Monday, 7 May 2012

Health and Safety in the Art room

Lets not try to jazz it up, Health and Safety is dull, I mean really dull but it is just one of those things that has to be dealt with otherwise we could end up in a whole heap o' trouble like when Dylan in 10G slits his wrist on a lino cutter (you think I am joking?).  So here are my top 10 Health and Safety rules for the Art classroom, if you go through them with your class and display them on the wall you are covered.  (If your students decide to ignore them then there isn't a lot you can do).  It is really important that you explain the reasons for the rules to your students so that they understand the reason for them being in place.  I actually like to get my students to come up with the rules themselves then they have ownership of them and they don't feel so much like they are being imposed on them.  Also I try to make all my rules positive, so that they read "do this" and "do that" rather than "don't do this or that" which sounds rather negative.

1.  Take off outdoor clothes when you enter the classroom. (otherwise sleeves and scarves could get caught on something or dip in something)

2. Tuck bags and coats under the table or hang them on the hook if available (stops them becoming a trip hazard),

3. Clean up spilled liquids immediately to avoid slips and falls,

4.Walk sensibly around the room, (obvious)

5. Leave food and drink outside the classroom (eating with painty hands is not a good idea, tuna on you painting is also not a good idea)

6. Always wash your hands before leaving the room (not great to go to lunch with clay still up your finger nails)

7.  Walk sensibly with scissors and other sharp objects (you would be surprised how many students don't realise they should do this.)

8. Tie long hair back (don't want any nasty incidents with hair being caught equipment,

9. Wear an apron (it protects you and your clothes),

10. Listen to the teacher (not just for the teachers own sanity but because they might be giving important health and safety information such as when to leave the classroom during a fire drill)

Please note that a Health and Safety poster does not constitute a risk assessment, you still need to have an official risk assessment in place.

Take a gander at some of the hazardous things that have happened in my classroom (that really couldn't have been helped in spite of the Health and Safety advice...don't be too shocked!)
  • I give extra health and safety rules in lino cutting lessons such as "always cut away from the body". At the beginning of a lino cutting lesson I always say "by the end of this lesson at least one of you will have cut yourself on a lino cutting tool" they never believe my but I am always right.
  • A girl sat on an unstable stool and fell right through it! I got all new stools after that!
  • A photography A Level pupil decided (against my good advice) that he would photograph an apple with a lot of razor blades sticking out of it, I am sure that you can imagine what eventually happened here,
  • In a GCSE lesson where we were using bleach one student decided to take revenge on another for a break time encounter by pouring bleach all over his work, bad times.
Oh gosh, I hope all that doesn't make me sound too incompetent.  Students can be unpredictable!

To help keep your classroom orderly you can download my A4 "Keep Calm and Wear an Apron poster for just £0.50!  Just click on the Buy Now button:

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