Your Students' Safety Matters
In providing for students' safety, it is necessary to determine what safety-related objectives are vital to the overall safety goals of any program. The following safety objectives will be common to all programs.
Form, by example and by the safety program, a safety consciousness in students.
Provide safety instruction in order to help students accomplish the following:
- Acquire a sense of responsibility for their own and others safety
- Understand that the effective ways of doing things are the safe ways
- Recognize hazardous situations
- Use safe practices in their out-of-school activities
Instruct students about what to do in case of accidents.
Provide information on general safety rules.
Provide information on specific safety practices for using tools and equipment.
Develop some means for evaluating each student's knowledge of, skills in, and attitudes toward safety.
If instructors and their students have strong safety attitudes, their awareness of the need for safety precautions cannot be affected by technological change. Even if some specific safety skills become out of date, attitudes such as a strong concern for accident prevention will transfer to the new work situation.
The specific attitudes that need to be developed are those that convince the student that
accidents are seldom accidental,
accidents are not an inevitable part of everyday life,
accidents, for the most part, are caused by people,
accidents can be prevented, and
everyone is responsible for preventing accidents to him/herself and to others.
A student with these attitudes should automatically respond to a potentially hazardous situation by acting in a safe manner.
General Safety Regulations
Safety instruction should start right at the beginning of the program. The first safety lesson should cover general safety procedures, rules, and regulations. It should also include information about safety features of the building itself, for example:
Where the emergency exits are located and what route to take to get out of the building quickly
Where the electrical switches are located and how to use them
How to use any special safety equipment
All safety regulations must be thoroughly and consistently enforced. If exceptions are made, the safety program can quickly break down.
Personal Protective Equipment/Devices/Apparel
Protective equipment, devices, and apparel are designed to protect against an accident or unusual safety hazard. The following is a list of safety equipment to help protect students in such occasions:
- Spectacle goggles look like prescription glasses and are extremely useful for eye impact protection.
- Cup-goggles provide for even greater eye protection. A headband is used to fit all around the face bone surrounding the eye.
- Face shields are useful eye protection devices for light impact. This device is made of a plastic shield that covers the entire face and is attached with headgear or a headband.
Cover goggles are worn when uncorrected vision will not meet vision standards for work. These goggles may be worn with regular prescription glasses.
Head and Ear Protection
- A safety hat with a full all-around edge is most often used.
While simple wax or plastic earplugs may be used, the best protection devices are acoustical earmuffs that completely surround the ear.
Hand, Foot, and Leg Protection
Gloves made of inexpensive materials such as canvas or heavy
cotton may be used to protect hands from blisters caused by
Safety shoes with steel box toes are recommended for foot
Information on what is required by law is usually available from the state and local vocational education offices. As with most safety practices requirements for personal protective devices may vary from state to state.
Procedures for Emergencies
In the event of serious injury or illness, immediate attention must be given to the student. This usually includes
(1) administering emergency care,
(2) notifying parents and the school’s administrator, and
(3) transporting the student to his/her physician.
Completing a first aid course will provide an instructor with knowledge and skill in administering basic emergency care. However, there are some additional considerations.
- There may be students who might have an allergic reaction to certain first aid procedures or who have religious beliefs. The instructor must know these facts and plan his/her emergency procedure accordingly.
- There may be state and local policies that regulate the types of first aid to be administered by school personnel. Failure to operate with these policy boundaries could result in legal action being brought by a parent or student against the instructor.
There may be other instructors who are better prepared than others. Such individuals could vastly improve the potential effectiveness of a first aid program.
The factors that determine the kinds and amounts of supplies needed in a first aid program are
(1) state and local first aid policies and
(2) Knowledge of possible injuries that could occur in an instructor’s area of specialty.
To find out what supplies are needed, the instructor might want to contact the school’s nurse or the college’s health service. This information may also be obtained from a first aid text or a first aid handbook related to the instructor’s occupational specialty.
Recording and Reporting Accidents
Students should be encouraged to report all accidents, and the instructor should maintain a record of each because
(1) Accurate records of injuries can be used to improve safety instruction and reduce those accidents;
(2) A full account of injuries could be useful in the event of later litigation;
(3) Encouraging students to report all accidents increases their safety consciousness; and
(4) Accurate records of accidents can be given to the National Safety Council.
Usually, each school or college administration will provide guidelines for reporting and recording injuries. The guidelines generally include specifications regarding the content of each report and the form for recording the report. The National Safety Council can provide instructors with guidelines if the school does not have established procedures.
When working with students, there is always the likelihood of accidents happening. However, if you incorporate some simple precautions, then the probability of serious injury can be minimized or even averted. Here are some simple tips.
- A lot of students use backpacks to carry the many books and other items that are necessary for education. If you see a student with a backpack that looks dangerous (overloaded or needs repair) be sure to make the student aware of the potential of an accident occurring. It’s a good idea to document your conversation in case the need does arise to consult medical assistance.
- Make sure that lab equipment and other items that contain glass are safely stored and when in use monitor the students to safeguard against cuts. If something has to be heated, insure that the proper use of gloves or other paraphernalia is available to decrease the likelihood of burns.
- Hammers, pliers and other tools also have the potential to causing accidents. Students that use these tools should be monitored to insure they are handling the tools properly and that they take the time to be alert. A lot of accidents happen because the person wasn't paying attention.
As an instructor safety as well as educating should be a top prior. If students are concerned regarding their general comfort and security then they won’t do as well academically.