To establish divisional expectations and standards regarding an office and classroom program at River East Transcona School Division (RETSD) that meets or exceeds all municipal, federal and provincial legislated workplace safety and health program requirements.
An office and classroom safety program must be defined and documented for compliance as part of Element 2, identify and control hazards and emergencies, for the effective development and implementation of a workplace safety and health program under Manitoba legislation.
This safe operating procedure and associated documents establish a procedure for an office and classroom safety program for all workers at RETSD. The best practices apply to all RETSD worksites.
RETSD management is responsible to provide appropriate facilities and equipment for offices and classrooms. It is also incumbent on management to ensure that workers comply with office and classroom safety procedure provisions and all applicable laws, codes and guidelines.
Teachers, as direct supervisors of their workspace and the students in their charge, are responsible for maintaining a safe classroom environment that complies with the law (i.e. Manitoba Fire Code) and any other legislation, including workplace safety and health legislation.
Site Safety Teams are responsible for monitoring office and classroom safety issues in their local workplace.
KEY FOCUS AREAS FOR OFFICE AND CLASSROOM SAFETY
Maintaining Safe Egress and Evacuation Routes
Entrances and Exits
Ensure that the area around entrances and exits going ion to hallways remain uncluttered by clothing, supplies, coats, boots etc.
If there is hallway storage of clothing, ensure that it is neat, tidy, with a minimum of belongings stored on the floor (i.e. make full use of clothing hooks, boot racks etc.)
If a workstation is absolutely needed in the hallway, ensure that it does not cause obstruction for evacuation processes, and that chairs are stored preferably pushed in or ideally off the floor when not in use.
Entrances/Exits and Classrooms
Draperies and Curtains
Always follow manufactures specifications and safety instructions for operating and cleaning appliances.
Ensure refrigerators and like equipment are plugged directly into electrical outlets.
Avoid having coffee makers, toasters, microwaves located throughout a facility. If it is possible to limit the number of locations (i.e. proper lunch room facilities for students and staff) limit them to those locations.
Lamps are generally discouraged in classrooms due to the hazards they present (hot bulbs, breakages, etc.).
Portable space heaters are to be used with extreme care and used only during the time that they will be warming a space for inhabitation. All space heaters should be turned off and unplugged at the end of a work day.
Prevention of Slips, Trips and Falls:
Obstructions and Protrusions
Ensure that there are no objects protruding out of walking and working surfaces. If the protrusion cannot be removed, clearly mark it and take steps to draw attention to it so that people do not trip.
Keep unnecessary obstructions out of walkways. Remove obstructions if possible.
If equipment needs to be set up on a temporary basis across walkways, take all reasonable precautions to avoid trips, slips and falls by securing the equipment down, identifying it clearly to draw attention, and minimize pedestrian traffic in the area.
Walking and Working Surface General Conditions
Ensure that walking and working surfaces are clean and dry.
Clean up spills, excess dust, dirt or water as quickly as possible after determining what the substance is.
Keep ice and snow accumulations to a minimum.
Only walk in areas designated as walkways when entering or exiting schools and parking lots.
Use extra precautions when walking in ice, snow or wet areas of buss lops tarmacs and playground areas.
Ensure that appropriate footwear is selected for the task at hand and the environmental conditions.
Generally, avoid open footwear, high heels and platforms, flip flops and sandals as they are not the best choices of footwear in a school setting for students or staff.
A combination of hard-copy postings, distributions and electronic posting will be used to communicate safety and health program information within RETSD.
All stakeholders shall be trained to their required level of involvement in the WSHMS to become familiar with its structure, organization, and how to look up and access information both electronically and in hard copy form through:
Ultimately, the superintendent shall be responsible for the sustainability of the WSHMS, and shall enforce compliance to standards at a divisional level.
Workplace safety and health management system compliance shall be managed through the application of performance management and progressive discipline policies and procedures.
Worker failure to comply with provisions of the RETSD safety program may lead to discipline, up to and including discharge from employment and / or other remedies available at law.
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Act or equivalent legislation as applicable
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation or equivalent legislation as applicable
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 02 – General Duties
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation Part 04 – General Workplace Requirements
Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Program Element 02 – Identifying and Controlling Hazards
All other associated and applicable workplace safety and health management system documents