What is a classroom safety checklist?
A classroom safety checklist enables teachers, school administrators, teaching assistants, or premises staff to provide a healthy and safe place for the school workers, visitors, and pupils. The checklist simplifies the inspections and related paperwork, helping you save time. Inspections could be done once every term or whenever needed.
The feeling of safety is essential to an environment conducive to learning. School safety is associated with improved academic performance among students. Schools, therefore, can benefit from a preschool classroom safety checklist. Risks to the safety of the children at school are strongly related to attendance rates, graduation rates, and test scores.
In this article, the following points are explained:
Why You Need a Classroom Safety Checklist
Classrooms must be a safe place for children who need an environment that promotes learning and social connections. When the school doesn’t meet the child’s basic safety needs, they can feel uncomfortable at school. They might stop attending classes or remain anxious, hindering their ability to learn.
A classroom safety checklist promotes safety, which, in turn, creates a space for children to learn and grow. There are various safety issues that the checklist must address.
Increased violence in schools, such as active shooters, is a serious concern. We often hear about them occurring in the US. But Europe has had its share of school shootings as well.
Other violent acts that result in physical fights are also widespread in many schools. Witnessing these acts of violence can have lasting effects on a child.
Digital safety is another issue in the classroom brought about by technology. The school must have policies in place that promote safe Internet usage. Children are at risk of being bullied by their peers online. Or they could also be preyed upon by adults. The teacher must also think about exposure to inappropriate content such as disturbing images and foul language.
School safety protocols must also include a plan for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Many scientists believe that the COVID-19 virus can become endemic, albeit posing less danger.
Evidence shows that many schools that implement strict prevention strategies have been able to do in-person instruction. Every school should do the same for them to remain open and for the kids to stay safe.
In the US, the CDC provided guidelines for school administrators for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Incorporating it into your classroom safety checklist can ensure the safe delivery of in-person instruction in your classroom.
These modern-day problems are in addition to the age-old safety issues in many classrooms worldwide.
Classroom Safety Checklist: The Basics
When you think of classroom safety, you probably think about school shootings. They have become a real threat in the past few years, but they are not the most common cause of injuries and illnesses inside the classroom.
Some of the most common campus hazards are:
A classroom is a place where several kids gather in one area. Teachers and school leaders must remain proactive about fire safety. Schools must conduct regular assessments that will identify fire hazards. They must put measures in place to keep the risk of fire to a minimum.
A preschool classroom safety checklist can help school administrators ensure that:
- There are fire exit doors in all classrooms. They must be easy to open, free from obstructions, and always kept unlocked.
- Fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting equipment are accessible as part of fire extinguisher maintenance regulations.
- Display fire escape procedures in appropriate areas.
- Train all school employees to help the children and vulnerable adults during evacuations.
Prevention of infectious diseases must be a priority of every school. Being able to prevent contagious diseases means being able to minimize absenteeism. It is a crucial step in maintaining the health of the students, the staff, and surrounding communities.
A preschool safety checklist must include prevention efforts to reduce the spread of disease, such as:
- Clean surfaces or objects often touched by students or staff, such as desktops and doorknobs daily.
- Disinfect surfaces or objects often soiled with bodily fluids, such as saliva, phlegm, urine, or blood.
- Keep the ventilation system fully functional.
- Have protocols in place for responding to signs of illness.
- Have space for isolating a staff or student who is ill.
The law requires electrical equipment to be well-maintained to prevent accidents. How frequent the checks and inspections are will depend on the equipment and the results of previous assessments. Classrooms use electrical equipment a lot. And with kids being vulnerable to electrical accidents, you need to prioritize electrical safety.
Your classroom safety checklist must include the following:
- Properly functioning electrical switches, cables, and sockets.
- Portable electrical equipment such as projectors and laminators undergo safety checks.
- Remove or replace damaged electrical equipment.
- Electrical cables are routed to prevent the risk of slips, trips, and falls.
Asbestos poses a significant danger in many schools. For instance, about 90% of school buildings in England contain traces of asbestos. It is a fact you should not ignore. Schools must manage asbestos risk by:
- Letting the staff know the details of the location of asbestos in the classroom.
- Provide guidelines on attaching anything to walls that may contain asbestos.
Schools need to prepare for severe weather. School administrators must develop an emergency management guideline that fits the school. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to weather hazards.
A unique plan must be developed, but a severe weather safety checklist for preschool classrooms and playgrounds must include the following:
- Designate shelter areas.
- Develop a way to notify everyone. It could be a bell, a speaker system, or a megaphone.
- Include school bus considerations.
- Have a reliable source of weather information.
Areas with poor lighting create two possible risks: accidents and crime. A dimly lit area can cause students and staff to trip or fall down the stairs. Dark areas attract criminals because they are convenient hiding places.
A classroom safety checklist must include the following elements related to lighting:
- Hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms are properly lighted.
- There’s a staff supervising the bathrooms.
- Switches are working and easily accessible.
- Electrical panels are restricted to authorized persons only.
Improving the school climate, safety, and learning outcomes must come hand in hand. School safety measures must be planned, funded, and carried out throughout the school through a multi-layered system.
School safety is a complex issue that requires complex solutions. You must be cautious about quick fixes. And that’s why a classroom safety checklist is indispensable. It ensures that you don’t miss any of the crucial elements of your safety and health management program.
Conduct better inspections with a powerful tool
Conducting paper-based safety inspections in schools can be time-consuming and inefficient rather than helpful in taking meaningful action. It is cumbersome for leaders to systematically collect and share data using this process and update it regularly.
Using a mobile app and desktop software like Lumiform to manage school safety inspections simplifies implementation and makes the process more reliable. Everything can be controlled and stored centrally through one system. Checklists and information can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. Lumiform enables school leaders and their staff:
- Lumiform’s flexible form builder helps you turn any individual paper list into a digital checklist without much effort.
- We also offer pre-built templates for safety inspections, risk assessments, and teacher evaluations that let you get started digitally in no time.
- With the intuitive mobile app, you and your staff can perform on-site inspections efficiently and in no time.
- All results, images, and comments are automatically bundled into a digital report.
- All data is continuously synchronized between the mobile and desktop app and can be accessed at any time.
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