Beware of Gravity Hazards on Campus
Heavy objects can be hazardous if not properly secured.
Over the years, I have had many campus officials, public safety personnel and insurance company personnel relate horror stories about instances they have been involved with where someone was killed or injured on campus because something heavy fell on someone.
One participant in a Tennessee training session related how her university paid out more than $3 million after a faculty member was struck and injured by a falling television that she was moving. The TV was not properly strapped to the cart it rested on.
An even more disturbing case involved a child whose body was found underneath a vending machine at a North Carolina private school. The vending machine had been placed onto a folding table because students at the K-8 school were sneaking into the teacher’s lounge and stealing soft drinks from the machine. School staff felt that students would not be able to reach into the machine if it was placed on the table. The millions paid by the school in the ensuing litigation did not bring the child back to life nor restore the reputation of the school.
Sadly, like most injuries and deaths resulting from gravity hazards, these tragedies could have easily been prevented had a proper culture of safety been created in these educational organizations. Proper training, annual hazard and vulnerability assessments, appropriate policies and effective leadership can create campus environments where these types of school safety accidents are unlikely to occur.
Creating a campus culture of safety, security and emergency preparedness takes effort but it is achievable and worthwhile as long as the leadership team understands the importance of life safety on campus.
Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.
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