Statement of Intent
The Health and Safety Policy has been written to conform to Part 3: Welfare, health and safety of pupils in the British Schools Overseas standards (November 2016). This policy was approved by the Supervisory Board on 3 July 2017.
This policy will be reviewed by the Management Board, Senior Leadership Team and the Supervisory Board:
- at regular intervals, and at least annually;
- after accidents, incidents and near misses;
- after any significant changes to workplace, working practices or staffing;
- after any form of notice has been served.
The British School of Amsterdam is committed to ensuring health and safety good practice across all areas of school life. We take our responsibility for the health and safety of staff, pupils, volunteers and any other visitors to the School very seriously and use this policy, in line with our risk assessment documents, and in accordance with:
- Dutch Working Conditions Act
- Working Conditions Decree (Labor Decree)
- Working Conditions Regulations
- Decision on Major Accident Hazards (BRZO)
- Hazardous Accident Control (RRZO)
Health and safety in school is a priority as well as a legal requirement, and all members of the School community have a part to play in making sure that the School environment is safe, which we encourage by promoting a positive health and safety culture within the School. The School commits adequate and appropriate resources to making sure that the best equipment, risk assessments, advice, and training are applied both on School grounds and during off-site activities and visits.
All staff must ensure that they are up to date and familiar with this Health and Safety Policy. All activities, both on and off-site, should be planned by staff with consideration for the safety of themselves, their colleagues, pupils and members of the public.
1. Roles and Responsibilities
The importance of good health and safety practice is promoted throughout the School, but members of School staff, the Senior Leadership Team (Principal, Bursar and the Heads of School) and the Supervisory Board carry the key responsibilities for assessing, recording and implementing the correct health and safety procedures.
The British School of Amsterdam’s Health and Safety Organisational Structure
(which includes the Supervisory Board member with oversight for Health and Safety, and the Working Group on Education, Welfare and HR which consists of four SB members and the Heads of School).
The Principal & Bursar
Heads of School and Facilities Coordinator and Operations Manager
The Works Council, of which there is a Health and Safety Sub-Committee, represents employees.
The members of the Supervisory Board recognise that it is their responsibility to provide the safest school environment, as is reasonably practicable. They will do this by ensuring that:
- the School fulfils its legal health and safety obligations;
- the School's Health and Safety Policy is being implemented and is effective;
- risk assessments are carried out regularly, either by School staff or by activity providers, depending on the nature of the activity taking place
- the importance of good health and safety practice is promoted throughout School to all staff, pupils, parents, volunteers, contractors and any other visitors;
- school premises and equipment are regularly assessed and reviewed in line with health and safety regulations;
- there is the appropriate budget allocation to the School’s health and safety provision;
- the importance of good health and safety is communicated to staff and is carefully monitored;
- all staff are made aware of the health and safety arrangements at the School, and of any changes to those arrangements; and
- one member of the Supervisory Board is nominated to act as the representative for health and safety oversight.
The Education, Welfare and HR Working Group consists of four Supervisory Board members, the Principal and the Heads of School. They meet at least once a term, and health and safety is a standard agenda item. Where necessary, the Bursar will also attend. The Working Group is chaired by a Supervisory Board member who is the UK Educational Adviser (normally a retired Headteacher). The Chairman is currently Dr Helen Wright.
The Management Board takes the responsibility for:
- ensuring that adequate and appropriate risk assessments are carried out and reviewed prior to any activity either on-site or off-site;
- liaising with the health and safety representative of the board of trustees/governing body to inform that person of any health and safety issues or risks that arise;
- ensuring that the information on health and safety good practice that is available to staff and visitors is up to date, easily accessible and promoted throughout the School. This includes the School Health and Safety Policy and risk assessment templates
- ensuring that support and supply staff are fully trained and equipped to deal with health and safety issues and emergencies;
- ensuring that the Supervisory Board is aware of and up-to date with any health and safety legislation or reasons for change in health and safety provision;
- ensuring that adequate funding is allocated to individual departments for their health and safety requirements;
- ensuring that all staff, pupils and volunteers are aware of their health and safety obligations to one another;
- ensuring that regular practice fire drills are undertaken.
Heads of School
The Heads of School and the Bursar or Operations Manager in respect of the Administrative Support Staff take the responsibility for:
- ensuring that all new employees and supply staff are given the appropriate health and safety induction training, relating to both whole-school health and safety and any specific provision relating to their role in the School;
- ensuring that part of the organisation of any school activity, either on or off-site, there is a risk assessment for that activity and consideration of health and safety in terms of the wider School policy;
- keeping up to date with any changes to arrangements surrounding activities and the implications of these on health and safety;
- ensuring that all staff and pupils are aware of their health and safety responsibilities, including what to do in case of a fire, emergency, or medical emergency, and that all those taking part in any given activity are given proper training and health and safety briefing;
- assessing and implementing required health and safety provision as is implicated by risk assessments carried out for each activity undertaken by staff within their department;
- ensuring that all relevant training and preparation is carried out for all on- and off-site activities;
- ensuring that correct procedures are undertaken in relation to accident reporting, First Aid, fire safety and any other incidents that may occur during the course of a school activity.
Facilities Coordinator and Operations Manager
The Facilities Coordinator in conjunction with the Operations Manager takes responsibility for:
- ensuring that all the relevant checks are done on the equipment and the competency of contractors that come in to the School; and
- managing their particular budgets to ensure that there are enough resources to cover health and safety maintenance, checks and provision for activities under their department.
- ensuring that they are familiar and up-to-date with the School’s Health and Safety Policy and standard procedures;
- keeping their line managers informed of any developments or changes that may impact on the health and safety of those undertaking any activity, or any incidents that have already occurred;
- ensuring that all the correct provisions are assessed and in place before the start of any activity;
- making sure that the pupils taking part in the activity are sure of their own health and safety responsibilities;
- cooperating fully with the employer to enable them to fulfil their legal obligations. Examples of this would be ensuring that items provided for health and safety purposes are never abused and that equipment is only used in line with manufacturers’ guidance; and
- ensuring that any equipment used is properly cared for and in the proper working order. Any defects should be immediately reported to a senior manager and that piece of equipment should not be used.
Volunteers at the School have the same responsibilities for health and safety as any other staff and will be expected to be familiar with the this policy and School procedures.
While the School's staff carry the main responsibility for health and safety provision, and the correct implementation of School policy and procedure, it is vital that pupils understand their role and responsibilities when it comes to whole-school and personal health and safety in order for staff to be able to carry out their roles effectively. As members of the school community, pupils are responsible for:
- listening to and following instructions from staff;
- ensuring that their actions are safe for themselves and will not harm others in any way;
- being sensible around the School site and when using any equipment;
- reporting health and safety concerns or incidents to a member of staff immediately; and
- acting in line with the School rules.
Pupils that are found to be a risk to health and safety may not be allowed to partake in certain school activities, and may be dealt with under the School’s behaviour policy if the circumstances require it. We expect pupils to follow the School rules, as this helps maintain good health and safety around the School. This can be found in the School Behaviour Policy and in section 2.2 of this policy.
The Behaviour Policy is available on the website, and age-appropriate child-friendly versions are displayed around the School.
2. General arrangements to establish, monitor, and review measures needed to meet satisfactory health and safety standards
The School implements specific arrangements for health and safety provision in relation to different departments and their health and safety needs. However, there are some general procedures in place that form the basis of good practice within the School, and apply across all areas. These are listed below.
Each school section follows the protocols within the whole school policy. As different sections are age and phase-related, staff must be mindful of the nature of safety and risk associated with specific age groupings.
The Central Health & Safety File for the whole school is stored in the Operations Manager's Office.
- Forest Schools takes place in the Early Years and carries specific risk assessments which are stored in the relevant Risk Assessment File.
- Playground equipment - periodic checks are carried out by external assessors.
- Off-site PE provision - general risk assessments are carried out, and only bone fide known outside providers are used.
- Science Department, Senior School - The Science Technician is responsible for maintaining specific Health & Safety records, original of which are stored in the preparation room with copies in the Health & Safety file. This includes the provision of protective equipment such as goggles, protective clothing etc.
- The Science Technician undertakes CLEAPS training.
- The kiln in the Art Room, Senior School - the Art Teacher and Facilities Coordinator are responsible for overseeing the use and maintenance of the kiln. This includes the provision of protective equipment for the use of the kiln.
- The use of sharp objects within art and design and science - lesson planning takes into account risk factors and pupils and staff are briefed on their safe use.
The Operations Manager delegates the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep to the Facilities Coordinator.
2.1 Safe behaviour
The School is concerned with ensuring the good health and safety of members of the School community both on an individual basis and as a whole-school body. Appropriate and considerate behaviour and conduct is an important part of health and safety and there are various school regulations in place to monitor behaviour, as well as provisions for behaviour support. Most of these are outlined in the School's Behaviour Policy.
Substance misuse can be a great risk to personal and whole school health and safety, and the School takes its policy against drugs and alcohol very seriously. The School will not tolerate drug use of any sort on school property or during off-site school activities. The School takes its anti-drugs policy very seriously and will discipline any person found to be in possession of drugs. This includes solvents and any other substance that can be misused or harmful. Pupils may be permanently excluded if they are found to be involved in drug-related incidents. This includes supplying, possessing, or taking drugs.
Carrying, supplying or taking prescription drugs illegitimately could result in a permanent exclusion.
Some over-the-counter drugs can be harmful if misused. We advise that pupils should not carry these around school. If they need medication they can go to a Receptionist.
The School is aware that it may be necessary for some pupils to take medication during the school day. Parents should make the School aware of this in writing as soon as their child starts taking the medication, following the procedure in the First Aid Policy.
Consuming, carrying or supplying alcohol is strictly prohibited. Any pupil involved in any alcohol-related activity may be permanently excluded.
All of these rules also apply when travelling to and from school. For more information see the School’s Behaviour Policy.
(iii) Challenging behaviour
Abusive or challenging behaviour is a great risk to personal and whole school health and safety and the School will not tolerate abusive behaviour by pupils, staff, or visitors. This includes parents. The School's policy for dealing with challenging behaviour, regulating off-site behaviour, exclusions, and bullying are laid out in our Behaviour Policy.
2.3 Maintenance of safety records
Having accurate and up-to-date safety records is a key part of an effective health and safety provision. This section outlines the School’s safety records and notes who is responsible for maintaining them.
Central Health & Safety File
The Central Health & Safety File is kept in the Operations Manager's Office. This file is readily available for inspection by the appropriate authorities. A hard copy of all health and safety records are printed out for the file, and backed up with an electronic copy. Details of the following are kept in the file:
- A current
list of names of individuals with key health and safety roles including:
- Names of The Management Board
- Heads of School
- Operations Manager
- Facilities Coordinator
- BHV Officers
- Science and Art Technicians (Senior School only)
- First Aiders (including expiry dates for certification and Pediatric/ general)
- The emergency response teams, commonly called BHVers (Bedrijfshulpverlening) (including expiry dates for re-validation and re-training)
- A copy of this policy and projected date for review
- A register of risk assessments completed for each section of the School and the main school administrative offices
- Copies of hygiene reports for the kitchen
- Copies of the cleaning reports and audits
- Copies of risk assessments including (where applicable):
- General risk assessments
- COSHH assessments
- Display screen equipment workstation assessments
- Fire risk assessments
- Machinery / equipment
- Lone working
- Risk of violence and aggression
- Work in confined spaces, work at height, etc.
- Completed accident records sheets [removed from the Accident Book]
- Copies of any accident report form sent to GGD, plus the report of any investigation made into the accident / incident and details of any remedial action taken following an accident or incident
- Details of emergency procedures – for example, fire evacuation, procedures to deal with a chemical / biological or radiological spillage, location of first aid kits and first aiders, etc.
- Date and findings of health and safety inspections, together with details of any actions / timescales to be taken following such an inspection
- Inspection and statutory examination reports relating to equipment, such as respiratory protective equipment, fume cupboards, dust extraction, lifting equipment, gas fired equipment etc.
- Other equipment maintenance and service records
- Fire drill log books – dates and performance [clearance time; details of any problems, etc.]
- Health and safety training records – names, dates and course titles for health and safety training provided/attended (include local training such as health and safety induction and external courses) - plus projected date for refresher training
- Copies of completed health and safety induction checklists (for new staff)
- Copies of annual health and safety audit checklists and action plans
- Risk Inventory & Evaluation (RIE).
The School keeps records of health and safety incidents for seven years. The School examines past health and safety records and risk assessments to allow any necessary changes and improvements to be identified.
2.4 Safety review, monitoring, and evaluation procedure
The School’s health and safety monitoring will be undertaken by the Management Board and the Heads of School. This policy and the Health and Safety file will be reviewed by the Management Board, and periodically by the Supervisory Board member with oversight for Health and Safety due to triggers including, but not limited to:
- changes in key personnel
- changes to the structure of the School’s organisation
- the introduction of new processes
- any change in premises or the specific use of part of the premises
- changes in legislation
- following the findings from an accident investigation (internal and/or external) or following a civil claim
- following consultation with employees
- following any enforcement action required by the Dutch authorities.
Provision will be evaluated and changes for improvement made when and where there is a need for it.
It is important that the School monitors safe systems of work on a day-to-day basis in areas such as:
- kitchens (Catering is outsourced to an independent organisation (Markies Catering) who have a responsibility to report H&S issues) with regards to kitchen equipment or the site, to the Operations Manager. The Catering Company are responsible for ensuring appropriate hygiene practices
- cleaning cupboards and staff rooms (Cleaning Contractors are in direct contact with the Facilities Coordinator; staff are responsible for communicating any issues in staff room)
- laboratories (Science and Art technical staff are responsible for communicating H&S issues to the Head of School and to the Facilities Coordinator / Operations Manager)
Procedure and reporting
In the event of an accident taking place either at the School, or off-site on a school organised activity, the member of staff on-site will immediately report to whomever is in charge. An accident on School premises requires informing the Head of School or Operations Manager. A First Aider should make an assessment of the injury as soon as possible.
If an ambulance is required, it will be ordered by a receptionist-unless emergency medical assistance is required, in which case any member of staff can call an ambulance from the nearest phone. It is essential that the relevant Head of School or their deputy is informed.
Parents (or emergency contacts where the parent is not available) will be contacted as soon as possible in the event of serious injury or ill-health of a pupil. Medical treatment or the contacting of emergency services will not be delayed if the School cannot contact a parent or guardian. If a pupil needs to be taken to hospital, and a parent or guardian is not immediately available, a member of staff will accompany the pupil to hospital and wait for the parent to arrive.
Pupils will only be sent home if there is a parent or guardian available to be with them there. If they have suffered injury or are unwell, they will be kept in the nearest medical room until they can be collected.
Pupils will have an individual Pupil Care Plan, if it is the case that allergy medication or other prescriptive medication needs to be on-site for them to use regularly or in a case of emergency. Individual Pupil Care Plans will be reviewed systematically to ensure that they suit the pupils' needs and remain effective. A record of any medication of this sort will be kept in the relevant School Office and copy at main Reception. Any medicine administered in school will be recorded.
Care Plans are reviewed annually or more frequently if circumstance lead to a change in medical needs, and are reviewed with and signed by the parents. All staff working with the pupil will familiarise themselves with and have access to the Care Plan (see First Aid Policy).
Recording an accident
The School has accident books and serious/ staff accident forms which are stored in the School Reception areas. Junior School- Staff Work Room by playground; Student Services; EYS Claudia / Linda. These are used to record all accidents. Each event is dated. All members of staff supervising at the time of the incident should make a separate report. What happened, actions taken, injuries, and first aid administered should be recorded.
Serious incidents will also be recorded, and reviewed by the Senior Leadership Team. The Management Board will review cases of serious incidents and determine what, if any, steps could be taken in order to ensure that the same accident does not happen in the future. The types of minor accidents reported (no personal details discussed) will be reviewed at Senior Leadership Team meetings to determine whether there are any accident trends that could be avoided.
An investigation may be launched by external authorities in the case of serious accidents or incidents. Accident reports will be reviewed and witnesses may be interviewed. This may happen in cases including, but not limited to:
- specified injuries in respect of employees or pupils;
- over-7-day injuries (where a member of staff is away from work or unable to perform their normal work duties for more than seven consecutive days);
- specified dangerous occurrences (where something happens that does not result in an injury, but could have done);
- occupational diseases (Arbodeinst); and
- injuries resulting in hospital visits for treatment in respect of pupils and employees who are injured out of or in connection with work activities (examinations and diagnostic tests do not constitute ‘treatment’ in such circumstances).
The Management Board or the Supervisory Board may decide to conduct internal investigations into less serious incidents to ensure that policy and procedure are being used correctly and effectively, and that future incidents of a similar nature can be avoided.
2.6 Lone workers
There will be some situations where staff at the School will be working alone or one-on-one with a pupil. Examples of this would be one-to-one invigilation of exams. There is an increased risk to the health and safety of lone workers, and the School has provisions in place to both identify and manage these risks.
Any staff, pupils, contractors or visitors who are identified as lone workers will be given all the necessary training, information and instruction to enable them to recognise the hazards and appreciate the risks involved with working alone. Risk assessments will also be carried out as and when necessary.
Risk of Violence
- Staff must not arrange meetings with parents or members of the public when lone working. All meetings must be arranged during School occupancy times, or when there is more than one informed member of staff on site for the duration of the meeting.
- Late meetings must finish promptly, and not leave one member of staff alone on-site.
- Staff must not approach, or let into the building, unauthorised persons when lone working.
Staff are advised to:
- avoid lone working wherever possible by arranging to work in pairs or as a group;
- sign in and out of the site;
- carry either a mobile phone or School telephone at all times when lone working;
- let someone know they are coming into work, how long they expect to be and when they are leaving;
- comply with fire evacuation procedures and attend fire assembly points, ensuring that they are cleared to leave the site in the event of an incident.
- For those working on our premises, First Aid kits can be found in each classroom, office and in the staffroom. In the Senior School, First Aid kits are kept in key areas (Head of School’s Office, Art and Science Rooms, Faculty office, and Student Services).
- In the event that a lone worker falls ill, or into difficulties, they should use their mobile phone/ School phone to contact their Headteacher, another employee who might be able to help, or even the emergency services.
- The School Keepers are responsible for checking the building is empty when locking up at night, and clear when opening up in the morning.
Access and egress
- Staff are required to consider weather conditions before coming into and while at work.
Guidance for key-holders attending alarm calls after hours
There is a nominated key-holder within the School who will attend alarm call outs after hours. The School advises that the nominated person in conjunction with the security company;
- does not attend an alarm call-out alone, where reasonably practicable;
- does not enter the building if alone;
- looks out for corroborative evidence of intruders;
- takes necessary action e.g. calls the police.
What to take
- Identification, for example, an employee badge; this helps if police do attend the scene or are later called to the scene.
- A torch of a reasonable size and power.
- A mobile phone, in order to summon assistance in an emergency without having to enter the building
- A basic plan or diagram of the building; this
does not have to be a very detailed site plan but it would be useful to
- entry/exit points for people and vehicles
- areas where computers/valuables are located.
This information is useful for the police if they are required to attend the scene.
- On attending the site, key-holders must be mindful of and protect themselves against the worst case scenario, that is, an intruder who may still be on-site.
- Initial arrival should be to the front of the building’s main entrance. If an intruder has not already left on hearing the alarm, an unexpected arrival may disturb them. Staff's main priority is personal safety. If staff disturb an intruder, they should attempt to withdraw to a safe point. They should not attempt to apprehend them.
What to check
- Suspicious/unfamiliar vehicles parked in the immediate area.
- The outside of the building for signs of forced entry e.g. broken glass, prised doors, open or broken windows etc.
- Evidence of flashlights being used or other lights left on within the building.
- Noise from within the building or outside.
If at any stage there is evidence of an intruder, withdraw immediately and contact the police. Do not enter the building to use the telephone.
- Where there is no evidence of an intruder from
the outside, enter the building:
- Check the inside of the premises to eliminate signs of a forced entry
- Switch on appropriate lights and proceed to re-set the alarm
- If evidence of an intruder is discovered, withdraw and contact the police
- Try not to disturb the scene.
Unacceptable lone worker activities
The following activities are not to be carried out by lone workers under any circumstances:
- Working at height
- Manual handling of heavy or bulky items
- Maintenance of the lift
- Transport of injured persons.
It may be that a member of staff is working alone with a pupil, for example, in a one-to-one music lesson. It is important in this instance that the health and safety of both parties is taken into consideration, as is their emotional wellbeing and comfort in the situation.
Staff who are involved in one-to-one working, wherever possible, should do the following:
- Inform someone about the activity, the location, the likely duration and let them know when it has ended. Assess the need to have another adult present or close by.
- Avoid working in isolated parts of the building, and leave the door open, if possible, so that both the adult and the pupil can be seen. Where this is not possible, alternative safeguards should be put in place. This might include a location in which the staff member and pupil are visible through a window or door panel.
It is especially important to ensure that the pupil feels at ease at all times and that they do not misconstrue actions or intentions.
- Make sure the pupil is comfortable with the arrangement.
- Avoid unnecessary physical contact, for example, sitting too close.
- Any incident of concern which arises during a one-to-one activity should be reported to a member of the Senior Leadership Team immediately, along with a detailed written report including names dates and times etc.
Information about the safeguarding provision in our school can be found in our Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
Pupils must adhere to the following guidelines related to lone working in school: This applies only to Senior School pupils, as Juniors and EYS pupils are not permitted to work unsupervised.
- All pupils, unless supervised, should vacate the site before 5pm.
- Pupils who arrive before 8.15am are not supervised unless a school activity is taking place e.g. rehearsals/club.
- On hearing the fire alarm, pupils must evacuate the building and assemble at the fire point, until the all-clear is given.
2.7 Building and site maintenance
The Bursar is responsible for ensuring that the School premises are properly maintained, comply with health and safety laws, and are easily accessible and safe for the whole School community.
2.8 Environmental statement
The British School of Amsterdam recognises that it has a responsibility to educate pupils about caring for the environment and the world we live in. The best way to do this is to instil good practice in our pupils through example. We aim to do this by:
- reducing our use of natural resources;
- supporting the sustainable production of the resources we must use by purchasing renewable, reusable, recyclable, and recycled materials;
- minimising our use of toxic substances, and ensuring that unavoidable use is in full compliance with local environmental regulations;
- promoting recycling around the School with the use of recycling bins, supported through the curriculum and in classrooms;
- ensuring that drinking water is readily available, with clearly marked outlets
- taking active steps to reduce the amount of waste we generate and promote strategies to reuse and recycle those wastes that cannot be avoided; and
- restoring the environment where possible.
2.9 Fire safety and evacuation procedures
The School carries out whole school fire drills once a term. There are emergency exits located and signposted around the School, and emergency procedures posters, detailing what to do in the event of a fire are posted around the site.
Fire risk assessments are carried out, recorded, and regularly reviewed. Fire alarm safety checks are carried out regularly and recorded.
The emergency procedures should be followed in the event of an evacuation of the School for any reason. In the event of a power cut, emergency exit lights will indicate where the emergency exits are. Emergency lights are tested along with the other fire maintenance checks.
2.10 Emergency procedures
In the case of an emergency situation, the School will work closely with emergency services to do everything practicably possible to reduce the health and safety risk to those in the School. We have provisions in place to aid us in preventing certain emergencies but in some cases, such as extreme weather, major power failure, or flooding, they cannot be avoided. In these circumstances the School will carry out the emergency procedures as described in the Evacuation Policy.
2.11 Health and safety training
Effective health and safety training is key to good health and safety practice. The School takes health and safety training seriously, and expects all employees and pupils to do the same. Training is part of induction for all employees, whether they are on fixed term or permanent contracts. Visitors and volunteers are also responsible for contributing to safe practice around school.
Specific training in relation to use of equipment or substances may be given to staff and pupils relating to which department they will be working in. Employees and pupils who are not specifically trained for specialist equipment are not permitted to use it. More information on specific training for individual school departments can be found in that department’s health and safety document provided by the School.(eg; CLEAPPS training for Science Technician)
2.12 Workplace safety
The School will ensure that the school environment and workplace is safe for pupils, staff and visitors. This means keeping classrooms and corridors tidy, organised, and free of safety hazards such as loose wires. Appropriate clothing and good conduct will also be expected in school; both contribute to good health and safety practice.
Any hazards around the school site that are noticed by any member of the school community should be reported to a senior leader. Health and Safety is also a recurring agenda item at Senior Leadership Team meetings.
Certain departments such as science labs and art workshops will have more health and safety risks due to equipment and substances being used in these lessons. Only teachers and pupils trained to use specialised equipment will be allowed to do so, with appropriate risk assessments being carried out prior to commencement of activities.
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
The School recognises the importance of taking into consideration the health and safety surrounding the use of DSE. Some of the potential health problems associated with incorrect use of DSE are:
- upper limb disorders (ULD) (e.g., upper limb aches and pains caused by poor posture),
- fatigue and stress,
- temporary eye strain.
- A check-list of steps that can be taken to prevent or limit strain or injury is available
The School adapts the following precautions to ensure a safe system of work for any staff, pupils, volunteers and visitors to the School:
- Work areas are risk-assessed and arranged to enable safe practices to be carried out.
- Furniture and equipment are regularly tested and checked to ensure that they are functioning correctly. An example of this would be checking that the chair provides adequate support for the back.
- Staff and pupils are trained in the safe use of display screen equipment and are made aware of the risks of working for a prolonged period of time.
- Furniture and equipment is adjusted to each individual so as to ensure maximum comfort when working.
- Regular breaks are taken when working with DSE.
- The School encourages staff, pupils, and volunteers or visitors to report to their manager any symptoms of discomfort or ill-health that they believe may be related to the use of DSE.
2.13 Control of substances hazardous to health (CoSHH)
There are areas in school where hazardous substances will be stored. The School has systems in place to ensure that hazardous substances are used correctly, and records are kept in order to prevent the misuse or accidental misuse of such substances. The precautions the School takes include:
- safe storage of hazardous substances in locked cabinets, with a clear system explaining how and where chemicals are stored, and who has responsibility for any keys to locked cabinets. Hazard data sheets and information on procedures for assessing substances hazardous to health are kept in the Science Preparation Room.
- only staff that are trained to use these substances will have access to them. These staff will be trained in proper maintenance, storage, and use of these chemicals.
- clear labelling of all chemical bottles. Any hazardous substances should be stored in the original containers wherever possible and not decanted into an unlabelled container. Where they are decanted, full CoSHH details should be transferred to the new container.
- clear record of chemicals ordered, who they are ordered for, and what they are ordered for.
- safe disposing of chemicals.
- appropriate use when handling hazardous substances.
- strict ‘off-limits’ policy for pupils. Pupils will only be allowed to handle hazardous substances under the supervision of a member of staff (in science lessons, for example).
Substances that are for use in the science classrooms are under the responsibility of the Science Department. For more information on the control of these substances, please see the supporting Science Department Handbook.
All CoSHH signage must conform to the requirements of the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 (as amended) relating to labelling and packaging of chemicals. New signs have been appearing on items acquired since December 2010 as part of transitional arrangements. Staff and pupils will be taught to recognise new signs, and any posters in use will display the new signs.
2.14 Occupational health services and managing work-related stress
The British School of Amsterdam takes the health and wellbeing of all its staff and pupils very seriously, and acknowledges that in a busy and hard working environment, managing work-related stress alone can be very difficult.
We urge any staff member who is experiencing stress to talk to their manager or a member of the Senior Leadership Team, and the School will do everything that it can to support them. Under Dutch regulations, we can refer staff to the Arbodienst service (work doctor) who can give employees advice about health and stress issues. The School also has a confidence person that staff can talk to if they need advice on dealing with school issues and are unsure of how to proceed.
2.15 Policy and procedures for off-site visits
School trips, off-site visits, residential visits, and any school-led adventure activities are carried out as part of an enriched curriculum and to support the learning and development of our pupils. Before any activity is allowed to take place, the relevant Head of School will ensure that:
- the objective of the visit is clear;
- the visit has been planned effectively, and risks have been assessed and are minimised as far as is reasonably practicable;
- they are informed well in advance about less-routine visits;
- the group leader has shown how the plans for the visit comply with regulations and guidelines and with the School’s Health and Safety Policy;
- in the case of adventurous activities (for example, water sports or climbing), the group leader and/or other supervisors are competent to lead or instruct pupils;
- it assesses proposals for certain types of visit e.g. those involving an overnight stay or overseas travel;
- a sufficient level of insurance is in place;
- the group leader reports back after the visit.
The documentation for off-site visits, contains information regarding:
- responsibilities for off-site visits;
- parental consent;
- adventure activities;
- work experience placements;
- work experience health and safety;
- off-site risk assessments.
2.16 Selecting and managing contractors
It is vital that any company or persons invited into the School under a contractual agreement to work on maintenance or the building site, operates under the highest level of health and safety possible, and is aware of our School policies and procedures.
It is the Bursar’s responsibility to select and oversee the management of contractors.
For information on safeguarding pupils against visitors or contractors to the School, please read the School's Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy.
School security is a vital component of good health and safety, and we want pupils and staff to feel safe in school. We have in place a fob entry system and the building is monitored with CCTV at entry and exit points.
All staff must check in when entering the building, and visitors must sign in via the Reception Desk. At pick up and drop off time, school entrances are staffed to monitor the flow of people in and out of the building.
All staff are expected to report and challenge unknown persons who are not displaying visitor badges and report them immediately to staff on the Reception Desk.
CCTV systems are in place and are connected to the Reception Desk and to School Keepers Workshop.
All staff and pupils in the Senior School are issued with a personalised fob card which allows access for specific times of the day – pupils within school hours for playground access doors and senior entrance (8am to 5pm), staff between 7am and 7pm and the Leadership team at all times. The Receptionists have an overview of issued cards, and staff are responsible for reporting the loss of their cards so they can be blocked.
If for any reason the fob system is inactive, staff can then sign in and out of a paper file. Pupils with lost cards should report to the Student Services Desk or Form Tutor to communicate this to the Reception.
School Master Key
Each Head of School, all School Keepers, Operations Manager, Principal and Bursar hold a master key to all main doors. Staff have copies of common lockdown keys for classrooms and teaching rooms and relevant offices. Cleaning contractors hold keys for all internal doors, and catering staff have key access to catering areas only.
Visitors' Book and Badges
All visitors must report to the Reception Desk. Receptionists must check on the agenda if a visitor is expected, or phone the Heads of Schools or Admin. If the visitor is bone fide, they are issued with a visitor's badge, sign in, and are then escorted to their appointment. The School Keepers are responsible for ensuring any contractor follows the same process. Parents visiting at times other than concerts/ shows and general parent meetings are expected to follow the same procedure.
Secure Playground Fences
The site is fenced with one common entrance in and out; under Dutch regulations flight gates are provided to enable exit under fire situations.
The School currently contracts Alert Security to attend out of hours visits.
3. Risk assessment
Effective risk assessment is the foundation of all school health and safety checks, and the School takes steps to ensure that all staff are confident and familiar with carrying out risk assessments, and recording and reporting risks. The Risk Assessment Form used within the School is located here.
School Risk Assessment Matrix
Risk assessments are stored in each Head of School’s office and will be reviewed:
- at regular intervals;
- after accidents, incidents and near misses;
- after any significant changes to workplace, working practices or staffing;
- after any form of notice has been served.
The matrix below is used during risk assessment to assess initial activity or location risk, and then residual risk once all the controls have been put in place to decrease risk.
Minor - irritation easily dealt with by group
Moderate - could affect group itinerary
Serious - involves external agency
O + L greater than 5 should involve further consideration and discussion with relevant people - operator, Principal, accompanying staff, parents etc.
The School carries out risk assessments in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It is impossible to eliminate all risk, but the School does take every action that it can in order to decrease risk as far as is reasonably practicable. Any activity that is considered too high risk to the health and safety of our pupils, staff, or the general public through risk assessment will not be carried out.
In the event that we need to lock the school down, (due to an aggressive
intruder or other threat), all the classroom doors are lockable from the inside
and all staff have a common keys which open the doors. We have a tannoy system which can be used (if possible), to
alert staff that there is a lockdown. Receptionist would press the panic button
installed at reception. Teachers
secure/hide the children in the classrooms.
This conforms to Part 3: Welfare, health and safety of pupils as part of the UK Government’s British Overseas School Standards.