Health and Safety Rules
1.1 The success of our health and safety policy depends on the active contribution of all our employees and workers: please therefore ensure that not only do you understand and follow all our safety rules and regulations set out here but that you contribute your own suggestions towards the progressive improvement in health and safety within our business.
1.2 We do not consider that there are any specific hazards particular to our working environment: however, please do not be complacent about safety because you work in a language school. Accidents can happen anywhere but most can be avoided by using a little common sense and taking care.
1.3 A summary of our basic safety rules is reproduced below. These rules are intended to act as a continuing reminder to everyone of the essential elements of safe working practice and must be followed at all times. If necessary, training in the safe use of equipment will be provided.
2.1 These rules apply to everyone, including students, visitors, workers or contractors on our premises.
3 General rules
3.1 Always use tidy and systematic working methods which will ensure jobs are done safely and efficiently. Please dispose of waste materials by placing waste in the appropriate bins and ensuring that these are emptied regularly. All confidential papers must be shredded before discarding; any food waste (such as from lunches) should be disposed of in a bin which has a plastic liner.
3.2 Do not leave things lying on the floor or standing in or protruding into gangways. Corridors and stairs must be kept clear from obstructions at all times. Safe access to, and exit from, all offices and other areas must be maintained at all times. None of these areas should be used for casual storage purposes.
3.3 Take extra care if carrying hot drinks. Use the trays provided and avoid carrying up or down stairs. If something is spilt on the floor, see that it is cleaned up immediately.
3.4 Make sure that trailing telephone cables, electrical cables and flex from items of office equipment do not present a hazard. If they do, the office layout should be rearranged. Any trailing wires should be taped to the underside of desks to prevent falling/tripping over them.
3.5 Do not leave drawers of cabinets or desks open to be fallen over. Only open one drawer of a filing cabinet at a time. Ensure filing cabinets are loaded evenly to avoid becoming unbalanced. Fill the bottom drawer first to prevent the cabinet from tipping and do not overload top drawers.
3.6 Never put sharp objects in wastepaper bins; wrap them up, label them clearly and set them aside for special collection. Do not leave drawing pins on the floor. Use separate containers for storing drawing pins and paper clips.
3.7 Be careful when using pins, staplers and the shredder. Before you use the shredder, make sure you know how to stop it in an emergency and ensure that you do not lean over it with any loose clothing, long hair etc which could get caught in it.
3.8 Safety notices must clearly indicate the hazard to which they refer and must be kept in good order. Never remove a safety notice, cover it over with other announcements or obstruct it from clear view.
3.9 Routinely inspect work equipment for any faults (eg loose or frayed flexes on electrical equipment, loose screws, broken springs or defective welds on chairs etc) and report any faults in equipment immediately to the Health & Safety Officer – Steve Austin. Do not attempt to repair any equipment unless qualified, trained and authorised to do so.
3.10 Never reach over or climb over equipment. Do not climb on boxes, filing cabinets, chairs etc to reach things - use the proper equipment.
3.11 Report poor floor surfaces and any required repairs to flooring materials to the Health & Safety Officer – Steve Austin.
4 Electrical equipment
4.1 Do not use equipment if the date on the Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) label has expired. Testing must be carried out by a competent person and testing of all equipment must be current and in accordance with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
4.2 Do not make any adjustments to electrical connections unless specifically authorised to do so.
4.3 Keep an eye on plugs and leads on any equipment used and get them repaired as necessary. Look out for physical damage to the cable, failure of the cord grip at the plug and signs of overheating, or loose connections. Do not ignore obvious tell-tale signs such as faulty switching or intermittent stopping. Report any signs of electrical faults to the Health & Safety Officer – Steve Austin.
4.4 Do not overload circuits, for example by plugging into adapters. Do not use taped joints to connect cables - if cables must be joined, proper connectors must be used.
4.5 Ensure that any electrical equipment is turned off at the socket before unplugging and before cleaning, and also when leaving the premises each day. Do not pull out plugs by pulling on the cable.
4.6 Report any requirements for replacement bulbs or other faulty lighting immediately to the Health & Safety Officer – Steve Austin.
5 Fire prevention
5.1 Fire exits must be kept clear at all times and fire extinguishers must always be easily accessible.
5.2 Fire equipment must be kept clear from obstruction and under no circumstances should fire or smoke doors be wedged open.
5.3 Work areas should be kept free from risk of fire by removing unwanted waste paper, by never using highly flammable liquids or solvents carelessly and by avoiding a build-up of paper and other flammable materials, especially around any heat source. Paper and other materials should not be placed against radiators or near to/on top of any heaters.
5.4 If any type of flammable eraser (ie duplicating spirit or aerosol dispenser) is needed, this should be stored as safely as possible. Keep the minimum amount necessary in desk drawers: such items should be reduced to an absolute minimum, be kept in a metal cupboard or similar storage facility and not left lying around where they could present a serious hazard to the occupants of an office, or to fire fighters who may be called on to deal with a fire.
5.5 Never obstruct corridors, gangways or stairs.
5.6 Do not attempt to use a fire extinguisher unless you have been instructed in its use and it is possible to do so without any personal risk.
5.7 Please treat fire drills as though they are the real thing. They are not a funny joke, but are designed to help ensure your safety in an emergency.
6 Lifting and handling
6.1 Wherever possible, work should be arranged to minimise any lifting, for example, by keeping heavy files and breakable items on the middle and lower shelves, siting most used files and books closest to the workstation, splitting loads before lifting them and making use of any trolleys which are available for conveying goods.
6.2 Always take care when lifting heavy loads and obtain help if necessary, especially with computers/heavy stationery. When carrying files or boxes, make sure that you can see where you are going, particularly if moving up or down stairs. Always ask a colleague for assistance before attempting to lift heavy objects. Do not over-reach or climb onto chairs or other furniture to reach items stored at height - use properly fixed ladders or steps where necessary.
6.3 Always follow the guidelines below when:
- Before lifting the object, check there are no sharp or rough parts sticking out.
- Place your feet slightly apart to give a comfortable stance.
- Keeping your feet flat on the floor, squat down, keeping your back straight.
- Take a firm grip of the object and, keeping it as near as possible to the body, stand up using your legs to do the work.
- If the object feels too heavy, or is awkward to manage on your own, do not attempt to lift it, get assistance.
- Pushing is much easier than pulling.
- Always remain upright.
- Keep your spine straight.
- Put your hands straight out in front of you and grasp the object firmly.
- Depending on the direction, lean backwards and/or forwards, transferring the weight to the most backward or forward foot.
- Remain upright at all times, keeping your spine straight.
7 VDU users
7.1 Special regulations apply to those who habitually use VDUs for a significant part of their normal work. A risk assessment is made of each workstation. Users should be aware of this and know how to adjust their screens to minimise glare and flicker, and to adjust their chairs to the correct height.
7.2 Regular breaks should be taken from looking at the screen by alternating duties such as filing, telephone calls etc with screen work.
8 Hazardous substances
8.1 A copy of our COSHH assessment is kept are kept in a folder in the lockable cleaning materials cupboard on the 2nd floor landing.
8.2 Always read all hazard warning signs and the instruction labels on containers. They should say if, for example, a substance is poisonous, easily set on fire or can cause burns.
8.3 Before using a substance, find out what to do if it spills onto skin or clothes. Wear the rubber gloves provided in the kitchen if handling bleach.
8.4 Never transfer small quantities of any liquids or substances into unlabelled or wrongly labelled containers. This can be very dangerous for everyone you work with.
9 Smoking, including electronic cigarettes
9.1 Always observe our "no smoking" policy throughout our premises and in our vehicles.
9.2 Smoking is only permitted in the following areas and during non-working time: off the school premises before the start of class, during break times and after class.
9.3 Please refer to our smoking policy in the staff and student handbooks for more information.
10.1 Our main entrance will normally be locked between the hours of 5.30pm to 8.30am. At times of the year when we run evening courses, the main entrance will be locked between 8.45pm and 8.30am.
10.2 Please ensure that all equipment is turned off, safety mechanisms are in place, and that any confidential documents or valuables are locked away before leaving the premises.
10.3 There is an access code on the front door. Senior staff members know the access code.
10.4 Students should never be given the access code.
10.5 All visitors should be signed in or details taken. Visitors should never be left unaccompanied in reception.
11 Your health
11.1 No employee will be allowed to work on the premises under the influence of alcohol and/or unlawful drugs or legal highs. If you are taking any prescribed medication which is likely to make you feel drowsy or have any other side-effects which may be a risk to your safety, please mention this to the Health & Safety Officer – Steve Austin.
11.2 Under no circumstances are employees or students permitted to bring alcoholic drinks or illegal drugs onto our premises.
11.3 Should you come to school and be taken ill, please report to one of our Welfare Officers and/ or Steve Austin before leaving the premises and he/she will ensure you are able to get home safely.
12 Reporting of accidents or hazards
12.1 Anything that is liable to cause an accident, whether in your department or not, should be reported to the Health & Safety Officer – Steve Austin.
12.2 Any accident, no matter how trivial, should be reported to the Health & Safety Officer – Steve Austin using an Accident Report form, which can be found above the Health and Safety Officer’s desk in the teacher’s room. This should be done as soon as possible after the event to ensure it is recorded and any necessary remedial action taken.
12.3 Any damaged or defective equipment should be reported to the Health and Safety Officer, Steve Austin immediately.
13.1 Finally, if you are in doubt about any instructions given to you in the use of equipment, materials, methods etc. PLEASE ASK before proceeding. Ensure that you read and understand the above rules, and that you comply with them. Health and safety is too important a subject to be taken lightly - mischievous behaviour or horseplay which endangers others, and failure to follow our rules is misconduct and will be dealt with through our disciplinary procedure.
14 Related policies and documents
The following pieces of legislation apply to this policy:
- Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HASAWA)
- Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
- Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
- plus all regulations and Codes of Practice relevant to our individual business activities and working environment.
Specific policies, such as our Disciplinary policy, Drugs, alcohol and substance abuse policy, Fire safety policy, First aid at work policy and Health and safety rules are expanded on in the following documents:
- Staff & Teacher Handbook
- Student Handbook
- Staff & Teacher Contracts
- Student Terms and Conditions of Enrolments
The above list is not exhaustive.
15 Further information
Any queries or comments about this document should be addressed to the Health and Safety Officer, Steve Austin immediately.
16 Document owner
This document is owned and maintained by the management at Lexis School of English.
17 Document review date
17.1 Date last reviewed: 11/11/2019