Ways to Teach Safety to Avoid Classroom Accidents
Working with students all day makes your job unpredictable to say the least. Accidents are not only likely but are often inevitable within a classroom setting. However, many accidents can be avoided by focusing on safe practices, taking necessary precautions and educating your students about safety.
Accidents can be caused in many ways by you or your students. Some potential hazards include:
- Spilled liquids or debris on the floor
- Objects or materials that are ingested, thrown or improperly used
- Damaged chairs, desks, facilities or equipment
Your first responsibility should be to do all you can to foresee any possible hazards in your room. Take into consideration equipment, toys or materials the students may handle, planned activities, and any food or other items students will bring with them. Inspect your room, as well as nearby hallways, bathrooms or other areas, routinely to look for broken or damaged items that could cause an injury. If you find a hazardous situation, address it yourself (if it is safe to do so) or report it to a maintenance worker.
Address safety with your students. Teach them about unsafe acts or conditions, such as horseplay or spills that are not cleaned up. If they are handling any chemicals or other potentially dangerous materials, be sure to discuss the appropriate handling procedures and safety precautions. Make classroom safety rules and insist they are followed. Consider hanging posters or distributing reminders of the safety rules.
If there is an accident in your classroom, determine the source of the accident. If it is the fault of a student, do not make them feel guilty; instead, use it as a learning experience for the entire class. Explain the hazardous situation and teach them how it could have been avoided. Instruct them to watch for situations like this in the future.
Make Safety a Habit
Promote a culture of safety in your classroom, and be sure to follow safety rules yourself, even when they seem tedious or unnecessary. If you are in the habit of always following safety procedures and staying alert for safety hazards, your students will be more likely to develop those same habits. Consider rewarding students for practicing safety precautions or pointing out unsafe situations in your room.
Realize that accidents are bound to happen, regardless of your precautions. When they do, use them as a learning experience to avoid future incidents. For more information about classroom safety, contact a CBIZ insurance and risk professional.
This material is for informational purposes only. Before taking any action that could have legal or other important consequences, speak with a qualified professional who can provide guidance that considers your own unique circumstances.