The employee accident rate in public schools is higher than in many industries that are considered as hazardous. Based on that latest data from the NJ Department of Labor, school employees experience 2.5 lost time accidents per 100 employees as compared to 1.4 in utilities, 1.9 in manufacturing and 2.4 in construction.
The causes of these accident include: Assaults on staff primarily by special education students (27%), fall down accidents (27%), struck by or against objects such as doors, etc. (22%), back injuries and other strains (15%), and all other (9%). All school staff in contact with special education should receive extensive de-escalation training and all other staff should receive basic de-escalation training.
The safety program should be tailored to the specific exposures of the major groups of employees.
Educational Staff accounts for 63% of the accidents. In addition to de-escalation training, education staff should receive periodic general safety training with particular emphasis on fall down accidents.
Custodial Staff accounts for 21% of the accidents. Their exposures are similar to the department of public works in a municipality.
Managerial, Office and Café employees account for 8% of the accidents. In addition to de-escalation training, managerial, office and café employees should receive periodic general safety training with particular emphasis on fall down accidents
Transportation staff accounts for 4% of the accidents. In addition to de-escalation training, transportation employees should receive periodic training with emphasis on defensive driving, fall down accidents and general safety.
While School Crossing Guards are not usually employees of Boards of Education in New Jersey, senior school managerial personnel should be knowledgeable of the safety requirements for crossing guards.