Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Updated Risk Assessments to minimise the risk of being exposed to Covid-19

 

 

Methodology used for hazard identification and control

In line with the requirements of Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (section 19) it is the policy of the Board of Management in Scoil Mhuire B&C to address significant hazards and risks in the workplace, to access the risks to safety, health and welfare and to control these risks as far as is reasonably practicable.

 

The Board is committed to the ongoing identification of hazards, the assessment of the appropriate risks and the introduction of controls to deal with them. In addition, staff are involved and participate in safety, health and welfare issues within the school and are encouraged to identify and report any potential hazards that may exist and to ensure that a risk assessment is carried out.

 

This revised Risk Assessment includes all relevant updates and necessary control measures to minimise the risk of staff and others being exposed to Covid-19 and these will be incorporated into the Safety Statement for Scoil Mhuire B&C in line with requirements of section 20 of the 2005 Act.

 

It is envisaged that additional reviews will be undertaken on a regular basis and in line with Government and public health advice to ensure that all information remains accurate, that controls are appropriate and where necessary risks are reassessed.

 

A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm to the safety, health or welfare of staff, students, visitors and contractors – a wet or slippery floor, an unguarded machine, stressful work, a blocked entrance, hazardous chemicals etc. Hazards may be classified as physical, chemical, biological, environmental or human.

 

A risk is the likelihood that someone will be harmed by a hazard and the severity of that harm.

 

Control measures:

A control measure is an applied measure that reduces the level of risk. Control measures can be applied at the planning stage, can comprise physical measures, can be management issues and can include training. Good control measures will require a combination of some or all of these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Control measure principles:

Schedule 3 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 lists the Principles of Prevention and the Board of Management undertakes to apply these principles (where practicable) in dealing with all risks within the school: 

 

  • Avoidance of risks
  • Evaluation of unavoidable risks
  • Combating of risks at source
  • Adaptation of work to the individual
  • Adaptation of workplace to technical progress
  • Replacement of dangerous articles, substances or systems of work by safe or less dangerous articles, substances or systems of work
  • Priority to collective protective measures over individual protective measures
  • Development of an adequate prevention policy which takes account of technology, organisation of work, working conditions, social factors and the influence of factors relating to the working environment
  • Appropriate training and instructions to employees.

 

When the safety audit identifies hazards, it is necessary to evaluate and rank them so that they can be controlled in an orderly way. The risk of a hazard is a measure of the likelihood or probability of an accident coupled with the severity of the injury or loss. The risk potential of each hazard was assessed by considering both the severity of the consequences and the probability of the event occurring. Each risk has been rated as either i) trivial or negligible, ii) medium iii) severe and serious or iv) emergency, extremely serious.   

 

 

  1. Risk Communication, Education and Training

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff

Risk Rating with Controls: Negligible

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

The Board of Management will develop a response plan for the prevention and mitigation of Covid-19 following a risk assessment of the school facility. This plan will highlight the measures necessary to protect the health and safety of staff in re-opening and modifying the work arrangements within the school.

 

The staff representative(s) will be properly consulted when developing and implementing the action plan for the prevention and mitigation of Covid-19 within the school and all staff will be informed about the measures being introduced, using specific risk communication and staff engagement approaches.

 

The Board of Management will:

 

  • Ensure that all staff receive necessary training prior to returning to work
  • Provide posters, information and electronic message boards to increase awareness of Covid-19 among staff and pupils 
  • Promote safe individual practices within the school campus
  • Engage with staff in providing feedback on the preventive measures and their effectiveness
  • Provide regular information about the risk of Covid-19 using official sources, such as government agencies (HSE, HSA, etc.) and the World Health Organisation
  • Emphasise the effectiveness of adopting protective measures especially good personal hygiene
  •  Provide specific training in the proper use of PPE for staff, where required

 

  1. Hygiene

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected?   All staff, pupils, visitors, contractors, public

Risk Rating with Controls: Requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

The BoM will ensure that all staff can wash their hands regularly. Hot water and appropriate santitisers (i.e. hand gel dispensers, etc.) will be available throughout the school. Staff should:

  • Wash their hands properly and often. Hands should be washed:
    • After coughing or sneezing
    • Before and after eating or preparing food
    • Before and after using protective gloves
    • Before and after being on public transport
    • When arriving and leaving the school campus
    • After toilet use
  • Cover theirmouth and nose with a tissue or their sleeve when coughing and sneezing.
  • Put used tissues into a bin and wash their hands
  • Develop a routine of incresed cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces

 

The BoM will supply required cleaning products, will ensure the correct use

and storage of disinfectants and will ensure all products are stored safely and securely.  

No employees are permitted to attend work if they display any of the symptoms below: -

  • Fever (temperature of 37.5 degrees or above)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing difficulties

Any Staff Member displaying symptoms must self-isolate and not attend school for 14 days

Any staff member living with someone who is self-isolating or waiting for a Covid-19 test must restrict their movements for 14 days. 

Any Staff Member who has tested positive for Covid-19 must not return to work until deemed fit to do so and upon approval of their medical advisor

  • Staff can follow https://www2.hse.ie/ for regular updates or can contact HSELive for advice  1850 241850

 

The Board of Management will ensure that:

  • Appropriate signage in line with public health guidelines will be displayed throughout school facility (buildings and grounds). 
  • Appropriate social distancing markings are in place 
  • Necessary PPE is available to staff
  • Standard cleaning and maintenance regimes are put in place and detailed records retained
  • Toilet facilities are cleaned regularly 
  • Equipment sharing is minimised. Staff are encouraged not to share equipment
  • There is regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and that staff are provided with essential cleaning materials to keep their own work areas clean (for example wipes/disinfection products, paper towels and waste bins/bags)
  • All school equipment is sanitised – cleaning programmes to be devised to ensure that shared equipment is cleaned and disinfected between use by different people 
  • Covid compliant work areas to be available where social distancing guidelines can be applied
  • There is staggered use of staff room and other communal facilities
  • Bins are provided for disposal of waste materials (tissues, paper towels, wipes, etc.) and that adequate waste collection arrangements to be put in place to ensure they  do not overflow
  • All waste collection points are emptied regularly throughout and at the end of each day.
  • Staff use gloves when removing rubbish bags or handling and disposing of any
  • Rubbish and they wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds afterwards

 

  1. Social Distancing

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? All staff, pupils, visitors, contractors, public

Risk Rating with Controls: Requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

Physical distancing is currently a key control measure in reducing the spread of infection.

The Board of Mangement will ensure that:

  • all persons will adhere to relevant social distancing rules in relation to entering the

school, use of welfare facilities and while working in the school in so far as is practical.

  • Break times will be staggered and school supervision procedures must be strictly adhered to
  • Appropriate signage in line with public health guidelines will be displayed throughout school facility (buildings and grounds) 
  • Appropriate social distancing arangements will be in place throughout the facility in so far as is practical.
  • There is currently a strict no handshaking policy in place within the school
  • All staff, contractors and visitors should avoid direct physical contact with any other persons as far as possible

 

 

  1. Cleaning

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff especially cleaning staff

Risk Rating with Controls: Requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

All cleaning will be undertaken in line with DES and public health guidance.

 

  • Staff are responsible for cleaning personal items that have been brought to work and items handled at work or during breaks. Staff advised to clean personal items that they have bring to work (e.g. mobile phones) and to avoid leaving them down on communal surfaces or they will need to clean the surface after the personal item is removed
  • Cleaning staff will be trained in the new cleaning arrangements for the school
  • Sufficient cleaning materials and PPE will be available to allow for increased cleaning
  • Cleaning staff will be instructed to wear gloves when cleaning and are aware of the need to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, both before and after wearing gloves
  • System in place for the disposable of cleaning cloths and used wipes in a rubbish bag Current HSE guidance recommends waste such as cleaning waste, tissues etc. from a person suspected of having Covid-19 should be double bagged and stored in a secure area for 72 hours before being presented for general waste collection

 

  1. Office and administration areas

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff

Risk Rating with Controls: Requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

  • Office capacity to be limited to facilitate the maintenance of physical distancing between designated workstations and staff
  • The number of employees permitted to work in an office at any particular time shall be limited as a necessary control measure to protect health and safety.

 

 

  1. Use of PPE

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff

Risk Rating with Controls: Requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

The correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face shields/visors may be required in some circumstances to address identified risks of spread of the virus.

 

Where PPE is required by staff, they will be notified accordingly and be provided with the necessary PPE.  

PPE needs to be consistently and properly worn when required.

In addition, it must be regularly inspected, cleaned, maintained and replaced as necessary.

Current general guidance from the HSE in relation to the wearing of face coverings, masks and gloves is available at the following Link: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/face-masks-disposable-gloves.html

 

Face masks will be provided to all staff and must be worn when it is not possible to maintain a distance of 2 metres.

 

Gloves are not required generally within the workplace for infection prevention and control purposes according to current guidance.

 

  • *Face coverings are not recommended to be worn by children under 13 years, but children may wear them if they so wish.

 

  1. Dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff, pupils, visitors

Risk Rating with Controls: Requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

 The Board of Management will:

  • Appoint an appropriate person for dealing with suspected cases.
  • Have a designated isolation area available within the school building. The designated area and the route to the designated area should be easily accessible and as far as is reasonable and practicable, should be accessible by people with disabilities. The possibility of having more than one person displaying signs of Covid-19 needs to be considered so having additional isolation areas available or another contingency plan for dealing with additional cases must be planned. It would be important that the designated area has the ability to isolate the person behind a closed door and away from other workers

 

If a person displays symptoms of Covid-19 the following procedure is to be implemented:

  • Isolate the person and have a procedure in place to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2 metres away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the symptomatic person at all times.
  • Provide a mask for the person presenting with symptoms if one is available. He/she should wear the mask if in a common area with other people or while exiting the premises.
  • Assess whether the individual who is displaying symptoms can immediately be directed to go home and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home.
  • Facilitate the person presenting with symptoms remaining in isolation if they cannot immediately go home and facilitate them calling their doctor. The individual should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice should be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided
  • If the person is well enough to go home, arrange for them to be transported home by a family member, as soon as possible and advise them to inform their general practitioner by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind should not be used
  • If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspect.
  • Carry out an assessment of the incident which will form part of determining follow-up actions and recovery.
  • Arrange for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.

 

 

  1. Covid-19 Cleaning

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff, pupils, visitors

Risk Rating with Controls: Serious, requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, Staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

All cleaning will be undertaken in line with DES and public health guidance.

 

  • It is recommended cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant after a suspected coronavirus (Covid-19) case. This wil reduce the risk  of passing the  infection on to other people
  • The area should be kept closed and secure for 72 hours (if possible) for cleaning as the amount of virus living on surfaces will have reduced significantly by 72 hours
  • For cleaning purposes, wear a face mask, disposable or washing up gloves. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours and then put with the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished and should be double-bagged, 
  • Using a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products you normally use. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as toilets, banisters on stairwells and door handles
  • If an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (Covid-19) consider using protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and apron
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds  and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning
  • Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned as normal
  • All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned  and disinfected, including objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids

 

 

  1. Cleaning a space with a suspected/confirmed case of Covid-19

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff

Risk Rating with Controls: Serious, requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, cleaning staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

All cleaning will be undertaken in line with DES and public health guidance.

 

Use disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, using an approved and recognised detergent and disinfectant  in line with the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, aplication and contact times

Disinfectants used should be  effective against viruses.

 

Additionally:

Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning. 

Any cloths  used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.

 

When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered (upholstered furniture of mattresses for example) steam cleaning should be used

Any items that have been heavily contaminated with bodyfluids and that cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of 

 

If possible, keep an area closed off and secure for 72 hours. After this time the amount of virus

  • contamination will have decreased substantially, and cleaning can take place as normal 

 

  1. Travel to and from work

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff

Risk Rating with Controls: requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation:  All staff.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

Where a staff member exhibits any signs of Covid-19 or has been exposed to a confirmed case they should not travel to work.

 

Wherever possible, staff should travel to work alone using their own means of transport – staff should not share transport to or from work.

 

If availing of public transport, sit down to minimise contact with frequently touched surfaces, 

handles,roofstraps,isolation bars, etc. 

Wear a face mask and carry hand santiser (at least 60% alcohol) and use it regularly throughout your journey.

 

 

  1. Dropping off and picking up pupils

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff

Risk Rating with Controls: Serious, requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal, staff and bus drivers.

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

Arrangements for dropping off and picking up pupils from the school facility will be organised to maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a safe social distance between drivers/parents/guardians and all school staff. 

 

Where pupils travel by public transport the Board of Management will provide a designated drop off/awaiting area (where possible) that supports social distancing measures.

 

It is expected that there will be pre-agreed  arrival times for school buses.

 

Parents/guardians will be encouraged to wait in the car outside of the school

 

  • Where SEN pupils are dropped off and picked up by a private bus/taxi, the accompanying adult should remain in the car/bus with the pupil.  A designated staff member will come to the car/bus to receive the pupil and will avoid or limit physical contact with the accompanying adult. Subject to available space there is no strict requirement for taxis/buses to arrive one at a time provided that those accompanying the pupil remain in the taxi/bus and do not interact with those accompanying other pupils. A similar process should be followed for pick up

 

  1. Visitors to school

Identified Risks: Spread of Coronavirus

Who may be affected? Staff

Risk Rating with Controls: Serious, requires monitoring

Assessment Date:    End of teach term

Action Implementation: Board of Management, Principal,

Assessor’s Name: Mr. Roarty (Principal)

Controls

The Board of Management will ensure the safety and wellbeing of all visitors to the school premises.

 

Visits to the school will be severely restricted and visitors will be asked to:

 

  • Make a prior appointment before visiting the school
  • Remain at home if they have any Covid-19 symptoms
  • Follow the agreed Covid-19 protocols for the school 
  • Sanitise before entering the premises
  • Attendance to be recorded on entry to building
  • Wear PPE if instructed
  • Adhere to social distancing requirements
  • Not to loiter – complete their business and leave premises

 

  • Ensure that all delivery transactions comply with physical distancing requirements

 

 

This plan was ratified by the BOM of  Scoil Mhuire B & C at its meeting on:

  and is subject to change, in light of any guidance or instruction received from Department of Education and Skills/HSE Public Health.

Signed: ________________________________________

(Chairperson BOM Scoil Mhuire B & C)

 

Declaration of Sight

 

I have read and understand the contents of this document.

 

Signed: _________________________________  Dated: _______________________

 

 

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Contact

St.Mary's NS Main street, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal F93 F9TF 074 91 31877

stranorlarprincipal@gmail.com