Creating a school environment in which students can learn safely and comfortably is key. Sarah Gulliver, commercial director of Amwell, the UK’s leading manufacturer of washroom cubicle and paneling systems, share their top five health and safety considerations
Talented teachers and inspiring lessons are not the only things that a pupil needs to flourish in their school environment. While schools are busy focusing on improving the learning environment for their students, they still need to ensure that school facilities are up to scratch. If school washrooms are not meeting users’ needs then pupils become reluctant to use them. In extreme circumstances this could result in them not drinking enough water throughout the day, greatly affecting their ability to focus and learn.
Primary schools, secondary schools and collages need to provide suitable washroom facilities for their pupils as a duty of care. If you’re looking to build or refurbish school washrooms, we’ve listed the top five health and safety considerations to bear in mind.
First and foremost, the number and capacity of school toilet facilities should be adequate for the number of students and must consider age, gender and any special requirements they have. The location of school toilets is incredibly important – pupils with learning difficulties or physical disabilities may find it hard to access toilets that are far from classrooms. Furthermore, able-bodied pupils may be deterred from using toilets if they are located at the other side of the school, for example.
Though it is vital that schools ensure that there are enough washroom facilities for the number of students, providing enough space and not overcrowding is equally important. Adequate washroom space for students is important not just for safety, but comfort. Amwell’s Splash range is ideal for schools with pupils of varying ages. Whether there is a requirement for floor to ceiling units – which offer complete privacy for pupils, ideal for unisex toilets – or with ceiling level space – designed to avoid antisocial behaviour and offering emergency access – Amwell’s durable Splash system is ideal. Available in Solid Grade Laminate, Splash is suitable for the heavy traffic and use that school washrooms are subject to – being both completely water and vandal resistant.
In order to prevent trapped fingers, school cubicle doors should have a door hinge safety system. Privacy should be protected by ensuring that the cubicle doors all have working locks that are easy for students of all ages to use. Amwell’s Skittles and Arches pilaster options in the ‘Playtime’ range can accommodate differing door heights to meet supervision and privacy requirements of both younger and older children, as well as the all-important anti-finger trap hinges and emergency release locks.
Germs can be found pretty much everywhere. Providing students with the appropriate facilities for them to wash their hands thoroughly is the most effective way of stopping germs from being passed from pupil to pupil. Amwell provide a range of washroom accessories including liquid soap dispensers and hand dryers that help promote a clean and hygienic environment within schools and colleges.
In order to maintain and keep an eye on the condition of their toilets, schools should have a monitoring process in place. In the same way teachers rotate ‘break time duty’, staff should adopt a system of checking the toilets at break and lunchtime to ensure that they are clean and safe. Regular maintenance checks will ensure that washroom facilities are kept in the best possible condition. A reliable washroom supplier will always ensure that their equipment comes with a warranty for peace of mind, such as Amwell’s five-year guarantee.