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Safer Schools Bulletin January 2017

South Tyneside Council Health and Safety Policy

Updated link to the South Tyneside Council - Health and Safety Manual which links into your school's Health and Safety Policy which should be relayed to your staff:

Health and safety responsibilities - Self-inspection Checklist

As part of the continuing health and safety support and development for schools, head teachers and governors were contacted in September 2014 regarding their 'duty holder' responsibilities. Furthermore, Health and Safety Advisers have completed audits in schools over the last 18 months and one of the key concerns was that health and safety self-evaluations (termly and annual) were not taking place. These inspections are essential to ensure a safe environment for pupils, staff and visitors and continue to improve health and safety in schools.

This improvement can be achieved by completing the health and safety self-inspection checklist on an annual basis (some checks need to be completed on a Termly basis). This annual review forms an important part of your overall health and safety regime, providing us with a vital 'health check' that can be used to focus on areas of concern. Once the self-inspection checklist is completed an action plan should be written, which must contain unambiguous and defined responsibilities and timescales.

The completed self-inspection checklist should be returned to Stephen Bell, Health and Safety Adviser (BTST). You should include your action plan and any additional information that might be relevant to demonstrate the actions you have taken to remedy any issues that have arisen during the course of completing the proforma.

Accidents/incidents advice

School fined for safety failings at summer camp

A School in Canterbury, has been fined for safety failings at a summer activity camp after a seven-year-old boy had to be given CPR after coming into difficulty during a swimming lesson.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how the boy was at a summer activity camp run by St Edmunds School and was taking part in a scheduled swim when he got into difficulties and struggled for over three minutes before becoming motionless in the water.

The lifeguards noticed he was in trouble and retrieved him. He regained consciousness after CPR but did develop pneumonitis as a result of the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 1 August 2014, found that the lifeguards were not effectively managed and monitored to ensure that they were constantly vigilant.

It was also discovered that two out of the three lifeguards did not hold a current, in date lifeguard qualification.

St Edmunds School Canterbury, of St Thomas Hill, Canterbury, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9669.19.

School fined for safety failings at summer camp

Help and feedback

With constant changes in health and safety and the impact it has on schools you may have to deal with anything, from asbestos to zoonoses. To help you through the health and safety 'maze' we will give you honest and proportionate advice, based on legislation and 'real life' situations, helping you make the right decision.

If you have any questions about the issues raised or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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