By Vince Del Rossi
Now more than ever before, the discussion of student safety has been a trending topic within major news outlets, social media, and around many kitchen tables. Whether the outside risks or dangers be big or small, all students deserve to feel safe and comfortable while learning in their classrooms.
Though certain risks require a lot more attention and planning, there are certain things facility managers can do to ensure the building is safe from preventable dangers.
An easy way to do this is by making sure building walkways and paths are evaluated and fit for students to travel upon. If your school has not done so, it could cause students to slip and fall, wet weather can cause incidents leading to a serious injury.
Since our students are faced with many other safety issues, it’s important to ease their worries where we can. To help school facility managers accomplish this goal, we’ve outlined steps that they can take to create a walkway safety program.
Request a Walkway Safety Audit
Before you start evaluating the safety of your school’s walkways, it’s crucial to speak to a safety expert first. When you seek out a trusted company like Health Mats to do so, you will be ensured to receive advice from a seasoned professional that will be there with you every step of the way.
Since our entire staff at Health Mats takes walkway safety very seriously, we even offer a free walkway safety consultation so you know exactly what your building is doing right, and what you can improve on.
During a safety walkthrough, our experts will come to your school and conduct an on-site analysis that will allow them to make specific recommendations that will help safeguard your staff and students from potential injuries.
When you have an industry professional walking you through all the proper steps, it won’t make the task as daunting, even for large university buildings. This will help you better understand why you need commercial mats, if your walkways are suitable for heavy foot traffic, what areas need better protection and much more.
Examine All School Entryways
One thing many people in the walkway safety industry can tell you is that entryways can either make or break your safety program. This is because entrances usually experience the highest amount of foot traffic in a single day. If your entrances are not properly protected, odds are eventually a student can get injured if they go unmaintained.
That’s why many buildings with heavy foot traffic will place commercial mats in front of entryways.
When students walk from outside to inside, many kinds of hazardous materials are being carried in on the bottom of their shoes. This means that the dirt dust and debris stuck in the crevices of their sneakers can now be found littered right in the middle of your entrances and beyond.
These kinds of hazards are only then intensified when ice, snow, rain and other wet weather conditions present themselves.
Commercial mats in entrances not only provide traction and a secure spot for students to dry their feet, they also help keep your building clean by absorbing and eliminating the potential risks. Doing this one small task can be a significant part of your safety program and ensuring student protection.
Be Prepared for the Unknown
Unknown conditions that can be harmful to students can end up costing your school a lot of problems and headaches. Since that is the last thing any facility manager would want, it’s important to be prepared for any walkway safety situations that could be dangerous.
To do this, facility managers need to really keep a watchful eye and assess the grounds every single day.
This means looking for any cracks or divots in the pavement, ensuring the paths are well lit in the dark, being aware of uneven walking surfaces and much more. When you have a staff member specifically looking for these problems on your grounds, you are more likely to be ahead of the problems which will then help keep students safe.
Creating a walkway safety plan for your school doesn’t have to be difficult. When you trust a respected walkway safety solutions company, your students and school will be safe and welcoming for everyone who enters. Are you ready to get started?
Vince Del Rossi is Owner and President of Health Mats, a Chester-based walkway safety solutions company.