At a recent ISBA (Independent Schools Bursars Association) Conference in London, GMA learning programme architect, Chris Gray, advised bursars and estates managers on a range of practical issues that a school would need to consider in order to meet their duty of care to pupils, while ensuring an appropriate safe system of work was provided and implemented by the grounds team.
Within his presentation, Chris gave a strong emphasis on viewing health and safety as an embedded, and not 'bolt-one', part of good groundsmanship and the need for this to be interconnected with many aspects of good management.
Particular examples included effective communications within and between teams, having defined performance standards to aid measuring the effectiveness of inputs and delivery of safe surfaces, to ensuring surfaces are managed to meet expectations of users and sports masters.
Chris explained that some particular challenges involve accurately determining the sustainable use figure for pitches, ensuring suitable and sufficient assessments are undertaken to help dynamically manage grounds safely. He said in order to do this a well-motivated team is an essential prerequisite, and would help to ensure that employee competence would not decline through a lack of periodic training.
He said this would contribute to supporting a school in demonstrating they are taking reasonable care regards employees and promoting the welfare of a child in the surfaces they produce.
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