Saturday 16 December 2017

Schools get safety alert as pupil injured in class

A teenage student was seriously injured working a machine in a school's metal workshop
A teenage student was seriously injured working a machine in a school's metal workshop

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

SCHOOLS have been issued a safety warning after a teenage student was seriously injured working a machine in a school's metal workshop.

The incident, which caused permanent damage to the tip of the index finger and thumb on the same hand, happened in a community and comprehensive school in March.

It is understood that the student, who was hospitalised overnight, has made a good recovery.

The teen was using a foot-operated treadle guillotine, of the type used to shear metals such as aluminium and copper.

Now, the State Claims Agency, which handles personal injury and third-party property damage risks and claims for the 92 community and comprehensive schools, has issued a safety alert.

The advisory notice was sent to schools by the agency after carrying out an initial investigation of the incident, which happened in Munster. The agency would not comment to the Irish Independent in relation to the case in question.

The focus of the agency's safety alert to schools is on the use of a protective guard while the machine in question is in operation.

Schools have been told to ensure that the appropriate safety features and controls are in place and specifically that all moving parts are guarded.

Risk

The agency has also used the opportunity to remind schools of the need to take all necessary measures to minimise risk.

Principals and boards of management have been advised to review their risk assessments for all technical-related equipment to ensure that all required controls are in place and that a record is set down formally.

In this regard, it refers schools to its Guidelines on Managing Safety and Health in Post-primary schools, particularly the section dealing with risk-assessment templates.

Irish Independent

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