HSE Evaluation of Tehran Schools

HSE Evaluation of Tehran SchoolsHSE Evaluation of Tehran Schools

Studies have been undertaken for over a year in Tehran to assess schools vis-à-vis health, safety and environment.

Speaking at the first national conference on the role of children and young adults in sustainable development at Tehran University, Majid Sherafatinejad, head of the supervising committee of Health and Safety Environment (HSE) at Tehran Municipality, said: ”We all have in mind the fire incident in Shin Abad” in Piranshahr city in Western Azarbaijan when a fire broke out in the fourth grade classroom in an elementary school in December 2012. Two students lost their lives and nine received burn injuries.

Around 530 schools were selected for examining the levels of risk, of which 127 schools did not allow inspection for unknown reasons.

He pointed to a girls’ primary school in municipal District 13 in which “298 risks in safety and hygiene” were identified. “Given that each translatesintofouradverse consequences, the average number of risks in the school reaches a huge figure.”

Out of the total number, 6% were serious, 41% average and 53% minor, said the official.

Around 57% of the HSE hazards were identified in the classrooms, 25% in the working environment and 18% in the outdoor area.

Among high risks, 81% were found in classrooms which included both constructional and ergonomics (related to desks).

In the workplace area, teachers and staff faced psychological harm,the most noticeable of which was occupational stress.  

Sherafatinejad stressed that lack of funds is not the root of all problems since many shortcomings can be addressed with innovative ideas.

“If the education departments in each district employ one or two technicians, 70% of the constructional hazards will be resolved.”

He also said”happy and feel-good programs for teachers” can help them cope with psychological stress. Pointing to the importance of creating green and sustainable schools, he said the HSE committee was ready to assist the Education Ministry to achieve this goal.

  Goals of HSE

The goal of HSE in schools is to protect students, teachers and the environment. HSE departments are responsible for environmental protection, occupational health and safety at work. It has two general objectives: prevention of incidents or accidents that might result from abnormal operating conditions on the one hand and reduction of adverse effects that result from normal operating conditions on the other hand.

From a health and safety standpoint, it involves creating organized efforts and procedures for identifying workplace hazards and reducing accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances. It also includes training of personnel in accident prevention, accident response, emergency preparedness, and use of protective clothing and equipment.

From an environmental standpoint, it involves creating a systematic approach to complying with environmental regulations, such as managing waste or air emissions and helping reduce the carbon footprint.