New safety and health management resource for post-primary schools

Wednesday 8th October

Ireland’s post-primary schools have a valuable new resource to help them create and manage a safe and healthy work and school environment following the publication today of the Guidelines on Managing Safety and Health in Post-Primary Schools.

The Health and Safety Authority and the State Claims Agency together with the Department of Education and Skills and the School Development Planning Initiative developed the Guidelines in response to a strong demand from the education sector for guidance and clarification to enable them to better manage the existing legal obligations and responsibilities that have been placed on schools. The Guidelines are intended as a single comprehensive guidance document and toolkit that reflects current legislative requirements and best practice. They do not place any additional responsibilities on schools beyond those that already exist.

The Guidelines set out a step-by-step approach to safety and health management that can be used by schools to develop new systems or to improve those already in place. They contain a suite of materials including a series of planning templates, a sample safety and health policy, management organisation charts and training and monitoring tools. There are also risk assessment templates for the most common hazards and risks found in the school environment.

Copies of the Guidelines will be issued to all post-primary schools in the coming week together with a CD version of the Guidelines for ease of use.

Ciaran Breen, Director of the State Claims Agency, said: “The practical advice and tools contained in the Guidelines represent a solid foundation for a rigorous and accountable system of safety and health management.”

In welcoming the distribution of the Guidelines to post-primary schools this week, Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the Health and Safety Authority, said: “The provision of a safe working and learning environment for staff and students is a fundamental responsibility of school management authorities and the Guidelines provide them with a structured practical approach to achieving this.”

The Department of Education and Skills welcomes the publication of this aid for school management and staff in their approach to managing safety and health.

The Guidelines may be downloaded from the following websites: