FORMING A SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEE. ACCASBO, BCIP & GCSSD JOINT INSURANCE FUNDS. BLUEPRINT TO SUCCESS. Benefits of a safety committee Organization and formation Common pitfalls to avoid Setting the first meeting Keeping the committee alive Addressing individual and team problems.
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FORMING A SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEE ACCASBO, BCIP & GCSSD JOINT INSURANCE FUNDS
BLUEPRINT TO SUCCESS • Benefits of a safety committee • Organization and formation • Common pitfalls to avoid • Setting the first meeting • Keeping the committee alive • Addressing individual and team problems
Benefits of a Safety Committee • Improving safety within the district • Reducing claims-Lower insurance costs • Solving workplace safety issues • Resource for administration and staff • Involves staff in safety decisions • Improves morale • Increases safety knowledge • Spreads safety responsibilities
Organization & Formation • Make a commitment from the top down • Develop a mission statement • Tap the right people • Have broad representation at all levels • Consider involving outside entities, such as Fire, Police, EMS and Emergency Mgmt
Commitment • Have the Board recognize the committee • Have the Superintendent stress importance • Department Heads must allow time for employees to participate • Broadcast committee implementation to all staff • Develop a mission statement
Mission Statement • Stresses the importance of the committee • Defines purpose and focus • Establishes an identity
Sample Mission Statement 1 of 3 • The _____________________ Board of Education Safety Committee was established in order to assist administration in safety efforts that will help to reduce the potential for injuries, illnesses and property loss. We recognize that a safe learning environment is of paramount importance in the educational process and believe that our health and safety and that of our colleagues, students and visitors is critical to the success of the school district.
Sample Mission Statement 2 of 3 As Safety Committee members, we understand that we will be looked to by our peers for guidance in a variety of safety matters. The Safety Committee and its members will, collectively, be a model for safety excellence. Members will demonstrate positive safety behavior at all times and will maintain open lines of communication between administration and staff. We will seek to improve the safety of our schools through cooperative efforts with the Board, administration, employees, parents, students and outside organizations.
Sample Mission Statement 3 of 3 We accept that a risk-free environment does not exist, but understand that many accidents can be prevented through the joint efforts of all individuals involved in the education of our students. Safety is the responsibility of everyperson, regardless of position, within the district. Everyone can make a difference and our Safety Committee is dedicated to this fundamental belief.
Committee Members • Try to maintain optimum size:
Tiered Structure • Larger districts may find it necessary to establish a tiered committee structure • Sub-committees at each location can report back to a management-level committee • Management-level committee will usually have a representative from sub-committees • Tiered structure allows each school to maintain its own identity, while working towards a common goal
Tapping the Right People • Should be equal number of administration/ management level and staff employees • OSHA recommended guidelines for employee involvement:
Tapping the Right People continued • Selection should be made on the basis of: • Person’s position/job title • Time available • Person’s willingness • Interest in safety • Respect of colleagues • Ability to be unbiased in committee work • Ability to work favorably with a diversified group
The Selection Process • All major departments should represented • Consider the following members: • Principal or Vice-Principal • School Nurse • Buildings & Grounds Supervisor • Science Department Representative • Physical Education Representative • Food Service Representative • Custodial/Maintenance from each shift • Board Member, Superintendent and Business • Administrator may be ex-officio members
Others Who Can Help • You may find it advantageous to occasionally incorporate outside personnel into the safety committee meetings: • Fire Department/Fire Official • Police Department • EMS Personnel • Emergency Management Coordinator • Specialists to address specific issues
Avoiding Common Pitfalls • Have a defined goal and purpose • Members must be committed • Clearly define the mission • Establish short-term and long-term goals • Be realistic in early expectations • Be flexible in re-evaluating goals • Be proactive, not reactive
Avoiding Common Pitfalls continued • Respond promptly to employee complaints and suggestions • Do not become overwhelmed • Do not get sidetracked by complainers • Maintain administration support • Learn to accept small victories towards your long-term goals
The First Meeting • Set the agenda at least a week in advance • Distribute the agenda to all members • Start the meeting on time
The First Meeting Agenda • Elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson • Assign responsibility for minutes • Introduce everyone (if unknown to all) • Discuss parameters of committee activities • Establish short and long term goals • Assign any subcommittee responsibilities • Set year-long meeting schedule
Possible Committee Functions • Review injury reports • Develop safety policies and procedures • Review written safety programs • Perform safety inspections • Assist with accident investigations • Review safety training needs • Communicate new safety regulations • Respond to employee suggestions/complaint
Keeping the Committee Alive • Maintain lines of communication-all levels • Make members accountable • Evaluate effectiveness of members • Rotate members through for fresh ideas • Consider rotating Chair/Vice Chair positions • Recognize committee members for their hard work and efforts • MAKE IT FUN!!!
Don’t Keep it Secret • Blow your own horn!-Let people know about the committee and its activities • Let the employees know who their committee representative is • Use posters, bulletin boards, paycheck stuffers and newsletters to promote actions • Encourage constructive feedback and suggestions from employees • Distribute meeting minutes promptly
Addressing Problems • Non-team players need to understand the expectations and need for cooperation • Too busy-make sure supervisor understands importance of allowing time to participate • Laggards-explain the expectation of input and equal work responsibility • Personality conflicts-mediate between members and stress need for cooperation
Addressing Problems continued • Know-it-Alls-Take away their spotlight and limit in indirect ways • Non-participant-Ask directly for input • Unclear direction for committee-Look at mission statement and written objectives • Stale ideas-Brainstorm, reorganize and re-draft objectives • Boring meetings-Use games and contests
Moving Forward • Monthly meetings for first 3 months • Re-evaluate and possibly move to quarterly • Always have agenda prepared and distributed at least one week in advance • Allow adequate time for meetings • Educate and train members, if needed • Challenge members as you move forward
The Road to Success • Start off with realistic and achievable goals • Allow enough time to complete these goals • Re-evaluate mission as district needs change • Keep the committee focused • Keep people interested • Crawl-Walk-Run • Track your victories • Get help when needed
The Road to Success • Begins when you get back to district Please open the door to a safer tomorrow
Thank You For Caring For questions or assistance with your committee, please contact: JOHN GEITZ JIF Safety Coordinator (P) 856-218-8772 firstname.lastname@example.org