July 14, 2023

Managing Holiday Periods – How Does Safety Management Look when Schools are on Holiday?

This blog is based on Judicium’s Health and Safety ‘Sofa Session’ from the 12th of July, with our resident expert Sarah Crouch CMIOSH. This session focused on: clarification on what core compliance management must continue in the holidays, reviewing your lone working provisions to support and protect your staff, and a managing contractor’s overview for the holiday work period.

What Core Compliance Management Must Continue in the Holidays? 

  1. Legionella control
    • Assess how your flushing routines and temperature checks will continue over the holiday period.
    • If they don’t continue, cleaning and testing of the system may be required before the building reopens.
  2. Shutting down essential systems
    • For example, know the procedure to restart boiler systems safely and service them for the new term.
    • Isolate gas and electrics for extended closure if a full building shutdown is agreed.
  3. Fire systems
    • Know how your weekly fire alarm, call point and emergency lighting tests will continue to maintain the system during closure.
    • Check your fire exiting, e.g., fire doors.
  4. Waste management and fire loading
    • Do you know how are fire hazards will be managed?
    • Manage any excess waste produced from end-of-term clearances.
    • Don’t forget about any excessive deliveries of new materials or stores that will arrive before the start of the new term.
  5. Business Continuity Plans for the holiday period
    • If you have a significant event such as a flood, roof leak, break-in, or extended loss of power who will respond?
    • What is the process for who responds and procedure to ensure the building is safe for the start of term?

Review your Lone Working Conditions to Support and Protect your Staff

  1. Risk Assessments – Review and update any risk assessments for relevant staff working and make sure they reflect their planned activities.
  2. Contact Arrangements – Have you tried and tested your lone worker contact arrangements, whether they be via mobile, landline, radios, etc?
  3. Welfare Checks – Ask staff how they feel about welfare checks work and decide on a channel, whether that be email, text message or a phone call at agreed times or in-person checks?
  4. Working at Height – Take a particular focus on working at height when working in isolated areas, e.g. plant rooms, remote classrooms, storage areas or working with chemicals or tools.
  5. Sign In/Out – Determine how staff will sign in and out of the building and who will be monitoring this.
  6. Emergencies – Do you have an effective emergency response set up in case of a fire or first aid needs.
    • If the fire alarm sounds during the holiday period, how will you inform the emergency services that all occupants are accounted for?

A Managing Contractor’s Overview for Holiday Work Periods 

Contractor maintenance visits

Ensure you know:

  • What work they are carrying out
  • Who is involved
  • Whether contractor vetting has been completed
  • What are their emergency procedures should anything go wrong during the holiday shutdown?

NB: Contractors are not recommended to work on-site without any school staff present.

There is a non-transferable responsibility with the school to manage the safety of anyone working on their site, and supervision of contractors forms an integral part of meeting this requirement.

Other key questions to ask include:

  • Do you have a permit-to-work system in place if they are carrying out high-risk work, e.g., hot works on a roof?
  • Are there additional control measures to be signed off before work starts? E.g. who is returning 30-60 mins after the work is complete to confirm everything is ok.

Printable Closing for Summer checklist

Additional Info:

The Health and Safety Service is also providing accredited training courses, including eLearning with specific  modules ranging from courses designed for premises managers and SLT to all staff offerings and fire warden training: https://www.judiciumeducation.co.uk/elearning

We also offer live, exclusive training options https://www.judiciumeducation.co.uk/training

To review Judicium’s forthcoming sofa sessions please click here.

Follow us on Twitter@JudiciumEDU

© This content is the exclusive property of Judicium Education. The works are intended to provide an overview of the sofa session you attend and/or to be a learning aid to assist you and your school. However, any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or exploit the content. Failure to follow this guidance may result in Judicium either preventing you with access to our sessions and/or follow up content.

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