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Safety Alert Following School Locker Fatality

Posted on 7th August, 2019

A nine-year old boy has died after becoming trapped underneath a locker at a school in Essex. Whilst the details are limited at this early stage in the investigation, it is believed that he fell from a locker during an after school event.  Those with a responsibility for school safety should review their current arrangements.

In view of the serious nature of this incident, schools should review their current risk assessments in respect of lockers that they may have on site.

. In particular, schools should;

  • Review their risk assessments to consider pupils climbing on lockers and any controls in place to prevent this happening,
  • Where additional controls are identified as a requirement, arrangements should be made for implementing them,
  • Inspect any lockers on site to ensure they are safe, secure and are suitably fixed to the wall to prevent them falling,
  • Remind teaching staff and maintenance staff of the need to be vigilant in respect of inappropriate use of furniture by pupils,
  • Prevent access to damaged or faulty furniture and equipment.

    School safety

    Use risk assessment to ensure school safety

Those responsible for school safety should know the risks and plan to avoid them.  Risks should be eliminated or reduced to protect pupils, staff and visitors.  School safety risk assessments should follow the following steps;

  1. Activity – take into account the whole process from beginning to end and then identify each hazard
  2. Identify the hazards – a hazard is something with the potential to cause harm
  3. Who/what may be harmed
  4. Risk – Likelihood of occurrence, Severity of harm (High, Medium or Low) & Overall risk
  5. Existing control measures (check legal requirements and practice)
  6. Recommendations/further action required (establish whether the risk can be removed completely or if not, how it can be reduced)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have a classroom checklist which schools may find helpful and can be found here.

If you require health and safety advice for your school or academy speak to one of the Jacksons’ team.

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