All too often when we speak of school safety those outside of educational circles think that school safety revolves around the of the prevention of violence. They think of incidents such as those that occurred at: Columbine High School in Jefferson County, CO; Rocon High School in Cold Springs, MN; John McDonogh High School in New Orleans, LA; Martin Luther King High School, New York, NY; Santana High School in Santee, CA; or Lake Clifton Eastern High School in Baltimore, MD. The list goes on. But violence is not the most prevalent cause of injuries sustained in educational settings.

Unintentional injuries account for over nine of ten student injuries in schools. Approximately 10 to 25 percent (approximately four million) of all child and adolescent injuries occur on school premises. Injury-related fatalities are rare: only 1 in 400 for those ages 5-19 years. High school students ages 15 -19 years of age account for 41 percent of student injuries; middle school students ages 11 to 14 years of age account for 31 percent of student injuries, and elementary school students ages 5 to 10 years of age account for 28 percent of student injuries.

School facilities and curriculum that present an increased risk of injury include: playgrounds; athletic fields; gymnasiums; science laboratories; agriculture workshops and yards; industrial art workshops; fine art workshops; and theaters. Playgrounds present the greatest liability risk for elementary schools. The greatest liability risks for middle and high schools relate to the Science, Industrial/Vocational Art, Fine Art classes. Sciences classes may include: agriculture; horticulture; biology; physics; and chemistry. Industrial/Vocational arts classes may include: woodworking; metalworking; automobile maintenance technology; and automobile repair technology. Fine art classes may include: ceramics; painting; drama; and stage management.

Our schools, so that they have the knowledge necessary to implement hazard controls. To ensure the understanding of the policies and procedures, they must be put in writing and reviewed often to ensure that they are effective and currently compliant with local, state, and federal regulations.

Those areas that pose the greatest risk of loss are playgrounds, industrial/vocational arts, fine arts, and the sciences, and each has their own unique loss exposures. While the general application of the loss control methods is the same, the specific loss control methods vary for each area.

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