Health & Safety Policy


Unity Girls High School is committed to maintaining the Health and Safety of all pupils, staff as well as visitors. As a school we endeavour to promote and maintain a culture of health and safety awareness. 


The main legislation covering ‘this area is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 

1974 and regulations made under that Act 

  • The employer (the governing body) is responsible for health and safety, though tasks 

May be delegated to staff; 

  • Employees also have a duty to look after their own and others’ health and safety; 
  • Employers, school staff and others also have a duty under the common law to take care of pupils in the same way that a prudent parent would do so. 

Ensuring that health and safety guidelines are in place, including necessary training, rests with the Head teacher. The Head teacher is responsible for implementation of all guidelinesand policies. All staff have the responsibility of keeping themselves safe while ensuring a safe learning environment and that pupils are aware of how to keep themselves and their environment safe. 


Overall responsibility for putting in place effective health and safety policy and procedures, including ensuring the provision of any necessary training rests, with the Head Teacher. The day to day responsibility of the school rests with the Headteacher.  

Nora Bashir is the Health and Safety officer for the school and will co-ordinate the arrangements for maintaining statutory procedures/records required under the Health and Safety at Work Act. She will also keep this policy document under review and initiate action if it needs to be changed to keep it up to date, e.g. because of changes in legislation or responsibilities. 

Notwithstanding the Headteacher’s role as Health and Safety Officer, each teacher, or other person with supervisory control over any school activity, has a duty to ensure that agreed health and safety procedures are implemented for their activity. Each teacher will ensure that the teaching environment is safe for all pupils and will report any health and safety problems to the attention of the Headteacher. 

The site staff have the responsibility to check the general condition of the premises and, in particular the non-classroom areas, and for ensuring that Health and Safety hazards are dealt with. Where action required is outside his/her authority or ability, the matter will be reported to the Headteacher for appropriate action. The Headteacher will arrange that cleaners employed by the school are given necessary health and safety information on safe working procedures; that the safety checking of their equipment is carried out; and that cleaning materials are stored safely.

The Lunch Time Supervisor oversees safety in the school during lunch breaks and playground. 

A regular review of arrangements and/or audit will be carried out 

Duties as an employer 

  • Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the employer in a school takes 

Reasonable steps to ensure that staff and pupils are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. This applies to activities on or off school the premises 

Duties as an employee 

  • The law requires employees to: 
  • Take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be 

            Affected by what they do at work; 

  • Co-operate with these employers on health and safety matters; 
  • Do their work in accordance with training and instructions; 
  • Inform the employer of any work situation representing a serious and immediate 

Danger, so that remedial action can be taken. 

  • In addition, teachers and other staff in schools have a common law duty to act, as 

Any prudent parent would do when in charge of pupils. 

  • Employees should follow any health and safety procedures put in place by their 

Employer. However, if they feel that the procedure is inappropriate (e.g. it’s too 

Bureaucratic) they should discuss this with their employer and request that it is 

Reviewed. Usually the Headteacher will work with the employer to ensure that 

Procedures at the school are proportionate, effective and appropriate 


To provide the highest possible standard of Health and Safety, commensurate with the 

Operation of an educational establishment. 


It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and managerial staff to 

Ensure that systems are in place, which will deliver a safe place of work for employees, 

Pupils and visitors. Equally it is the duty of all employees to co-operate with management 

On health and safety matters. The Headteacher expects each employee to take 

Reasonable care of their own safety and that of others either under their supervision or who may be affected by their actions. The main objectives of this policy will apply as far as 

Reasonably practicable and are as follows: 

  • To establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment throughout the school. 
  • To establish and maintain safe working procedures among staff and pupils. 
  • To make arrangements for ensuring safety and avoiding risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transporting of equipment, articles and substances. 
  • To ensure the provision of sufficient information, instruction, and supervision to enable everyone to avoid hazards and contribute positively to their own health and safety at work. 
  • To maintain safe access and egress and separate movement of vehicles and people on site as far as is practicable. 
  • To ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that educational visits are undertaken 
  • as safely as possible 
  • To formulate policies and procedures for use in case of fire and other emergencies 

Including plans for the safe and effective evacuation of the school premises; 

  • To lay down procedures to be followed in case of accident; 
  • To provide and maintain suitable and sufficient welfare facilities. 
  • To develop a training plan to ensure that employees are trained to the appropriate 
  • Level to fulfil their health and safety responsibilities. 
  • To monitor and review the effectiveness of health and safety systems with a view to 

Continuous improvement. 

  • To ensure that staff are aware of the importance attached to Health and Safety and 

That management may invoke the School Disciplinary Policy in the event of noncompliance with the requirements of this Policy. 

  • Organisation 
  • The Management of the Schools requires the school staff and the Headteacher to 
  • Work together to ensure health; safety and welfare objectives are achieved. 

Organisational Structure and Responsibilitie

The Role of the Headteacher 

  • The Headteachers is responsible for: 
  • Ensuring that the Health and Safety Policy is implemented and monitored within the 
  • school; 
  • Ensuring that the school has considered its health and safety obligations and has 

Made provision for meeting these obligations. Unity Girls High School will ensure that 

  • health and safety is an integral part of the schools development plan; 
  • Ensuring that the school has a clear written policy statement. The policy will 

Ensure that the school’s staffing structure appropriately reflects the responsibilities 

For carrying out the arrangements of Health and Safety from time to time. 

  • The Headteacher will satisfy themselves that the policy is appropriate and being implemented as agreed; 
  • Receiving health and safety guidance and information distributed by the Education Department and ensuring that proper arrangements are made within the school for complying with the guidance; 
  • Ensuring that the Headteacher provides regular reports of accidents and dangerous 
  • occurrences and that theses occurrences are reported under Reporting of Injuries, 

Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). That any necessary alterations to working practices and procedures decided upon are implemented; 

  • Ensuring that appropriate facilities and opportunities are provided for accredited safety representatives to perform their duties; 
  • Ensuring that health and safety issues concerning the school are identified, 
  • Decisions are taken and that effective action is carried through. 
  • Ensuring that all reasonable inspection facilities and information are provided on request to officers of the Education Department, Safety Officers of the Authority’s 
  • Central Health and Safety Unit, Inspectors of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and any other bona fide Health and Safety Officials; 
  • Ensuring that conformity to safety standards for goods purchased and equipment 

Installed form part of the school’s purchasing policy; 

  • Ensuring that procedures exist for checking that any items offered for use by the 
  • school are safe; 
  • Ensuring that school journeys are arranged and properly supervised in accordance 

With DFES Guidance; 

  • Ensuring that suitable health and safety provision is made for pupils with special 
  • needs and the staff involved; 

Planning and setting standards, which include: 

  • Ensuring hazards are identified, risk assessments are undertaken and standards are set to achieve health and safety objectives. 
  • Ensure clear plans for coping with sudden emergencies are developed and 

           Maintained. Developing a positive health and safety culture. 

  • Ensure that a training plan is developed which:- enables appropriate training to be 

           Provided to employees so that they can fulfil their health and safety 


  • Provides induction training for new employees including temporary, part time and 

           Supply staff. 

The overall responsibility for all school health, safety and welfare organisation and activity 

Rests with the Headteacher, who will: 

  • Revise and update on a continuing basis the Health and Safety Policy. 
  • Make clear any duties in respect of health and safety, which are delegated, to 

           Members of staff. 

  • Ensure that problems in implementing health and safety policy are reported to the 


  • Ensure arrangements are in place for risk assessments of the premises and working practices to be undertaken, recorded and reviewed on a regular basis, and ensure that he/she is kept informed of accidents and hazardous situations. 
  • Classroom Teacher’s Obligations 
  • The health and safety of pupils in classrooms is the responsibility of class teachers. 
  • Class teachers are expected to: check classroom area is safe check equipment used is safe before use 
  • Ensure safe procedures are followed 
  • Give clear instruction and warnings to pupils, as often as necessary 
  • Report defects to HeadTeacher 
  • Avoid introducing personal items of equipment (electrical, mechanical) into school 
  • without authorisation from the Headteacher 
  • Follow safe working procedures personally 
  • Obligations of all Employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. 
  • All employees are expected 
  • To know the health and safety organisation and arrangements to be adopted in their 

Own working areas and to ensure they are applied; 

  • To exercise good standards of housekeeping and cleanliness; 
  • To know and to apply procedures in respect of fire, first aid and other emergencies; 
  • To use and not wilfully misuse, neglect or interfere with things provided for his/her 
  • own health and safety and/or the health and safety of others; 
  • To co-operate with other employees in promoting improved health and safety 
  • arrangements in the school; 
  • To report all accidents, defects, dangerous occurrences and near misses to the 
  • Headteacher. 

     Visitors and Other Users of the School 

  • Visitors and other users of the premises will be required to observe the health, 

           Safety and welfare rules of the school. In particular parents and other volunteers 

           Helping out in school, including those associated in self help schemes will be made 

           Aware of the health and safety policy applicable to them by the teacher to whom 

           They are assigned. 

 Distribution of Health and Safety Information 

  • The master copy of the Safety Policy, Risk Assessments,  

           will be kept in the Headteacher’s/School Admin office  

  • Staff are encouraged to refer to these documents and seek advice whenever they are considering health and safety issues. 
  • All staff will receive copies of the Safety Policy and will be expected 

          To familiarise themselves with the contents. Where codes of practice, guidance and 

          Advisory booklets or leaflets are referred to in this policy copies can be found at the 

          Locations set out above. 

  • The Head teacher will issue updates, new guidance and 

          Approved revisions as soon as they become available 

  • All new staff including part time, temporary and supply staff will be provided with a 

           Copy of the policy and will receive induction training that will include 

Relevant health and safety issues. 

  • The Health & Safety Law poster is displayed on the main notice board 

Accidents, Dangerous Occurrences and Near Misses 

  • Immediate first aid Accidents involving injury or ill health effects will be notified 

Immediately to the nearest first aider to 

Facilitate first aid treatment. Where injuries are serious enough to warrant hospital 

Treatment, authorised staff must telephone 999 for an ambulance to transport the 

Patient to hospital, inform the next of kin and the Headteacher. 

  • Completion of Accident Book: Staff should ensure that all accidents involving injury 

Or ill health effects are notified to the First School Aider (School admin) with enough information to allow completion of the Accident Book. 

  • Internal Reporting and Investigation. A member of staff who witnesses, or is first on 

      The scene or first to be informed of any accident, dangerous occurrence or near 

Miss will complete the internal report form as soon as possible after the incident 

And send it to the First aid Officer. 

  • Compliance with RIDDOR regulations. The Education H&S Advisor will determine 

Which accidents and dangerous occurrences are required to be notified to the 

  • Health and Safety Executive under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous 

Occurrences Regulations 1995. Guidance is given in L73 issued by HSE. The member 

Of staff will complete the necessary report form (F2508) and, following consultation 

With the Headteacher, send it to the enforcing authority within 10 days of the 


  • In the event of a major injury or fatality the notification must be 

Immediate, by telephone, with written confirmation (F2508) following as soon as 

  • Possible. 

What does assessing and managing risks mean? 

  • Health and safety law requires the employer to assess the risks to the health and 

Safety of staff and others affected by their activities. The terms risk assessment and risk management are used to describe the process of thinking about the risks of any activity and the steps taken to counter them. 

  • Sensible management of risk does not mean that a separate written risk assessment is required for every activity. 
  • School employers should always take a common sense and proportionate approach, remembering that in schools risk assessment and risk management are tools to enable children to undertake activities safely, and not prevent activities from taking place.  
  • Sensible risk management cannot remove risk altogether but it should avoid or unhelpful paperwork. 
  • Some activities, especially those happening away from school, can involve higher 

Levels of risk. If these are annual or infrequent activities, a review of an existing 

Assessment may be all that is needed. 

     Electricity at Work 

  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires that electrical installations be 

Maintained to prevent danger. 

  • Fixed installations will be inspected and tested by a competent authority at 5 yearly 

Intervals and in the event of a fault developing. 

  • Portable equipment shall be checked in accordance with the guidance issued by the 
  • HSE and summarised in their leaflet “Maintaining portable equipment in offices and 
  • other low risk environments” 
  • In addition to the safety checks detailed above staff using portable equipment 
  • should take notice of the condition of plugs and flexes each time a particular piece 
  • of equipment is used and should report any faults identified to the Facilities 



It is the policy of the Governing Body that any staff employed at the school on any material 

That either contains or may contain asbestos shall undertake no work of any kind.

  • Emergency Procedures 
  • Evacuation 
  • Buildings will be evacuated in emergency situations such as suspected fire, bomb 

Threat, gas leak or any other situation, which may cause an imminent risk to 

Personal safety. 

  • In the event of a suspected fire, the alarms will be operated but in other cases such 

As a gas leak emergency contact procedures will operate to evacuate all buildings 

Without sounding the alarms or operating any electrical equipment. 

  • In all cases buildings will be evacuated by the nearest fire exit route that is safe to 

The approved assembly points identified (See Evacuation Procedure). The 

  • Headteacher or her Senior Assistant Headteacher will determine when it is safe to 

Re-occupy the buildings.  

  • A PEEPS Fire plan should be completed Visitors, Staff and pupils with special needs 
  • Fire Precautions 

The Health & Safety Officer is responsible for ensuring that Fire Drills are carried out once a term in accordance with Local Authority guidelines and for coordinating other aspects of fire safety at the school. The Health and Safety Officer is responsible for testing the fire alarm and weekly checking of fire equipment; for ensuring that periodic testing is carried out and for keeping a record of tests as required by the current Local Authority guidelines. 

  • All fire appliances will be checked monthly by site staff and once a year by 

Specialist maintenance personnel and the records kept on file in the school office. 

  • All fire stop doors must be free swinging at all times so that they are normally 


  • Fire exit doors must be unlocked and easily accessible and open able from within 

The building. Hold open devices to fitted where practicable. 

  • The fire alarms will be tested on a weekly basis using a different call point each 

Time and the results should be recorded on the file in the school office. 

  • Fire Drills will be held termly or if circumstances Change, when the Fire Marshals 

Will record the evacuation time and the general performance of the drill.  

  • Appropriate members of staff will be trained how to use relevant fire appliances. 
  • The Headteacher  will identify fire-training needs and 

Will incorporate that information into the Health & Safety Training Plan. 

  • Clear instructions must be issued to staff regarding the nearest fire call point, fire 

Extinguisher, and the means of escape and assembly points during fire drills. These 

Instructions must be issued on the first day of employment as part of the induction process.  

  • The school is inspected regularly by a Fire Prevention Officer to ensure compliance 
  • with relevant fire legislation including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) order 
  • 2005. Fire risk assessments will be carried out using a competent contractor A Fire 

Risk assessment will be carried in house out termly when carrying out safety tour the will be logged on 

  • During designated school closure periods, a sign-in book is operated to ensure staff 

On site is logged. The main risk is to site, administrative and technical staff and 

Evacuation procedures are adjusted to ensure their safety. The procedures are kept 

On the reception desk 

  • Bomb Threat 
  • In the event of a warning the Headteacher or Senior Assistant Headteacher will 

Institute emergency evacuation procedures. Personal belongings should be taken out at the same time if that can be achieved without causing undue delay. This will 

Facilitate the search process. 

  • Any suspicious objects should be reported to line managers or directly to the 

 Or Headteacher. Under no circumstances should the object be touched or moved. 


  • Bullying of any employee will not be tolerated and will be regarded by the 

Headteacher as a disciplinary issue. 

  • The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for Northern Ireland entitled 

“Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace have produced a useful Code 

Of Practice” and management in dealing with such incidents will follow its contents. 

  • Drugs and Alcohol Policy 
  • Where it is apparent that the behaviour and performance of an individual is 

Impaired by drugs, substance misuse or alcohol to the extent that there is a 

Potential risk to the health and safety of others the matter will be dealt with in 

Accordance with the approved Drugs and Alcohol Policy (See Drugs Policy) 

  • Managers have the option of involving occupational health services following 

Discussion with the individual concerned in an attempt to provide constructive 

Assistance. In serious cases managers may involve disciplinary procedures. 

Inspections, Monitoring 

The senior Admin, who is the First Aider and school Fire Marshal, will inspect and monitor Health and Safety under the directive of the HeadTeacher   

Health Surveillance 

  • It is not considered that any employees on site are subjected to continued exposure 

To any substances, which are so hazardous as to require their health to be monitored. 

           Health Promotion 

  • The Headteacher will make effort to provide a healthy workplace. 

          The guidance issued by the HSE in their booklet “New and expectant mothers at 

          Work – A guide for health professionals” will be followed. 

           Violence at Work 

  • Violence to any employee will be treated very seriously and the advice set out in the document issued by the HSC Education Service Advisory Committee will be adopted as the means of dealing with such incidents when they occur and in the development of strategies to minimise their occurrence. 

              Off-site Educational Visits/Activities 

  • Any teacher wishing to participate in an off-site visit must follow the school policy. 
  • This involves obtaining initial consent from the Head teacher. 
  • They must submit a request for permission (from the Leadership Team) together with a risk assessment signed by the Headteacher before the visit is due to take place within the recommended time scales. 
  • The full guidance pack with forms is included in the off site visits Policy 

New and Expectant Mothers 

Stress at Work 

  • Stress is becoming an increasingly important issue. The Department of Health has identified the annual cost to employers of 80 million days lost at £3.7bn and more than 2500 legal actions commence each year against employers. 
  • The HSE has issued guidance in HSG218 Tackling work-related stress: A manager’s guide to improving and maintaining employee health and well-being. It has also issued in conjunction with the Education Service Advisory Committee a guidance ‘document entitled “Managing work-related stress: A guide for managers and teachers in schools”. It is the policy of the Governing Body that this guidance be followed. 
  • Other useful publications from HSE that employees can refer to are “Work Related Stress – A short guide” and “Tackling work-related stress – A guide for employees”. 
  • Management standards for dealing with stress are set out in section 3.10.4 

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First Aid 

 An up to date list of trained “First Aiders” and “Appointed Persons” will be posted up in the School Office. A First Aid box, as required by the First Aid at Work Regulations 1981, will be kept in the School Office. The Headteacher will arrange that the contents of the box are replenished as necessary. A First Aid kit will also be available for school trips. 

  • First Aid boxes will be maintained at the sites. It 

Is the policy of the school that there will be sufficient numbers of trained 

First Aiders on the site at all times. Those with current certificated training are 

  • Listed in First Aid Policy. Below 50 employees only an “Appointed 

Person” is required, between 50 and 100 employees 1 First Aider is required and 1 

Per 100 thereafter. In consideration of Pupil safety it is recommended that 

  • additional First Aiders in the ratio of 1 per 200 pupils be provided (If applicable) 
  • The senior admin is the primary First Aider. 
  • Work Regulations 1981 and she will ensure that first aid box contents are 
  • replenished 
  • A record of treatment given must be maintained by the qualified first aider or 

Appointed person and shall be used in conjunction with the accident reporting and 

Investigation procedures as a means of accident prevention. In addition good 

Records of initial treatment may be valuable if further medical attention is required 

Or if legal action is considered by those involved in an accident. 

  • Contractors will maintain their own first aid boxes and provide their own trained 
  • first aiders, although they will be allowed to use the school first aid boxes in an 

Emergency. In that event the Welfare Officer must be notified so that 

  • Replenishment can be organised. 

Accident and ill Health Reporting 

The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that a record of all accidents is kept. 

Supervision of Pupils 

  • The Headteacher shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate staff 

Supervision is provided for pupils during lessons, extended schools activities and offsite activities. 

  • The Headteacher shall take all reasonable steps to ensure appropriate supervision 

By duty staff at break-time and lunchtime. 

  • All staff will share the responsibility for ensuring that pupils adhere to the school 

Code of conduct in terms of their behaviour when moving between different parts of the building. 

  • Staff supervising pupils in and around practical rooms i.e. in science laboratories, 

Gyms and sports hall, technology rooms, etc. will be responsible for ensuring that 

  • pupils` behaviour is safe and in accordance with the school code of conduct 
  • Staff supervising students during programmed extended schools activities should 
  • ensure that they have risk-assessed both the activity and venue (template available 
  • all School Classrooms are Risk assessed for their current purpose with qualified 
  • Staff using equipment). In addition, students should be registered using the standard 
  • Template provided and should be escorted from the site at the end of the activity. 
  • For extended schools activities on-site, reception should be notified providing 
  • details of the named person and register of students within first 10 minutes of the 
  • session 
  • A separate set of procedures are under development for students at risk when not 
  • attending lesson 


  • All employees shall be instructed as to possible hazards which may occur at their 

Place of work and shall receive such information, instruction and training as may be 

Deemed necessary to enable them to do their work in a safe and efficient manner. 

Safety training will be incorporated into an annual plan that will be approved by the 


The Training Plan will cover: – 

  • Induction Training Every effort must be made to ensure that all new staff receives 

Appropriate induction training which should include making them aware of their 

Statutory duties, emergency procedures, relevant risk assessments and an 

  • Explanation of this policy. On the first day of employment the Safety Induction 
  • Checklist must be completed and a copy of this policy will be issued. 
  • Management Training The Headteacher recognises that all sectors of 
  • management must receive the training necessary to enable them to effectively 
  • Carry out their duties in the areas for which they are responsible. 
  • Specialist Training the Headteacher will arrange specialised courses of training as appropriate for employees in the safety requirements of their duties. The need for such courses will have been identified in the Training Plan. 
  • Fire Training All members of staff shall receive training on actions to be taken in 
  • the event of fire, advice on fire precautions and where necessary this will be 
  • carried out on safe smart, practical training on the use of fire fighting equipment 
  • And alarms. (See Fire Plan) Training Records to be kept on file in school office. 
  • Work Experience/Placements 
  • The Headteacher will ensure that all young persons under the age of 18 who are 

Either employed by the school or placed on work experience are not subjected to 

Any risk of injury or harm. 

  • Employees will be covered by this policy. 
  • The school will ensure that all placement locations are suitable having regard to 

Health and Safety legislation 

  • Where Parents or Pupils arrange their own work experience the Employer should be reminded of their responsibilities under the Management of Health and Safety at 
  • Work Regulations 1999 and should take into account the following matters: – 

The inexperience, lack of awareness of risks and immaturity of young persons. 

  • The fitting and layout of the workplace or workstation. 
  • The nature, degree and duration of exposure to physical, biological and chemical 


  • The form, range and use of work equipment and the way it is handled. 
  • The extent of the health and safety training provided to young persons. 
  • The risks from agents or other processes carried out at the workplace. 
  • The risk to the young person’s health and safety must be assessed. 
  • The protection measures to be taken. 
  • Any risk notified to him/her by any other employer sharing the same workplace. 
  • Any work beyond the young person’s physical or psychological capacity. 
  • Any work involving harmful exposure to agents, which are toxic, carcinogenic, and 

Mutagenic or have chronic effects. Involving harmful exposure to radiation 

  • Extreme heat or cold 
  • Noise or vibration 

Hazardous Substances 

No hazardous chemical agents will be used in the school until an assessment has been carried out in accordance with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 (COSHH). 


The Admin office Staff are responsible for arranging that the arrival/departure of all visitors to the school site (other than parents collecting/delivering children) is entered into the visitor’s book to be kept at the school office. All visitors on site are to be clearly identified with badges. 


The primary duty for establishing and monitoring safe working of contractual maintenance on the school premises rests with the Head teacher of the school. The Headteacher will liaise on a day to day basis with contractors in regards to safety standards within the school while carrying out their role. The provision of information on emergency arrangements at the school will form part of this liaison. 

School Visits 

The person organising any external visits away from the school is responsible for carrying out necessary pre-visit arrangements and obtaining authorisation from the Head teacher before the visit takes place. 

 A risk assessment for each visit must be produced and copies passed by the Head teacher prior to each visit, records of assessments must be kept. The risk assessment should mention the child to adult ratio. 

If the venue is not able to provide copies of their own risk assessments, then the Visit Organiser must complete the forms. 

The Visit Organiser is responsible for ensuring a first aid box is collected from the Medical Room. 

The Visit Organiser will have a School contact list with him/her at all times.