TASB Risk Management Fund

Safety First in the New Year

January 03, 2019 Melanie Moss


New Year’s resolutions often go by the wayside by mid-January, but that doesn’t mean goals should be abandoned altogether. This is especially important when it comes to plans related to health, safety, and security. It is never too late to develop resolutions that help make sure schools remain healthy, safe, and secure. Let these recommendations guide you into a safe new year.

Safety and security planning should be a continuous process to identify risks and weaknesses that can damage property or threaten life. Some steps you can take to help keep you on track with your safety resolutions include:

  • Regularly review conditions at each facility in your school district or college.
  • Review emergency management and safety plans.
  • Conduct annual safety audit surveys and fire inspections.
  • Look at school discipline data, attendance rates, and crime statistics at each campus or location.
  • Implement and review access control and visitor management policies.

There are many elements which need to be reviewed on a regular basis. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Development and enforcement of policies
  • Data collection
  • Staff development
  • Student involvement
  • Parent and community involvement
  • Role of first responders
  • Standards for safety and security personnel
  • Safety and security of buildings and grounds
  • Development of emergency response plans

School districts and community colleges should identify risks and ways to reduce them. Emergency operations plans should be based upon the threats or risks specific to each school or organization. The Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment process helps you identify capabilities and address resource requirements necessary to respond to risks. Once the threat assessment has been performed, you can develop a multi-hazard emergency operations plan based on those specific threats.

These practices will help you maintain a safe, healthy, and secure learning environment in the new year. For assistance with your emergency operations plan, contact Emergency Management and School Security Consultant Melanie Moss at Melanie.moss@tasb.org.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Tagged: Safety, "workplace safety"