You can’t protect them from everything, but you can mitigate the risks should something go wrong

When parents entrust their children to a school, there is so much more involved in the decision than just their education. Beyond the school culture, sporting and arts programmes and a convenient location is the most essential factor of all – the health and safety of the children.

COVID-19 has changed the way we view schooling, sending us to hide behind our screens in the safety of our own homes. Now that spring is in the air and the vaccinations are rolling out, will your school be ready to receive its most precious assets?

Here are some quick and easy questions to check your site and plan for potential risk factors.

Have you reviewed your emergency evacuation plan within the last twelve months?

Your emergency procedure plan should be checked once a year and changed every time your floorplan does. Fire escape diagrams should be developed, reviewed and updated in line with the requirements and should indicate items such as evacuation routes, assembly points, emergency equipment and contact numbers.

When was the last time you trained the people who work and reside on the premises?

Awareness training on emergency evacuation plans should be given to everyone who joins your workforce or lives on your site. Don’t forget the procedure when someone new joins.

Do you have a fire protection committee?

We recommend establishing an emergency structure at your facility to assist and organise fire protection programmes and evacuation drills. The committee should be given the resources to execute planned drills safely.

When was your last evacuation drill?

The recommended frequency of emergency evacuation plan drills is once every six months. Compile and keep an updated drill register including roll call to ensure no one misses this important training event. A member of the fire brigade should be able to review your drill register on request.

Are your emergency exit doors compliant?

Your facility should have emergency exit doors that open in the direction of your planned escape and onto an open air space. Check that your doors are clearly marked and signposted indicating direction.

Is your fire-fighting equipment serviced and signposted?

Fire fighting equipment should be marked with signage that indicates both the location and direction of the equipment installations. This equipment and signage legally require regular maintenance to ensure it is all in working order and easily visible should it be needed.

Over the years, Cairnmead has dedicated itself to delivering services with integrity, consistency and a commitment to serving the communities, schools and businesses that we work for. Everything we do is led by our obligation to create a safer world. Cairnmead is focused on changing the mindset of the people we deal with to ensure that after each project, inspection, audit or meeting, clients understand that health & safety compliance is an absolute necessity.

If you were unsure of any of these answers, we are here to help you. Cairnmead offers efficient and effective health and safety compliance services without the fuss. Contact us with any questions or concerns here.

Christof Lourens

CEO Cairnmead Industrial Consultants (Pty) Ltd

Tel: 012 346 5752 | Email: christof@cairnmead.co.za

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