Spring is in the air bringing with it thoughts of mild weather, much needed breaks, and spring cleaning. Puget Sound Workers’ Compensation Trust (PSWCT) wants districts to clean their way to a safer school environment.
Look around district rooms and buildings. Is there any clutter? Even a simple box can lead to an accident.
Seemingly minor incidents can have a big impact on the well-being of district staff. Think about sprains and strains caused by improper lifting or trips and falls caused by clutter.
These accidents can lead to staff missing school which impacts student achievement. A few simple steps can help prevent injuries.
Model Good Safety Behavior
Teachers and administrators are excellent role models for young learners. Why not extend those behaviors to safety? Has staff noticed clutter or boxes on the floor?
What would happen if someone tripped over the items?
- It startles him and gives the students a good laugh.
- She loses her balance, stumbles and falls, perhaps spraining an ankle or wrist.
- He strikes his head on a desk and loses consciousness requiring hospitalization
The correct answer is all of the above. No one can predict the ultimate impact of any given hazard, so it is always advisable to use “best practices” to prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place.
The Trust sees the impacts of these accidents and asks that staff take a few minutes to survey their classrooms, offices, work-spaces, closets, and passages for these potentially dangerous obstacles. Recycle, store, or move those boxes. As staff approach the end of the academic year it is important that they are able to keep contributing to their school and remain safe and healthy.
Remember, tripping hazards can cause: lost work time, lowered productivity, expensive insurance claims, physical health impairments, and trauma. The floor should not be a storage area. Beware and use care! Slips, trips, and falls are more common than you think. They can be easily prevented with planning.