From pupils using computers to employees photocopying, portable electrical appliances will be used every single day across your school.
Though they do come part and parcel with running a modern school, electrical appliances also come with a number of associated Health & Safety risks. Here are nine potential hazards to consider.
Carrying out activities in low light can be difficult and unsafe, and so correct lighting should be provided and maintained.
Specific levels of light (measured in lux on the plane surface) is recommended for different parts of your school:
Natural window light is also encouraged (and therefore factored into school design plans), as this has been linked to enhanced mood, energy and concentration.
Electrical faults can lead to fire and electric shock, and there is a risk of electrocution from poorly maintained equipment.
Check all tools before use and carry out PAT Testing on all electrical appliances at regular intervals.
If pupils or employees are using hand-held power tools to cut materials (e.g. during a Design Technology class), residue and debris might be produced. If they come into contact with this, it can cause injury and, if inhaled, further health issues.
This reinforces the importance of first aiders always being available, and anyone involved in undertaking such activities should wear suitable Protective Personal Equipment (PPE).
Some equipment will require restricted access, particularly from pupils, to make sure it is only accessible by individuals who are safe to use it.
To prevent the use of equipment by an unauthorised person, you should:
Inadequate guarding on handheld electrical appliances could lead to users getting clothing caught.
To control this, along with other Health & Safety risks, it’s important to avoid loose clothing where possible, and should be reflected in your uniform policies.
In addition to the above, users may experience both hand arm or whole-body vibration from using hand tools.
Though this is a relatively low risk, you may wish to identify vibration magnitude from manufacturer’s data and calculate exposure using a Hand-Arm Vibration Calculator.
There is a danger of exposure to excessive levels of noise from anyone using portable equipment.
In these circumstances, hearing protection should be available and worn.
Without good workplace housekeeping, there is a risk of trips and falls from trailing cables, as well as the paths of others being obstructed.
You should ensure that cables are not trailing and adhere to good housekeeping practices.
Effective Health & Safety management requires good housekeeping. With that in mind, here are some general Health & Safety risks to consider:
Partnered with us, they have over 20 years’ experience keeping schools safe, so you can be sure you are in safe hands that understand the unique challenges facing the education sector.
If you are not yet a client and have any questions around your Health & Safety responsibilities, contact the Citation team today on 0345 241 5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.