Each weekday morning there are more than 3.1 million teachers and 49.8 million students rushing into public schools. (National Center for Education Statistics)
With the sheer volume of traffic in and out of schools each morning, revising safety protocols to minimize potential risks, like slips and falls, must be a priority.
You likely strive to continually reinforce your safety policy and communicate the importance of creating a culture of safety and prevention within your school. If you are looking for a way to reduce your costs while maintaining a high standard of safety, you might consider a policy revision. Starting small, consider these seven simple steps you can take in your school to minimize the occurrence of slip and fall accidents.
1. Entry Carpets To Reduce Moisture
As teachers and students travel into the school their shoes bring the outdoors in, be it snow, rain, dirt or muck. During wet or wintery months, it is important that your school entryways have carpets that extend at least six feet to ensure shoes are losing accumulated moisture. This simple measure will keep moisture contained to one manageable area and minimize the slip and fall risk throughout adjacent hallways and classrooms.
2. Outdoor Maintenance Schedule
Establishing a schedule to regularly maintain outdoor walkways, sidewalks and doorways is one way to minimize risk. Coordinating regular intervals for shoveling and salting, and for moisture and debris removal is an easy method to prevent slips and falls.
3. Outdoor Hazard Inspection
It is important to inspect your outdoor school property regularly and keep an eye out for potential hazards. For example, take a few minutes to identify pavement cracks or heaving and if you are unable to repair them right away, spray paint these hazards a bright color to ensure safety for all school visitors.
4. Indoor Maintenance
Whether it is a spill in the art room or a mess in the cafeteria, always ensure that your custodial staff is prepared. Consider the following recommendations:
- Establish communication protocols to alert custodial staff of a hazard so they can arrive quickly on the scene.
- Provide custodial staff with the necessary equipment and barricades to keep teachers and students away from known hazards.
- Ensure custodial staff has ample cleaning and hazard removal supplies on hand.
5. Indoor Hazard Inspection
Much like outdoor inspection, you should consider doing indoor safety inspections regularly, too. Educate all staff members on problems they should look for and solutions to help them prevent accidents. Simple things include identifying extension cords hazards and bundling cords out of traffic areas, and looking out for areas where moisture tends to accumulate, increasing the risk for slips and falls.
6. Storage and Hanging Policies
As a school, you are taught to think first and foremost about the safety and well being of your students. It is however, just as important to consider the safety of your staff members. Classroom storage is an important consideration because improper storage methods can lead to injury and falls. Consider implementing a policy on proper classroom storage and hanging and educate your teaching staff on the do’s and don’ts of storage.
7. Proper Footwear
While it might be difficult to advocate for proper footwear at school to fashion savvy staff and students, but it is a must. Designer shoes are not made for walking in inclement weather and will not bode well for personal safety. Encourage your students and staff to wear sensible, weather-safe shoes into the building and to change their shoes once they are safety indoors. Consider offering your staff members a shoe storage bag to carry their fashionable shoes to and from school and to use as a storage bag for their sensible shoes during the day.
What other simple safety solutions would you recommend to prevent slips and falls? Does your school have best practices?
At R&R Insurance, we are committed to helping schools minimize their risk, offering solutions and resources to help build safe environments for staff and students alike.
Interested in learning how R&R Insurance can improve safety in your school and reduce your costs? Request our free safety resources and case studies or schedule a call with one of our School Group Experts, today.