areas off the halla are to be used. A first Aid Box is kept in this sink area. Smaller green first aid kits are kept in the kitchen and on the corridors, these kits may also be brought out on school trips. The teachers who take responsibility for GAA matches outside of school also have larger first Aid Kits
  • The First Aid Kits include the following

Various sized plasters and non adhesive dressings, steri-strips/paper stitches, gauze, surgical tape, moist sterile wipes, instant icepacks, (frozen ice packs and covers are kept in the freezer), disposable gloves, antiseptic lotion and cream and anti-histamine spray for stings/bites

  • At small break one of the teachers/snas on duty is to accompany the child into the hall and to treat the injury.

  • If any teacher/staff member is in doubt about the seriousness of the injury or how to treat it they should seek advice from the Principal/Deputy principal and/or ring the parents.

6. Safety and Welfare Issues: Pupils

6.1 Assembly and Dismissal of Pupils

  • Scoil Maelruain Senior opens for school business at 9:05 am and in accordance with Rule 124(4) all teachers will be present to exercise the required supervision etc. over their classes at that time.
  • As per school rules the children are not allowed to cycle/skate/use scooters in the school grounds, they must dismount at the school gates.

6.2                 Pupils leaving the school premises during the school day e.g. dentist or doctor appointment

  • The parent/guardian should first inform the secretary who will then send a message to the child’s teacher. The Parents/guardians must collect the child from school in person. The secretary logs the date and time.
  • A written note in the child’s dialann or verbal notification to the child’s class teacher or Principal is required before the child may leave the school.

6.3 Supervision of Pupils

  • Under Rule 123(4) and Circular 16/73 of the Department of Education our Principal Teacher is responsible for the discipline of the school generally, the control of other members of staff including the coordination and effective supervision of their work, the organisation of the school and other matters relating to the work of the school. In carrying out these duties, the Principal is required to organise supervision of the order and general behaviour of the pupils during school hours. In particular he/she should organise and participate in the effective supervision of the pupils during breaks, lunch periods assembly and dismissal.
  • A table of names and times of supervision duties for yard time is on display each month in the staff room and a copy is given to every teacher undertaking yard supervision duties.
  • The teacher on duty informs the teacher in the nearest classroom when he/she is taking her lunch break and leaves the class with written work.
  • The Deputy Principal is required to assist the Principal in the day to day organisation and supervision of the school and has also the following duties.

1. To take up duty in the corridors on days when the pupils are not permitted out due to inclement weather.

2. To take overall responsibility at assembly time in the 5th/6th class yard or the 3rd/4th yard. The Principal is to take similar responsibility in the other yard. The exercise of this responsibility does not exonerate the class teachers from their direct responsibilities to their specific classes both at assembly time, during the school day and at dismissal time.

6.3 Incident / Accident book

  • In the event of a serious incident or accident the teacher in charge or on duty when the accident took place will record the incident in an accident/incident report form which is stored in the secretary’s office in a Folder. This form should be countersigned by the Principal or in his/her absence the Deputy Principal.

6.4               Code of Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policy: Refer to school’s policy for dealing with behaviour which causes a risk to others.

6.5               Allegations or Suspicions of Child Abuse

The school’s Child Protection Policy, in line with Child Protection Guidelines, must be followed in the case of an allegation or suspicion of child abuse. The Principal is the Designated Liaison Person and the Deputy Principal is the Assistant Designated Liaison Person. Every teacher is given a copy of the school’s Child Protection Guidelines.

6.6 School tours / Outings:

Teachers must have written permission from parents/guardians when taking the class on a trip or school tour. Adequate supervision should be arranged by the teacher/teachers involved. The health and safety aspects or risks involved in any trip should be considered carefully and planned for.

7. Safety and Welfare Issues: Staff

7.1            Garda clearance

Garda vetting is mandatory for all people employed by the Board of Management and for visiting teachers.

7.2            Employees work in a reasonably comfortable and safe environment. If they feel improvements are  required they should bring this to the attention of the Principal

7.3            The caretaker is provided with appropriate safety gear and the onus is on him to maintain this equipment and ensure its proper use.

7.4            Safety  procedures are to be  followed by cleaners

Be mindful of vacuum cleaner leads trailing on the floor/ corridors while there is movement of students/staff in the building.

When cleaning/mopping floors safety/ hazard signs are to be used.

Cleaning materials should be locked away out of children’s reach.


The following hazards (in so much as can be identified) are considered by the Board of Management to be a source of potential danger and are brought to the attention of all concerned.

  1. Wet corridors
  2. Trailing leads
  3. Typewriters, Computers
  4. Guillotine
  5. Fuse Board
  6. Electric kettles
  7. Boiler house
  8. Ladders
  9. Protruding units and fittings

10.External store to be kept locked


12.Slabs around perimeter of school

13.Garden stores

14.Icy surfaces on a cold day

To minimise these dangers the following safety/ protective measures must be adhered to:

(a)   Access to and operation of plant/equipment is restricted to qualified members of the staff, whose job function is that of running, maintaining, cleaning and monitoring particular items of plant in the course of their normal duties. Copies of this Safety Statement will be sent to all contractors prior to contract by the Principal/Board of Management. Any other contractors entering the school must be shown a copy of the schools Safety Statement and shall adhere to its provisions.

(b)  In addition all such plant and machinery is to be used in strict accordance with the manufactures instructions and recommendations.

(c)   Precautionary notices, in respect of safety matters are displayed at relevant points.

(d)  Ladders must be used with another person’s assistance.

(e)   Avoid use of glass bottles where possible by pupils. Remove broken glass immediately on discovery

(f)     All staff members will check that floors are  non-slip.

(g)  Principal will check that PE equipment is stacked securely and in position so as not to cause a hazard.

(h)   Check that all PE and other mats are in good condition.

(i)     An annual routine for inspecting furniture, floors, apparatus, equipment and fittings.  Staff Safety Representative and caretaker.

(j)     Caretaker checks  benches  are free from splinters.

(k)    Teachers check that horses, beams and benches are stable and do not wobble when in use.

(l)     Check that there are no uneven/broken/cracked paving slabs. Caretaker under Board of Management.

(m) Will check that roofs, guttering, drain pipes etc as far as can be seen are sound and well maintained. Caretaker.

(n)   Caretaker checks that manholes are safe.

(o)  Check that outside lighting works and is sufficient – Caretaker

(p)  Check that all builder’s materials, caretakers’ maintenance equipment, external stores etc are stored securely. Principal

(q)  Check that refuse is removed from building every second day and is disposed of correctly. Caretaker.

Constant Hazards

Machinery, Kitchen equipment, Electrical appliances.

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Scoil Maelruain Senior that machinery, kitchen equipment and electrical appliances are to be used only by competent and authorised persons. Such appliances and equipment will be subject to regular maintenance checks. Before using any appliance the user should check that

¨      Power supply cables/leads are in tact and free of cuts or abrasions.

¨      Unplug leads of appliances when not in use.

¨      Suitable undamaged fused plug tops are used and fitted with the correct fuse.

¨      Follow official guidelines issued by the Health and Safety Authority.

Wet Floors

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Scoil Maelruain Senior that every attempt will be made to avoid the creation of slippery surfaces. The washing of floors shall be conducted, as far as is possible, after school hours to eliminate as far as possible, the danger of slipping. Where floors are wet, warning signs regarding wet floors shall be used. Attention is drawn to the possibility of outside floors and surfaces being affected by frost in cold weather, and staff and pupils shall be told to use handrails when going up or down stairs. Step edges shall be fitted with clearly marked edges of a non-slip nature wherever practical.

Smoking – (cigarettes and electronic vapour devices)

It is the policy of the Board of Management that the school premises shall be a non-smoking area to avoid hazard to staff and pupils of passive smoking.

Broken Glass

The Board of Management shall minimise the danger arising from broken glass. Staff are asked to report broken glass to the Principal/Caretaker so that it may be immediately removed.

Role Of The School Caretaker

While the Board Of management of Scoil Maelruain Senior has the ultimate responsibility for maintaining the school building and grounds the school caretaker is responsible for ensuring:

  1. That the fabric of the school building, the playground, the perimeter walls and fence, access gates and car park are so maintained that injury to any member of the school community or public shall not result.
  2. He will ensure that obstructions of any nature that may cause injury to the school community shall not be left in halls, corridors, toilets, kitchen, library or staff room except designated items of furniture.
  3. He will regularly check lighting, switches and sockets to ensure their safety
  4. He will regularly inspect the yards and remove any obstacles, glass debris etc. Yards will be swept as needs arises.

Equipment and Materials

Lawnmowers, ladders and any other equipment associated with school maintenance are stored in a safe area, not accessible to children. Children are not allowed to enter the store rooms in the Junior or Senior block.

Success criteria

This policy will be brought to the attention of staff at the beginning of each school year and new staff members will be informed of the policy.

These procedures will apply from January 2016

Timetable for Review

This policy will be reviewed in 2020 or as need arises; as stated below.

This policy will be published on the school website.

The HSA recommended that a review should be conducted when any changes have been made to work practices, personnel, where a practice is no longer valid or under the direction from the HSA inspector.

Revision of This Safety Statement

This statement shall be regularly revised by the Board Of Management of Scoil Maelruain Senior in accordance with experience and the requirements of the Health and Safety Act and the Health and Safety Authority.

Signed on behalf of the Board of Management:

Chairman:  Frank Moran                    Date 08/02/2016

Principal: Caitriona Hogan                 Date 08/02/2016

Safety Officer:Thomas Conway          Date: 08/02/2016

Safety Officer: Margaret Murphy        Date: 08/02/2016

Policy statement in accordance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989

Reference Section

  • Guidelines on Preparing your Safety Statement, HSA
  • A short guide to The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (
  • Report of the Advisory Committee on Health & Safety Statement for Schools. HSA. This report contains a format for a Safety Statement.
  • CPSMA Management Board Members’ Handbook
  • A Supplementary Handbook for Primary Schools under Protestant Management. Second Edition. p.22 – 27 Compiling a Safety Statement
  • INTO Guidelines for compiling a Safety Statement
  • A Guide to Insurance, Safety and Security in the School (2002), Church & General p. 24-32
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 (
  • Round Hall’s Primary Education Management Manual CD – ROM
  • Mahon O. (2002) The Principal’s Legal Handbook IVEA. Ch.3 Safety, Health & Welfare in School
  • Working Together. Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations. INTO 2000
    • Guidelines on First Aid (Index chart) from the regional Health Promotion Units
    • “Infection in School”. A manual for school personnel, available from regional Health promotion units on
    • Responding to Critical Incidents – Advice and Information Pack for Schools from   The National Educational Psychological Service, Frederick Court, 24-27 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1
  • Employee Assistance Service (EAS) for teachers, managed by VHI Corporate Solutions. DES
  • Solas (CPMSA) Nov./Dec. 2006. Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, p3
  • Solas (CPMSA). Spring 2007, p14. Employee Assistance Service for Teachers.
  • InTouch, December 2006, p10. Employee Assistance Service for Teachers.
  • Solas (CPMSA), Summer 2007 p19. Supervision of pupils outside official school opening hours- a dilemma.
  • Leadership +, IPPN April 2007. p16. Health & Safety for Senior Managers


Health and Safety Authority
Allianz Insurance

Annual School Audit

  1. A. Fire Safety.  School Record for School Year ______________________

Fire Drill Fire Equipment
Date of Fire Drill Observations Areas identified that need to improve next time Date


Improvements made & date Observations

Annual School Audit

  1. B. School Environment. School Record for School Year ______________________

Date Identified Damage/Hazard Location in school Reported to…


Action taken Cost/Observations etc  in maintaining safety