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Safer Schools Bulletin September 2018

South Tyneside Council Health and Safety Manual updates

3.7 The Control of Legionella in Water Systems

The Code of Practice L8 Legionnaires Disease (The Control of Legionella in Water Systems) came into effect on 8 January 2001 the current Fourth Edition was published in 2013 and gives guidance on compliance with regulations 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 of Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

3.16 First Aid

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to enable first aid to be given to employees if they are injured or become ill at work.

Please see the updated Health and Safety Manual 2019 which connects into your school's Health and Safety Policy - where applicable these updates should be relayed to your staff.

Competency Framework for Governance

Schools are expected to follow 16 competencies including 'Risk management' and 'Statutory and contractual requirements'. Someone on the Board must have the knowledge to understand their "duties and responsibilities in relation to health and safety in education" and everyone on the board must have the knowledge to comprehend "the board's responsibilities in regard to Equalities and Health and Safety legislation.

All health and safety link governors should attend awareness sessions to ensure that they fully understand their duties and responsibilities in relation to health and safety in education and complete their key tasks.

A training session 'Health and Safety for School Governors' takes place on Wednesday 5 December 2018 at The Word, National Centre for the Written Word.

School Resource Management

The Department for Education has updated their 'School Resource Management' information, tools, training and guidance to help with schools' financial planning and resource management - see: GOV.UK: Schools financial health and efficiency

As part of the update they have also reviewed 'Good estate management for schools - Health and safety':

Those with duties for health and safety in schools should make sure that the policies and the condition of the estate are compliant with appropriate legislation.

The estate should be safe for all users. You should make sure:

  • you recognise all property related health and safety issues
  • you take appropriate actions to minimise any avoidable risks
  • the estate complies with appropriate statutory and regulatory standards
  • responsibilities for health and safety related issues are clearly defined and designated

For full details please see: GOV.UK: Health and safety

Accidents / incidents / advice

Office staples

During audits carried out by colleagues covering children's centres, office staples were found in the external fence and external wooden play equipment, obviously used to attached something to them in the past.

Staples erode very quickly and when they do, they leave 2 very sharp spikes in the wooden surface which become a penetration risk to children.

Please ensure that an immediate inspection of the external play areas is completed and if any are found they should be removed immediately.

I would strongly advise that the use of staples in this manner is prohibited.

Please see attached playground checklist Playground Checklist162.88KB

Building contractor fined after failing to carry out the correct procedures

A building contractor has been fined after failing to carry out the correct procedures after asbestos was found during the refurbishment of a building at Bedford School in Bedford.

Luton Crown Court heard how on 11 August 2015, SDC Builders Ltd failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment to identify the presence of asbestos in all areas of the building where work was to be carried out.

A HSE investigation found that SDC Builders Ltd failed to carry out the procedures required under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Subsequently, asbestos-containing materials were disturbed in the course of the work; the company failed to ensure all workers were informed, and did not take the necessary measures to control access into the area until remedial actions were taken.

SDC Builders pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 and Regulation 15 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. The company has been fined £185,000 and ordered to pay costs of £28,118.74.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Alison Outhwaite said: "Asbestos remains the top cause of fatal illness because of exposure in the workplace. It is important that contractors responsible for refurbishment of premises constructed before 2000 identify whether asbestos is present and take the appropriate action to prevent exposure."

Health and Safety Executive: Building contractor fined after failing to carry out the correct procedures

See 3.14 Asbestos 15 12 16 Health and Safety Manual 2019 for further details on how to manage asbestos.

Use of contractors

Only South Tyneside Council approved contractors should be used to undertake works. If the contractor is not approved the school must carry out its own accreditation at least to the standard of SSIP.

Premises managers must ensure that any external contractors coming onto the schools site have all the relevant Health & Safety certificates and background checks (DBS).

Additional information regarding managing contractors and Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 can be found at: Health and Safety Manual 2019

Head Teachers must liaise with the Asset Management Team and where required Health and Safety, regarding any building alterations or changes in the use of the building.

Help and feedback

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.

I also welcome your feedback on this bulletin and any key topics you would like to see in the next edition.

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