Safety Considerations as You Prepare to Return to School
Education, Property & Casualty, Risk
Marty MalloyDirector of Education & Government Practice
Senior Account Executive
One of the leading times for teachers’ workers’ compensation injuries is during the time they are preparing the school building and classrooms for instruction during the upcoming school year. There are several steps the district and staff can take to reduce these injuries:
- Inform all staff that they must notify school administration if they are planning on entering or working in the school or their classroom before school starts.
- Staff should be aware of slip and fall hazards while preparing their class rooms for school. As maintenance staff prepares for class, floors may be slippery as they are being cleaned and waxed. Classroom objects and equipment may be cluttering the hallway. Appropriate footwear must be worn to prevent injury from slips or falls; this means no sandals or flip-flops
- Inform staff that they are never to stand on tables, desks, or chairs to reach something at an elevated height. Step ladders or step stools should be available.
- Staff should seek custodial assistance with the lifting or moving of large or heavy objects, especially those that are stored in high locations. Custodians usually have access to proper handling aides.
- Never allow staff to bring their children into the school while preparing their classrooms. With all of the maintenance and custodial activities taking place, there are too many ways for a child to get injured or staff to get distracted and injure themselves.
- Never allow staff to enter through side doors or prop open doors for their convenience. Doors should remain shut and locked at all times.
- Instruct staff that any accident or incident that occurs while they are in the school must be reported to administration immediately or to the workers’ compensation injury call-in number.
Preparing for a new school year is exciting, but this time of year can bring more workers’ compensation claims for teachers. Staff should be aware of the risks they face as they prepare their classrooms, and administrators should be prepared to communicate the risk mitigation steps listed above in order to keep staff safe.