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5 ways to promote health and safety in the classroom

Health and safety notepad
5 ways to promote health and safety in the classroom | Medical Tracker
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There are many ways to boost safety standards in schools. Using online first aid books is a great example. This technology makes it easier for you to monitor accidents, injuries and near misses across your school, allowing you to identify any dangers and take appropriate action to address them. This software also makes it easier to conduct thorough and accurate accident investigations, helping you to establish the causes of any safety failures.

All of this is vital in helping you manage risks across your school, but it’s only one part of the story. To create the safest possible learning environment, it’s essential to take a holistic approach to controlling danger - and getting students involved can be an important part of this.

How to promote health and safety in the classroom

If health and safety is weaved into children’s education from an early age, it becomes a natural part of the way they play, study and live, and it can help them to develop good habits that last them into adulthood.

So, how do you promote health and safety in the classroom? Here are our five top tips for integrating this crucial topic into everyday life at your school.

5 ways to promote health and safety in the classroom

1. Gamify tidying up

Untidy classrooms can increase the risk of an accident, and could be considered a safety hazard. They can represent slip and trip dangers, make cleaning difficult and pose a range of other dangers. Rather than placing the burden of tidying these spaces solely on teachers and other school staff, it’s a great idea to get your pupils involved. It’s not always easy to motivate students to tidy up, but gamifying the task can help - especially with younger pupils. This approach livens up a potentially boring job.

For example, teachers could put on music to make tidying more enjoyable, or they could turn the task into a challenge by getting students to tidy up within a certain time limit.

Knowing the importance of keeping a tidy work area will serve pupils well as they grow up, and showing them ways to make this job more interesting helps them to develop a valuable life skill.

2. Build health and safety education into other lessons

Health and safety doesn’t have to be a standalone topic. It’s often easy to weave it into lessons on other subjects. For example, science classes can offer the perfect opportunity to talk about the risks associated with everything from electricity to harmful chemicals. Geography classes, meanwhile, give teachers a chance to mention the dangers connected to certain outdoor environments and features, such as large bodies of water or sheer drops.

Mentioning health and safety in other contexts like these brings home the fact that it is something people need to be aware of at all times, regardless of where they are and what they are doing.

3. Be transparent about health and safety measures

Children are often more motivated to follow instructions when they understand the reasoning behind them. For example, simply telling students not to run in classrooms and corridors might not resonate much. In contrast, explaining that running isn’t allowed throughout much of the school because it increases the risk of collisions, slips, trips and so on can have much more of an impact on behaviour.

Whether it’s asking children to make sure they don’t leave power leads, bag straps or other obstacles trailing across the floor, or preventing them from bringing drinks to computer suites or other areas where there is electrical equipment, taking the time to spell out why these rules are important can make a big difference to how much notice students take.

4. Educate children about additional measures relevant to them

You can demonstrate health and safety in the classroom by showing obvious examples that the students can relate to. For example, if you are trying to make pupils more aware of the dangers of food allergies, you could relate this back to classmates who suffer from certain allergies. This personalises the information and can mean students are more likely to take the issue seriously.

Should you offer generic safety information, the issues or dangers may not seem as real or important to the students.

5. Offer small rewards for desirable behaviour

In the same way that teachers might reward actions like tidying up or doing homework assignments particularly well, they can also reward students for taking positive steps in terms of health and safety. Examples of good actions by pupils could include removing trip hazards they spot in the classroom, or alerting teachers to other possible dangers.

Rewards are a powerful shaper of student behaviour, and so they can be an extremely useful tool for teachers who want to enhance health and safety in the classroom.

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