Health & Safety Policy

St Aengus’ National School

November 2009



St. Aengus’ N.S.  recognises and accepts that every one of its employees, students and visitors to the school is entitled to a safe and healthy environment.

It is the intention of the Board of Management of the school that all appropriate steps will be taken to meet statutory requirements, recognised codes of practice and guidance notes in establishing a safe and healthy environment.

The overall high quality of the environment will be evidence of a strong ethos of housekeeping, which will permeate the school community and an awareness of the fabric and appearance of the building will be demonstrate by students and employees on a daily basis.

All employees have both a duty and a responsibility to take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves and others and to co-operate to ensure statutory duties and obligations are fulfilled. The school’s Health and Safety Policy can only be successfully implemented with the full co-operation of everyone concerned.


Responsibilities of the Board of Management

In discharging its responsibilities, the Board of Management will:

  • make itself familiar with the requirements of the appropriate legislation and codes of practice;

  • ensure that there is an effective and enforceable policy for the provision of health and safety throughout the school, and that it is implemented;

  • periodically assess the effectiveness of the policy and ensure that any necessary changes are made;

  • identify and evaluate risks relating to possible accidents and incidents connected with -sponsored activities, including work experience.


In particular, the Board of Management undertakes to provide as far as is reasonably practicable:


  • a safe place for all users of the site to work, including safe means of entry and exit;

  • school, equipment and systems of work that are safe;

  • safe arrangements for the handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances;

  • safe and healthy working conditions that take account of appropriate statutory requirements, code of practice and guidance;

  • supervision, training and instruction so that all staff and students can perform their related activities in a healthy and safe manner; and

  • provide safety and protective equipment and clothing, with associated guidance, instruction and supervision when appropriate.


The board of management may delegate some of the above responsibilities to the Principal or Health and Safety Officer.


Responsibilities of the Principal

The Principal has responsibility for the day-to-day development and implementation

of safe working practices and conditions for all staff, students and visitors. The

Principal will take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that the Health and

Safety policy is implemented.


Responsibilities of the Health & Safety Co-ordinator

The H&S Co-ordinator will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the Health and Safety Policy.

Responsibilities of all members of staff

All staff are expected to familiarise themselves with the Health and Safety aspects of their work and avoid conduct which would put themselves or anyone else at risk.

In particular, members of staff will:

  • be familiar with the Health and Safety Policy and all safety requirements laid down by the Board of Management;

  • ensure that staff, students, visitors and contractors are applying Health and Safety regulations, rules, routines and procedures effectively;

  • see that all school machinery and equipment are in good and safe working order and adequately guarded, and not make or allow improper use of such school machinery and equipment;

  • use the correct equipment and tools for the job and any protective equipment or safety devices that may be supplied;

  • ensure that toxic, hazardous and highly flammable substances are correctly used, stored and labelled; cleaning store to be locked with a mop for spillages stored in the kitchen.

  • report any defects in the premises, school, equipment and facilities that they observe to the appropriate person. This may be the principal, caretaker or H&S co-ordinator.

  • take an active interest in promoting Health and Safety and suggest ways of reducing risks.


Responsibility of Care-taking Staff

The care-taking staff will undertake any area of maintenance with which they are competent. They will report any defects in school machinery and facilities to the Principal.


Safety Education

The DES has published guidance for schools on Safety Education. This guidance shows how the curriculum for Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) can address the issue relating to personal safety.

One of the aims of SPHE is to enable students to apply personal and social skills to a range of contexts in their lives. Skills in risk assessment learned in relation to preventing accidents are transferable to other issues.

There is DES guidance that sets out the general teaching requirement for health and safety in relation to practical subjects, information and communication technology, art and craft, and physical education.


Healthy Eating

It is the policy of the School to encourage students to adopt eating habits that are conducive to a healthy lifestyle. To this end the School works with Ace Catering and parents in providing menu options that support these aims.

Healthy Lunches consist of

Crisps are allowed as a treat on Fridays.

Nut allergy


Health & Safety Arrangements

Fire Safety Procedures:  

These procedures are set out in the Health and Safety File in the Office.  The Principal is responsible for implementing the procedures.  She is also responsible for seeing that Notices are properly displayed and that the pupils, staff and anyone else in the building are aware of the procedures for evacuation, and for the notification and removal of fire hazards on the School premises. Teachers take roll book with them in the event of a fire to check the presence of all children. Teacher checks the toilets on the way out to ensure children have also evacuated the toilets.


Fire Drill Procedures:

At least once a term a fire drill is enacted.  Modifications are noted and implemented in the light of the experience of each drill.  

A Fire Notice is posted conspicuously in the building in a number of places.

Administration of Medicine:

No teacher can be required to administer medicines or a drug to a pupil.   Teachers will follow the CPMSA guidelines for administration of medicines p. 152.  The teacher agrees to give only if the parent signs an indemnity document absolving the teacher and the school from possible legal action if the medicine is not administered, or administered incorrectly  and only in incidence  of long term  illness e.g. asthma.  It remains the parents’ responsibility to check each morning that the authorised teacher is in school to administer the medicine.  Indemnity form will be stored in Pupils file.

Procedures for dealing with Children who are sick or injured:

Minor Sickness: If a pupil is too sick to comfortably remain the school classroom and participate in the activities of the normal school day.  The parent or guardian is telephoned with a view to collection, and being brought home.  The Class Teacher keeps the pupil with her/him, until such contact is made.

Minor injury: If a pupil is injured, first aid is administered by the First Aid Officer, and a decision made about whether the pupil can remain at school with the injury.  The decision is made in consultation between the Principal and the First Aid Officer.

Head injury: In the case of a Head Injury the parent is informed with a view to collection and being brought home.

Serious Injury/Sickness: In the case of sudden serious sickness or of major injury, the First Aid Officer is called to the scene and a decision made about the need for immediate hospital attention or otherwise. If hospital attention is needed, an ambulance is called immediately, and then the parent is informed. First aid is administered in accordance with good practice.   Depending on the seriousness of the illness/injury the Principal and First Aid Officer will decide on whether to go to the Doctor or Hospital.

In the event of an injury occurring on School premises, an Accident Form is filled out, and filed.

At least two contact numbers of parents/guardians are kept in a file in the office.


Serious Accident Procedure:

Serious accidents require:

  • all necessary resources of the school to be put at the disposal of the well-being of the pupil(s) involved in the incident

  • immediate attention from the First Aid Officer as a matter of high priority

  • immediate calling of an ambulance giving details of the exact location, and nature of the accident.

  • A person to stand outside the school gate to watch out for the Ambulance and to speed the access of the ambulance medical team.

  • Telephoning the parents to give details of what is being done

  • An adult known to the child, e.g. teacher, parent or grandparent, will accompany the child to the hospital.

  • The incident is then investigated to put measures in place with immediate effect to prevent such an accident happening again, either in the short term or the longer term.


Accident Report Book:

An accident report book is available, in the Health and Safety Folder in the Office, for completion by the relevant personnel: the supervising teacher and the Principal.



Protective clothing/gloves/masks/helmets must be provided and used by staff/children when required.

Helmets must always be worn during Hurling.  

No high heels or long earrings… etc…

All electrical appliances should be turned off at the end of each day.

Guillotines, craft knives, large scissors should be stored appropriately

Fixed gymnasium equipment

When new equipment is purchased, it is the responsibility of the Principal/H&S officer to ensure that it meets appropriate educational standards and that its installation and use conforms to Health and Safety requirements.

Equipment, materials and chemicals must be stored in the appropriate storage containers and areas. All containers must be labelled with the correct hazard sign and contents label – cleaning cupboard should be kept locked during school hours.


School Trips

The Code of Behaviour of St Aengus’ N.S. applies to all students of St Aengus’ and relates to all school activities both on and off school grounds and anywhere children are identifiable as students of the school.

Before a student goes on a trip, his/her previous behaviour may be taken into consideration.

Parents/Guardians will be notified in advance of all trips and parent should sign the appropriate consent form. In so doing parents, students and teachers enter into a partnership promoting good and appropriate behaviour at all times. Teachers should have class list with contact and medical details.


Visitors to the school

  • All parents should report to the School Office.

  • All other visitors to the School should sign in at the School Office. Visitors will be collected from office by the member of staff concerned or escorted to the appropriate area of the School. Visitors should sign out on leaving the premises.

  • No contractor may undertake work on the School site without permission from the principal other than in an emergency, e.g. fire, flooding or to make safe following theft/vandalism.

  • Contractors are responsible for the Health and Safety of their employees and for their safe working practices, which must not constitute a hazard to staff, students and visitors to the School.

  • Hirers of the School premises must use school, equipment and substances correctly and use the appropriate safety equipment. They must operate within the school’s health and safety guidelines


All staff should be conscious of all aspects of the security of people and property.

Maintaining security is aimed at reducing the opportunity for unauthorised persons to enter the buildings through non-designated access points. It is also necessary to be alert to the possible presence of unauthorised persons on site who may constitute a threat to staff, students and bona-fide visitors and contractors.

The school is monitored by CCTV cameras. In the event of a security issue arising, Principal has access to recorded footage. Overseeing the upkeep and maintenance of this security system is the responsibility of Principal/Deputy Principal.

The security fence around the school has 4 access gates which are locked each evening and reopened in the morning. The locking of which is the responsibility of the Principal and Deputy Principal.

Critical Incidents

As part of it’s commitment for the well being of staff, students and visitors, the school has set out a procedure which is to be adopted in the event of a critical incident occurring either on the school premises or on an activity away from the school site. These procedures are outlined in the Critical Incident policy.

Monitoring and Review

As part of the Development Planning process St. Aengus’ National School will monitor, review and evaluate this Policy and all related work and procedure on an ongoing basis to ensure legal compliance and the maintenance of best practices.


The Health and Safety Officer is ___Mrs O Murchu_________________________________

Ratified on _8/11/2010______________________


Signed __Feargal Friel________________________

Chairman B.O.M