Scoil Náisiúnta Réalt na Mara Réalt na Mara National School

Mill street, Dundalk, Co Louth, A91 TD3H
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(042) 9327230
Principal: Mr Phil McCaul

Realt Na Mara National School Front photo

Health and Safety Policy

Policy Statement on Safety, Health and Welfare at Work of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School.

1.1 The members of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School are

  • Chairperson: Mrs Anne McDonnell
  • Patron’s Nominee: Fr Mark O’Hagan
  • Principal: Mr Phil McCaul
  • Staff Rep: Mrs Síle Holland
  • Parent Rep: Niall Lavery
  • Parent Rep: Andrea Kelly
  • Community Rep: Olive Hearty
  • Community Rep: Tom Muckian

1.2 The Board of Management will ensure that, in so far as is practicable, the highest standards of safety shall prevail and that, at a minimum, the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989 are applied.

1.3 Specifically, the Board of Management wishes to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable:

  • (a) The design, provision and maintenance of all places in a condition that is safe and without risk to health.
  • (b) The design, provision and maintenance of safe means of access to and egress from places of work.
  • (c) The design, provision and maintenance of plant and machinery.
  • (d) The provision of systems of work that are planned, organised, performed and maintained so as to be safe and without risk to health.
  • (e) The provision of instruction to staff on proper lifting techniques of pupils and dealing with pupil challenging behaviour.
  • (f) The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the safety and health at work of its employees.
  • (g) The provision and maintenance of suitable protective clothing or equivalent as necessary to ensure the safety and health at work of its employees.
  • (h) The preparation and revision as necessary of adequate plans to be followed in emergencies e.g. fire drill, injuries etc.
  • (i) The safety and prevention of risk to health at work in connectionwith use of any article or substance.
  • (j) The provision and maintenance of facilities and arrangements for the welfare of employees at work.
  • (k) Obtaining where necessary, the services of a competent person for the purpose of ensuring the safety and health at work of its employees.
  • (l) The continuing updating of the Safety Statement.
  • (m) The provision of arrangements for consultation with employees on matters of Health and Safety.
  • (n) The provision of arrangements for the selection from amongst its employees of a representative.

1.4 The Board of Management recognises that its statutory obligations under legislation extends to employees, students, any person legitimately conducting school business and to the public.

1.5 The Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School undertakes to ensure that the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989 are adhered to.

1.6 A Safety Committee may be established to monitor the implementation of the Safety and Health Policies of Réalt na Mara School and the requirements under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989.

Duties of Employees

  1. It is the duty if every employee while at work:
  • (a) To take reasonable care for his/her own safety, health and welfare, and that of any person who may be affected by his/her acts or omissions while at work.
  • (b) To co-operate with his/her employer and any other person to such extent as will enable his/her employer or the other person to comply with any of the relevant provisions.
  • (c) To use in such manner so as to provide the protection intended, any suitable appliance, protective clothing, convenience, equipment or thing provided (whether for his/her use alone or for use by him/her in common with others) for securing his/her safety, health or welfare while at work.
  • (d) To report to the Board of Management without unreasonable delay, any defect in plant, equipment, place of work, or system of work, which may endanger safety, health or welfare of which he/she becomes aware.
  1. No person will intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse any appliance, protective clothing, convenience or other means or thing provided in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provision or otherwise, for securing safety, health or welfare or persons arising out of work activities.
  2. Employees using available facilities and equipment provided, ensure that work practices are performed in the safest manner possible.

Consultation and Information

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Réalt and Mara School:

  • To consult with the staff in the preparation and completion of the Health and Safety Statement and the Hazard control forms.
  • To give a copy of the safety statement to all present and future staff.
  • That any additional information or instructions regarding Health, Safety and Welfare at work not contained in the document will be conveyed to all staff as it becomes available.
  • Health, Safety and Welfare will form an integral part of any future staff training and development plans.


All staff have identified potential hazards. Some Hazards can be rectified but others remain constant. The Hazards have been divided into two categories.

Hazards that can be rectified or minimised will be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Those that cannot will be clearly indicated and appropriate procedures listed beside them.

The Board of Management in consultation with the employees will review and make recommendations on the elimination of hazards.

Specific Hazards

1. Fire

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School that:

  • (i) There is an adequate supply of fire extinguishers which will deal with any type of fire.
  • (ii) All fire equipment is identified and regularly serviced.
  • (iii) Regular Fire drills take place at least once a term.
  • (iv) Instruction is given in the use of Fire Extinguishers for specific materials/equipment.
  • (v) Fire alarms are clearly marked.
  • (vi) Signs will be clearly visible to ensure visitors are aware of exit doors.
  • (vii) All electrical equipment be unplugged or turned off outside school/office hours and when school/office is vacated for lengthy periods.
  • (viii) An assembly area is designated (the front lawn) outside the school.
  • (ix) Those leaving buildings/classrooms should let the principal know.
  • (x) Exit signs are clearly marked.
  • (xi) There will be a named person responsible for fire drills and evacuation procedures.
  • (xii) The school and equipment have been checked by a Fire Officer and all recommendations made by him/her have been implemented.


2. Other hazards

The following hazards (in so much as can be identified) are considered by the Board of Management to be a source of potential danger and are brought to the attention of all concerned.

  1. Hallway condensation, slippery floor surface in corridors/ classrooms/toilets/decking
  2. Sloping ground/floor surfaces
  3. Gas Tank
  4. Boiler House (to be kept locked)
  5. External store (to be kept locked)
  6. Store for toxic materials (to be kept locked)
  7. Stores for flammable cleaning materials (to be kept locked)
  8. Sockets/lights in classrooms
  9. Trailing leads
  10. Kitchen appliances
  11. Protruding units (coat rails) and fittings
  12. Icy surfaces/flooding on yards, steps etc.
  13. Excess gravel/mud on school yard
  14. Storage, maintenance and appropriate use of P.E equipment
  15. Toilets, hand dryers and sanitary disposal units
  16. ‘Out of bounds’ areas in yard

Constant Hazards

1. Machinery, Kitchen Equipment and Electrical appliances

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School that:

  • Machinery, Kitchen Equipment and Electrical Appliances are to be used only by competent and authorised persons. Such appliances and equipment will be subject to regular maintenance checks.

2. Chemicals

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School that:

  • All chemicals, flammable, toxic and corrosive substances, detergents etc., be stored in clearly identifiable containers bearing instructions and precautions for their use. All the above substances shall be kept in a locked area, and protection provided is to be used when handling them.

3. Drugs Medications

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School that:

  • All medications, drugs, etc be kept in a proper medication cabinet, locked at all times, keys to be kept in a secure and safe place.

* See Administration of Medication Policy.

4. Polished/Wet Floors

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School that:

  • Floors will not be made slippy. Washing of floors will be conducted, as far as is possible, after school hours to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, elimination of the danger of slipping. To this end warning signs regarding wet floors will be used.

5. Code of Behaviour

The Code of Behaviour in the school provides for a level of behaviour to minimize personal risk or stress to any employee.

6. Access to employees is by consent

When the employee feels at risk from or threatened by a particular person on school property, this must be drawn to the Board of Management’s attention. The Board of Management will undertake to ensure that in such circumstances all appropriate measures will be taken to protect employees.

7. Trained First Aid Personnel

It is the policy of the Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School that:

  • An employee will be trained to apply First Aid to other employees.
  • All required remedies and equipment are made available for first aid.
  • There will be an adequate supply of properly equipped First Aid Boxes available at all times.

First Aid Box for staff will contain:

  • Elastoplast plasters
  • Wasp Eze
  • Tape
  • Disinfectant (e.g.) Savlon
  • Eye lotion (e.g.) Optrex
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Cotton Bandage
  • Cream for First Aid treatment of Burns
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Scissors
  • First Aid Chart

First Aid Box for pupils will contain:

  • a card with general first aid guidance;
  • a supply of individually wrapped sterile adhesive dressings;
  • sterile eye pads, with attachments (e.g. standard dressings);
  • triangular bandages (preferably sterile, but if not, sterile covering appropriate for serious wounds will also be included);
  • safety pins;
  • selection of medium, large and extra large sterile medicated dressings;
  • disposable gloves;
  • crepe and roller bandages;
  • cotton wool;
  • forceps or tweezers and scissors
  • Elastoplast plasters
  • Antiseptic cream

Disposable gloves must be used at all times when administering First Aid.
Hot water and soap will be available and should be used before and after administering First Aid.

8. Access to School

Persons coming onto the school premises must ring the bell before gaining admittance to the school. Any contractor should make direct contact with the Principal, or Vice Principal before initiating any work on the school premises and shall be shown a copy of the Safety Statement applying to the school and shall agree to its provisions.

It is the policy of the Board of Management Réalt na Mara School to minimise sound pollution – room to room, yard to room etc. When people are working on the premises with drills or other loud implements they must wear protective earmuffs. Where such work is taking place which constitutes any threat to Health and Safety, the school will be closed or the work will not take place during school hours. The contractor and his workmen shall not create any hazard, permanent or temporary, without informing the Principal or her nominated agent, and shall mark such hazard with warning signs or other suitable protection.

9. Depositing/Collecting children

Parents/guardians/carers must obey all signs upon entering the school grounds, in the interest of safety. Drivers are requested not to park on the zig- zag lines outside the school. The school car park is reserved for the use of the employees. Parents/guardians/carers and children are asked to cross the road at all times with the ‘Lollipop Lady’.

Revision of the Health and Safety Policy

The Board of Management of Réalt na Mara School shall review this statement annually in accordance with experience and the requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989.