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How To Ensure Student Safety Through Effective Contractor Onboarding

Chris Langley |   February 21, 2017 at 2:00 PM

How To Ensure Student Safety Through Effective Contractor Onboarding

As the business manager at a school, students should be your main priority. This may seem obvious, but managing a school, and its students, is a rather complex task. Whether it’s coming up with creative curriculum ideas to keep students motivated, or allocating the necessary budget to provide everyone with the resources they need, or keeping students and employees safe by properly securing the school facility. There are so many things that you as a business manager need to consider when monitoring the daily operations of your facility.

If your school needs a little maintenance, it’s important that you follow the right procedures to ensure that everyday activities continue as smoothly as possible. Successful contractor onboarding and planning is key to the success of any school maintenance activities.

What’s onboarding and why is it so important?

This AIM article defines “onboarding” as being more complex than orientation. The aim of onboarding is to give employees a comprehensive overview of what you would like to achieve right at the beginning of a new project. As a school business manager, using an onboarding checklist ensures all contractors are aware of their responsibilities, and that student safety isn’t negatively affected in any way.

Take a look at the following contractor onboarding checklist for a few handy tips:

Before any contractor sets foot on school premises, you need to have a plan.

Ideally, all maintenance work should be completed over the school holidays, but where that isn’t possible, all school employees must be made aware that work is scheduled to take place. This includes everyone from teachers to cleaners. Classes and any other school activities will need to be adjusted to not interfere with the contractor’s working schedule.

All relevant paperwork and background checks must be completed before work can commence. And all contractors must wear a “visitor's pass” so that school employees and students can easily identify them.

It’s also important to inform contractors about general logistics, such as:

  • What contract workers should bring along with them such as a work ID
  • Where they should park the work van/truck
  • Where the restrooms are
  • Where they can have lunch/smoke
  • Who they should talk to if they have any questions

Come up with a detailed explanation of what you hope to achieve.

Providing the contractor with an extensive outline of what you want to achieve, and how to plan to do so, makes it easier for them to get the job done as quickly and unobtrusively as possible.  

Making sure that students are kept safe at all times should be your top main priority.

The following risk management procedures should be considered as part of your onboarding checklist. What are the potential effects of:

  • Dust and debris  
  • Asbestos and lead  
  • Chemical exposures (paints, glues, varnishes, floor strippers, urethanes and roofing materials) 
  • Diesel exhaust, carbon monoxide  
  • Noise  
  • Falling equipment and materials  
  • Struck-by hazards (vehicles, construction equipment, etc.)  
  • Disruption of fire suppression systems, alarms or obstructed emergency exits.

When it’s time to prepare the workspace, make sure that any dangerous areas are properly cordoned off. Students and school employees must be warned that these areas are prohibited while the contractors are working.

With the help of a comprehensive onboarding checklist, you can make any maintenance tasks less of a mission. As a commercial contractor and provider of comprehensive building maintenance services, Higgins is the perfect partner to ensure that your next school maintenance project goes off without a hitch. We’ve even created downloadable worksite risk assessment to help you keep your facility as safe as possible. To find out more, download our Worksite Risk Assessment.

Worksite Risk Assessment Template

Higgins Coatings provides Australia and New Zealand's schools with building maintenance plans, commercial painting, and refurbishment services in select areas. We understand that school facilities need to make a good impression on parents, students, and alumni at all times. Our preventative maintenance plans are designed to keep your school or educational facility looking its best while working within your timing, budget, and safety requirements. Higgins has an ISO tri-certification accreditation in safety, quality and the environment. Contact us today to learn more about our school painting maintenance solutions.