Schools are you prepared for winter?

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Article

17 December, 2018

Following a week of snow and plummeting temperatures it is the ideal time to consider whether your organisation is prepared for all the winter season might have to offer. Here is a quick checklist to ensure that you have appropriate systems in place and taken the necessary steps to protect staff, pupils and parents.

Ice and snow

  • Have you risk assessed the school grounds and put in a system to manage the risks? Have you identified the areas most likely to be affected by snow and ice? i.e. entrances to school, car parks, bus stops.
  • If you already have a risk assessment, carry out a review and make sure you implement any areas of improvement.
  • Is someone responsible for monitoring the weather conditions? Keep up to date with the latest weather conditions.

Gritting

  • Do you have adequate supplies of grit?
  • Is someone responsible for gritting traffic and travel routes?
  • If it is not possible to grit and clear the entire site, are staff and pupils aware of the gritted traffic routes?

Lighting

  • Is the lighting around school sufficient? Lighting should be provided on traffic routes.

Footwear

  • Have staff and pupils been advised to wear appropriate footwear in adverse weather?

School closures

  • Do you have a procedure for closing school in adverse weather and has this been communicated to staff and pupils?

The school or local authority (where relevant) has a non-delegable duty of care to employees, pupils and anyone else who might be affected. The duty is one of reasonable care to ensure the safety of those using the site, rather than absolute safety. Reasonable care does not require schools to guarantee that every risk will be avoided or that there will never be an accident. If an accident does occur, however minor, then the school should ensure that the accident is appropriately recorded. The records may have to be produced for the HSE, to parents, or disclosed as part of civil proceedings if a claim is brought following an incident.

For more information contact Ridwaan Omar in our Insurance department via email or phone on 01254 222457. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

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