Safe Working Practices

As an education leader, you know that you are responsible for protecting your employees and pupils. Safe working practices are written methods of completing higher risk activities, outlining the step-by-step way of completing a task safely, and are the backbone of robust Health & Safety management of a school.

From proactive legalisation updates to around-the-clock access to Health & Safety advisors, Citation can help you to design, review and implement safe working practices that can form the robust backbone of your Health & Safety management.

As a Citation customer, you will benefit from:

  • Guidance on how to pull safe working practices together and what to prioritise
  • Annual visits from a dedicated consultant to ensure continual compliance
  • 24-hour access to Citation’s expert Health & Safety advice line, 365 days a year
  • Access to more than 100 school-specific risk assessment templates
  • Citation’s intuitive portal, Atlas, where you can manage all the documentation that you need to demonstrate compliance in one easily-accessible place
  • Proactive updates on legislative changes, along with documentation alignment where relevant
  • An ever-growing list of online training courses to refresh your employees’ knowledge

Why should you have a Health & Safety handbook?

Health & Safety handbooks help to clarify the Health & Safety standards and responsibilities of all employees. The handbook will describe the ins and outs of all relevant subjects and what each employee must do to control the related hazards.

When done properly, they help to drive engagement and adoption around your school, which goes a long to way to minimising accidents.

They also serve as a written point of reference for you to fall back on should an employee disregard your processes.

Citation schools benefit from 24/7 access to an intuitive portal, Atlas, to help them manage all the necessary documentation to demonstrate Health & Safety compliance, as well as giving you access to model documentation, templates and handbooks. Combined with Citation’s 24-hour advice line, this can help you to create a bespoke Health & Safety handbook that is tailored to your school.

What steps should you follow to ensure risk assessments are successful?

Initially, you should identify any hazards and consider who could be in harm’s way. This should be followed by completing a hazard evaluation, prioritising those with greater risk by considering both their likelihood and the scale of harm they could inflict.

Ideally, hazards identified initially should be removed altogether. If this is not possible, you should put an alternative process in place that reduces the amount of risk.

You should review what safety controls you currently have in place and their effectiveness. Assess the risk by looking at how often a hazard could happen and the severity of harm that could occur, and subsequently re-evaluate the situation and give yourself actions to put in place to make the scenario even safer if possible.

All findings should be recorded, and you should carefully consider how you will communicate these. It is advisable to keep this short so that it is digestible, distributing them through team meetings and one-to-ones, and storing digital or print copies somewhere that is easily accessible to employees.

Finally, it is important to review your risk assessments periodically, amending them in accordance with the latest procedures and processes within your school, as well as the most up-to-date legalisation changes.

What should be included in Health & Safety policies?

Any organisation with five or more employees on their books is legally required to have written Health & Safety policies in place, which will apply to every school, academy or trust.

Your policies should cover how you will manage things like accident reporting, legionella and gas safety.

Each policy is its own entity and should include a breakdown of things like:

  • A description of what it is
  • Why it is important
  • Who it effects
  • Associated hazards
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Employee responsibilities

If you do not have written policies in place, you could be fined up to £20,000 in a Magistrates Court, or worse face an unlimited fine in Crown Court.

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