With schools reopening, what's the implication for your compliance?
The day has finally come. The pandemic seems to be slowing, some normality is returning, and schools are getting ready to reopen their doors and welcome back our little monsters angels. We can’t say we’re going miss the home schooling, but our living rooms do require less compliance than our schools.
We’ll mostly be facing the same regulations we’re used to, but we may be encountering some extra potential stress along the way. Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered on just how to navigate the problems we might see as we swing in to the ‘new norm’.
What will the implications be for your compliance?
Number one on the gov.uk page on planning the safe reopening of schools, is to refresh your risk assessments. More than usual at the moment, there are risks that you may have not previously considered. For example, areas that are too small to maintain social distancing, or areas that may get particularly busy at certain times. With iAM you have the option to create your own ‘Dynamic Risk Assessment’, a quick and easy way of creating an assessment from scratch. We also have a growing number of Covid specific forms for all schools and staff to access to make your life that little bit easier.
While we all know that trying to enforce social distancing among kids may somewhat resemble herding cats – by completing a risk assessment you’ll be able to identify the areas where distancing can be particularly difficult. You can then action this and put in protective measures, such as one-way systems or closing those identified areas, if appropriate. By law, risk assessments and policies often need to be completed and signed by a number of people, this can lead to a lot of paperwork. And now isn’t the time and to be leaning over each other’s shoulders to sign paperwork.
iAM’s documentation area allows you to upload and store existing risk assessments and policies. Once your documents are published, you can send them straight to whoever needs to read them. You’ll also easily to able to find and change them, handy for when the government guidelines change and you may need to consider carrying out another risk assessment.
Health and safety training
It may have taken the current climate to make some of us realise that perhaps it’s time to be more on top of health and safety training. Especially the stuff that falls outside of the legally required minimum. You’ve probably also realised how useful it is right now. As well as being compliant, your staff need to be equipped with the skills they need to be successful.
Routine school premises tasks
Of course, there’s still going to be the routine school premise compliance tasks - things we’ve always had to do that haven’t really changed but might be a little different right now. For example, we won’t be rushing out for fire drills in crowds, but we still need to remember to test the fire alarm. The routine tasks like weekly fire alarm tests, and monthly water temperature tests, must still go on. And it might potentially be time for your annual boiler service and intruder alarm tests.
It goes without saying that there are so many things to remember to do, and iAM will make sure you don’t need to worry about remembering to do them all. We’ll send you an email reminder when they’re due. iAM’s Premises Compliance section allows you to select the ‘assets’ you have, tell you what tasks need to be performed and, most importantly, remind you when to do them.
Stress. Grey hairs. Anxiety. Loneliness. A world without these worries would be some utopian fantasy. But alas, worries exist. The pandemic has been stressful. Mental health may have taken a hit, and it’s going to be normal, and perfectly fine, for staff to have struggled with their mental health through this extraordinary time. And they may worry about returning to school.
Humans are funny creatures and change and uncertainty can be difficult to deal with. There was an abrupt change in routine for your employees. From having to adapt to home teaching so quickly - which may have been difficult to get used to - to now returning back to school, which equally may cause anxiety and stress for some.
A lot of people will be going from having had zero human interaction, to having a school full of little - and not so little - people around them. And we need to be there to make sure everyone feels supported during this period (as well as after this period!). Now is a good time to make sure your well-being capacities are maximised. We’ve got tonnes of built-in eLearning online to support your staff’s mental health .
Due to the nature of Covid-19, and the dreaded ‘R’ number we’re all too familiar with, depending on how your local area is affected at any time, your local stipulations could change. You might face changes on what you should and shouldn’t do and what guidelines you should be following, overnight.
It’s important to keep everyone on the same page, so make sure you update your teams as soon as possible once you’ve got new information. And make sure everyone signs off to say they’ve seen and understood the latest guidance (funnily enough, iAM Compliant can help with that too).
Introducing iAM Compliant
iAM Compliant is a scalable safety management tool designed to help you cut costs, reduce paperwork and take control of health and safety compliance for your workplace.
Our web-based platform ensures you stay on top of tasks, offering expert guidance as well as money saving advice and a whole host of clever features including how-to videos and guides, pre-built audits, personalised risk assessments, simplified accident and incident reporting, staff training and more.
No school needs to be going back un-compliant. Get your free account today and learn more about how we can help you with your compliance.