September 17, 2019
Alan Schmitt, ARM-P
Area Vice-President – Loss Prevention
It’s hard to believe that school has been in session almost a month. As we get into the fall athletic schedule, homecoming, and the other activities which blanket our busy school schedule, we also need to take a moment to remind ourselves of some key safety tips.
For most of us, fall sports are well under way. However, there are a few key items we need to review:
- Coaching Handbooks—Are our coaching handbooks up to date with all current school and MSHSAA guidelines and policies?
- Bleacher Safety—Have we checked our bleachers to ensure they are safe and structurally sound? When was the last time you had a bleacher professional inspect your bleachers? Do they meet CPSC and ICC/IBC guidelines?
It is important to develop an action plan to comply with these standards.
- Emergency Response Plans—Do our school crisis response plans include athletic events?
- First Aid Response—Do school policies meet the requirements of MSHSAA? Has staff been trained in the use of AED’s and Epi pens?
- Transportation Policies—Are our student transportation policies up to date? Do we have coach’s transporting students?
The Homecoming date has been set and plans are likely underway. It is important that school administration understands and approves all homecoming activities. Such activities as school dances, parades, fires, DWI-awareness activities, and other special activities need to be evaluated from a safety and liability standpoint.
By now in the school year it is important that emergency response drills have begun and are scheduled in the future. The following guidelines should be considered for drills:
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Also, don’t forget to complete school bus evacuation drills if your school operates a buses.
In addition, it is important to check that each classroom has it’s evacuation plan posted and that the emergency ”go kit” is properly stocked and ready for use.
Finally, have we established our first aid response team members? Are all first responders current with first aid and CPR-AED training?
Campus Safety & Security
The fall and early winter months are very busy times for our school campus. It is important we remain diligent in maintaining a safe and secure school campus. With the cold weather just around the corner, there are a couple of items we need to check.
- Do we have a plan in place for treating ice and small frozen areas of precipitation?
- Do we have a plan in place to address parking lot lighting conditions since it will be getting dark sooner in the evening?
- Have we had our heating systems serviced?
- Have we checked that all carbon monoxide detectors are properly functioning?
- Do we have additional floor mats available for wet conditions?
- Do our security procedures consider special campus events, athletic events, and public meetings?
- Have we checked to ensure that all perimeter doors are secured (locked) from the outside on a routine basis?
- Do all of our classrooms doors have the ability to be locked?
- Do all classrooms have two-way communication with the office/principal?
The fall season is a good time to review our school bus fleet and our driver training requirements. Some questions to ask include:
- Are our school buses being properly maintained with a formal preventative maintenance program?
- Are our drivers performing pre-trip inspections of the school buses?
- Do we have a formal policy in place prohibiting the use of cell phones by drivers while operating the school bus?
- Have we developed a formal schedule to ensure our drivers are receiving at least the state minimum of eight hours of training per year? (Did you know MUSIC provides free on-site bus driver training?)
If you have questions about any of the above information please contact me at 314-800-2255.