Schools, as with all areas of society and places of work, have to abide by the law of the land. One such law which influences schools significantly is the Work Health and Safety Act and the Regulations which accompany it. Schools are to do what they can to ensure that the school environment is a safe place for all, including students, staff and visitors. All personnel in schools have a ‘duty of care' and part of this involves doing what is required to promote the school as a safe place.
When keeping a school safe for all, a major requirement of any workplace is to do ‘risk assessment'. Risk assessment involves inspecting a work site for any potential danger and then putting in place Risk Management; strategies within the workplace which can either prevent or control any risk to the welfare and safety of the people at the school.
The Department of Education and Communities monitors each school when assessing whether schools are doing what is required to promote a safe environment for all. Auditors are often involved in this monitoring. As part of meeting the Work Health and Safety requirements schools are required to conduct trial emergency evacuations throughout the year. This is to ensure that if a real emergency arose which potentially affects the safety and wellbeing of the people in the school, then the school will be as well prepared as possible to deal with the emergency.
Often visitors can be in the school during an emergency evacuation. If a real emergency existed then they too would need to be evacuated at the time. Hence, if you are present at the school when an emergency evacuation is called, then your participation in meeting the requirements of the evacuation is most appreciated.
During an evacuation the school also then become inaccessible to anyone wanting to enter the school grounds or buildings. Access is then only re-granted once the emergency situation has subsided and the ‘ok' is given for the school to resume normal functioning. School personnel are appointed to the various school access points to ensure no-one enters the school during the evacuation. These people are simply fulfilling their defined role as part of the school's Emergency Evacuation procedures. Your co-operation at these times is most appreciated.
Should you have any questions regarding this necessary school procedure, then by all means contact the school on 4421 8022 and ask to speak to Mr Kem Rakiposki.