The Board of Management brings to the attention of its staff the following arrangements for safeguarding the safety, health and welfare of those employed and working in the school.

This policy requires the co-operation of all employees. It shall be reviewed annually or more frequently if necessary, in the light of experience, changes in legal requirements and operational changes. A safety audit shall be carried out annually by the Board of Management Safety Officers and a report made to staff. All records of accidents and ill-health will be monitored in order to ensure that any safety measures required can be put in place to minimise the recurrence of such accidents and ill-health.

The Board of Management of Rathnure School wishes to ensure that as far as is reasonably practical:

  • The design, provision and maintenance of all places in the school shall be safe and without risk to health.
  • There shall be safe access to and from places of work.
  • Plant and Machinery may be opened safely in so far as is possible.
  • Work systems shall be planned, organised, performed and maintained so as to be safe and without risk to health.
  • Staff shall be instructed and supervised in so far as is reasonably possible so as to ensure the health and safety at work of its employees.
  • Protective clothing or equivalent shall be provided as is necessary to ensure the safety and health at work of its employees.
  • Plans for emergencies shall be complied with and revised as necessary.
  • This statement will be continually revised by the Board of Management as necessity arises, and shall be re-examined by the Board on at least an annual basis.
  • Employees shall be consulted on matters of health and safety.
  • Provisions shall be made for the election by the employees of a safety representative.

The Board of Management of Rathnure School recognises that its statutory obligations under legislation extends to employees, students, to any person legitimately conducting school business, and to the public.

The Board of Management of Rathnure School undertakes to ensure that the provisions of the safety, Health and welfare at Work Act 1989 are adhered to:

Duties of Employees

It is the duty of every employee while at work:

  • to take reasonable care for his/her own safety, health and welfare, and that of any person who may be affected by his/her acts or omissions while at work.
  • To co-operate with his/her employer and any other person to such extent as will enable his/her employer or the other person to comply with any of the relevant statutory provisions.
  • To use in such manner so as to provide the protection intended, any suitable appliance, protective clothing, convenience, equipment or thing provided (whether for his/her lone use or for use by him/her in common with others) for securing his/her safety, health or welfare at work.
  • To report to the Board of Management without unreasonable delay, any defects in plant, equipment, place or work, or system of work, which might endanger safety, health or welfare of which he/she becomes aware.

No person will intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse any appliance, protective clothing, convenience or other means or thing provided in pursuance or any of the relevant statutory provisions or other wise, for securing safety, health or welfare or persons arising out of work activities.

Employees using available facilities and equipment provided, should ensure that work practices are performed in the safest manner possible (see section 9 of safety, health and welfare at Work Act 1989).

Consultation and Information

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School to consult with staff in preparation and completion of hazard control forms, to give a copy of the safety statement to all present and future staff, and to convey any additional information or instructions regarding health, safety and welfare at work to all staff as it becomes available. Health, safety and welfare at work will be considered in any future staff training and development plans.


Hazards shall be divided into two categories. Those which can be rectified will be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Those that cannot will be clearly indicated and appropriate procedures listed beside them. All hazards shall be eliminated in so far as resources and circumstances allow.


It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School that:

  • 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.
  • The principal will ensure that fire drills shall take place at least once a term.
  • Fire alarms shall be clearly marked. (Responsibility of Board of Management Safety Officer)
  • Signs shall be clearly visible to ensure that visitors are aware of exit doors and routes.(Staff Safety Officer)
  • 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. Each teacher who has an exit in/near his/her classroom must ensure it is kept clear. P.E. hall and main door – Principal will see they are free of obstruction.
  • A plan of the school shows assembly points outside the school.
  • Assembly areas are designated outside each building, and the locations specified.
  • Exit signs shall be clearly marked.
  • All electrical equipment shall be left unplugged when unattended for lengthy periods and when the building is empty. Teachers are responsible for their own classroom. The secretary/Principal, as appropriate, are responsible for the office. Staff room is every teacher’s responsibility. Cleaner to check when cleaning.
  • Bottled gas shall be stored in a secure place in such a manner as to minimise the danger of explosion in the case of fire.
  • Principal shall be responsible for fire drills and evacuation procedures.
  • All recommendations made by a Fire Officer in addition to these provisions shall be implemented.

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. Oil tanks
  3. Trailing leads
  4. Computers
  5. Guillotine
  6. Projectors
  7. Fuse Board
  8. Electric kettles
  9. Boiler house
  10. Ladders
  11. Protruding units and fittings
  12. Flat roof of hall and flat roof of school
  13. External store to be kept locked
  14. Lawnmower
  15. Slabs around perimeter of school
  16. Icy surfaces on a cold day
  17. Mats in hall
  18. Windows opening out
  19. Medicines
  20. Hot Drinks
  21. Classroom chairs
  22. Cleaning room to be locked

To minimise these dangers the following safety/ protective measures must be adhered to (see duties of employee pages 1-2 of this document).:

  • 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.
  • In addition all such plant and machinery is to be used in strict accordance with the manufactures instructions and recommendations.
  • Where applicable Board of Management will ensure that members of the staff will have been instructed in the correct use of plant, machinery and equipment.
  • All machinery and electrical equipment are fitted with adequate safeguards.
  • Precautionary notices, in respect of safety matters are displayed at relevant points.
  • Ladders must be used with another person’s assistance.
  • Avoid use of glass bottles where possible by pupils. Remove broken glass immediately on discovery
  • Board of Management will check that floors are clean, even, non-slip and splinter-proof.
  • Principal will check that PE equipment is stacked securely and in positioned so as not to cause a hazard.
  • Check that all PE and other mats are in good condition.
  • An annual routine for inspecting furniture, floors, apparatus, equipment and fittings. Board of Management Safety Officer and Staff Safety Representative.
  • Check that wooden beams, benches etc. Are free from splinters and generally sound Principal.
  • Check that vaulting horses, beams and benches are stable and do not wobble when in use. Principal.
  • Check that there are no uneven/broken/cracked paving slabs. Caretaker under Board of Management.
  • Will check that roofs, guttering, drain pipes etc as far as can be seen are sound and well maintained. Board of Management Safety Officer.
  • Check that all play areas, especially sand pits, are kept clean and free from glass before use.
  • Check that outside lighting works and is sufficient. Board of Management.
  • Check that all builder’s materials, caretakers’ maintenance equipment, external stores etc are stored securely. Principal and Board of Management Safety Officer.
  • Check that refuse is removed from building each day and is carefully stored outside. Cleaner
  • All video display units should have a screen in front of the computer.
  • All staff to use travel mugs when having hot drinks outside the staffroom.

Constant Hazards

Machinery, Kitchen equipment, Electrical appliances.

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School 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.

Electrical Appliances

Arrangements will be made for all appliances to be checked on a regular basis at least annually by a competent person (i.e.) maintenance person, the supplier or his agent. Before using any appliance the user should check that:

  • All safety guards which are a normal part of the appliance are in working order
  • 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.


It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School that all chemicals, photocopier toner, detergents etc be stored in clearly identifiable containers bearing instructions and precautions for their use and shall be kept in a locked area, and protection provided to be used when handling them. (Secretary/Cleaner/Principal where appropriate).

Drugs And Medication

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School that all drugs, medications, etc be kept in a secure office, locked at all times and accessible only to  trained and authorised personnel.

To ensure the continued welfare of the staff and children, toilet and cloakroom areas are provided. A Staffroom separate from the work area is provided, where tea and lunch breaks may be taken. Staff must co-operate in maintaining a high standard of hygiene in this area.

A high standard of hygiene must be achieved at all times. Adequate facilities for waste disposal must be available. An adequate supply of hot and cold water, towels and soap and sanitary disposal facilities must be available.

Members of staff and students are reminded:

  • A person who is under medical supervision or on prescribed medication and who has been certified fit for work, should notify the school of any known side effect or temporary physical disabilities which could hinder their work performance and which may be a danger to either themselves or their fellow workers. The school will arrange or assign appropriate tasks for the person to carry out in the Interim.
  • Staff and students are not allowed to attend the premises or carry out duties whilst under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol. Any person found breaking this rule will be liable to disciplinary action.

Highly Polished Floors

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School 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.


It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School, that the school 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 so that it may be immediately removed.

Visual Display Units

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School that the advice contained in the guidelines on the safe operation of visual display units, issued by the Health and Safety Authority be carefully followed. Any up-to-date information regarding hazards relating to the use of VDU’s will be studied and recommendations and directives implemented.

Infectious Diseases

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School that all infectious diseases shall be notified and steps taken to ensure the safety of staff and students against all such diseases. The Board of Management will endeavour to minimise the risk by adherence to sound principals of cleanliness, hygiene and disinfection and have provided disposable gloves for use in all First Aid applications, cleaning tasks, etc. 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.

First Aid

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Rathnure School that a member of staff shall be trained to provide First Aid to staff and pupils.

Notices are posted in office detailing:

  • arrangements for giving first aid,
  • location of first aid boxes,
  • procedure of calling ambulances etc….,
  • telephone numbers of local Doctor, Gardaí, Hospital.

All incidents, no matter how trivial and whether to employees or to students or to members of the public must be reported immediately to the person responsible for the hazard identified in the Statement or in the event that the accident/incident occurs in any other place to which that paragraph dealing with hazards does not relate to the Safety Officer. This is necessary to monitor the progress of safety standards and to ensure that the proper medical attention is given where required. An Accident book is to be maintained for the recording of all accidents and incidents by the Safety Officer.

The Principal will see that there will be maintained in the school a properly equipped First Aid Box available to staff at all times containing:

  • Adhesive Plasters
  • Sterile eye pads (no.16) (bandage attached)
  • Individually wrapped triangular bandages
  • Safety Pins
  • Individually wrapped sterile un-medicated wound dressings – large (no.9) (13x9cms)
  • Individually wrapped sterile un-medicated wound dressings – extra large (no. 3) (28 x 17.5cms)
  • Individually wrapped disinfectant wipes
  • Paramedic shears
  • Pairs of examination gloves
  • Sterile water where there is no clear running water*2
  • Pocket face mask
  • Water based burns dressing – small (10x10cms)*3
  • Water based burns dressing large*3
  • Crepe bandage (7cm)

Disposable gloves must be used at all times in administering First Aid

Access To School

In as much as is compatible with the practical layout of the school premises, anyone entering the school premises shall be required to identify themselves to the Principal or the Secretary as relevant before gaining admittance to the school. Any contractor must make direct contact with the Principal before initiating any work on the premises and shall be shown a copy of the safety statement applying to the school and shall agree to its provisions.

While work is in progress, any noise shall be avoided wherever possible during school hours and shall at all times be reduced to the minimum necessary. The contractor and his workmen shall not create any hazard, permanent or temporary, without informing the principal or his nominated agent and shall mark such hazard with warning signs or other suitable protection.

Collecting Children

  • All parent/guardians/carers in the interest of safety must obey all signs upon entering the school grounds.
  • Cars are advised to drive slowly on entering the car park when collecting children.
  • Those parking outside the school grounds are advised to accompany children to and from the school premises.

Revision Of This Safety Statement

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