Safety is always at the forefront of people’s minds when they are responsible for 3,000 plus students on a daily basis, not to mention the countless adult employees and visitors who are on our campuses and in our buildings each day. Each of our school sites are responsible for the development of a safety plan what to do in case of an emergency and who is responsible for doing what and when. But is this enough? What if the person you assigned to do a task is absent or out of pocket, what then? That has prompted us to take things a step further in trying to be more prepared.
Recently, all the main utilities in our school building were equipped with color coded tags to denote where the main shut off valves and switches are, all in an effort to aide anyone who was needing to shut off the utilities in the event of an emergency. Custodians across the district were given the tags following a walk-through visit at each school where principals and custodians were asked to identify all the main utility locations in the respective buildings. These tags will be most helpful in the event of a water break or other utility emergency that could cause great damage to our facilities.
Last week, Joe Allen, a representative with KEMI, our Workers Compensation administrator, conducted a safety audit on two of our campuses. This walk-through audit was designed to help us see just how safety conscious we are. What this audit did was reassure us that we really are safety-minded and doing a good job at keeping our buildings and campuses safe places to work and learn. Each of the sites visited scored really well with very few infractions, but those few infractions have caused us to look even more closely at checking things, such as our fire extinguishers, to be sure they have been serviced in a timely manner.
One can never do enough to keep our students, staff and visitors safe; there are always potential accidents, but one can always strive to do better and to be better prepared in the event of an accident or emergency. Being prepared means having a plan, being proactive, and always striving to head off any potential hazards before a problem occurs.