Q:

What are some OSHA guidelines for schools?

A:

Quick Answer

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines for schools include standards for classrooms, floors and surfaces and exits, as well as for electrical and sanitation. Just like other workplaces that need to maintain safe working conditions for their employees according to OSHA guidelines, schools need to keep their environments safe for their employees such as teachers, school administrators, cafeteria staff and custodians.

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Full Answer

OSHA requires laboratories and science classrooms to keep an updated inventory of any chemicals stored in them, with Material Safety Data Sheets for all of them and information on the chemical names, quantities, incident reports and disposals. Showers and eye flush stations must be located within 10 seconds of work areas that utilize corrosive chemicals and materials. Each classroom must also have a posted emergency action plan that details evacuation protocols, exit routes and a system for accounting for the whereabouts of employees after evacuation. OSHA also requires schools to regularly maintain the appropriate number of fire detection equipment.

OSHA mandates that fixed industrial stairs be used between floor levels where regular traffic by employees occurs. Stair treads must be slip-resistant, and sturdy railings must exist along the stairwells to provide support and safety. School exits must be sturdy and obstruction-free from inside and outside the building, and must comply with the national fire code. All working areas need to be kept clean, free of vermin and devoid of hazards such as protruding nails and splinters. Electrical wiring and design must comply with national and local electrical regulations.

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