EPISD's superintendent, in accordance with the Board Policy Manual, has delegated leadership of the district's safety program to the director of Risk Management. This includes developing and circulating the Safety Manual for Employees and coordinating safety training for operating units such as maintenance, transportation, and the warehouse. The director of Risk Management also works through the Staff Development Unit to provide workers' compensation-related training to custodians, cafeteria workers, and bus drivers.
Principals, directors, and other immediate supervisors are responsible for developing proper safety attitudes and properly educating all personnel under their direction about safety rules and regulations to be observed in their schools and departments. They also are responsible for supervising safety meetings, safety inspections, and accident investigations.
EPISD developed a formal Crisis Response Guide in August 1998 to enhance student and employee safety. The guide includes:
- the district's philosophy for dealing with different crises;
- detailed crisis response procedures;
- internal and external procedures to disseminate information;
- alternate school locations and pupil dismissal procedures;
- procedures for handling loss of utilities and inclement weather;
- procedures for handling accidents/illnesses, bomb threats, and chemical accidents;
- procedures for handling contagious diseases, dangerous persons, death, and fallen aircraft;
- procedures for handling fires, explosions, food poisoning, gang violence/riots, and hostages;
- procedures for handling natural disasters, nuclear threats, protests and demonstrations, and sexual assault or abduction; and
- procedures for handling suicide, weapons on campus.
The manual also contains emergency phone numbers that can be called in the event of a crisis and is distributed to all schools, departments, and units throughout EPISD. Principals, unit managers, and department managers review crisis response procedures annually with teachers, students, and employees to be sure that each group understands what to do if any of these crises occur.
EPISD's Crisis Response Guide outlines measures to guarantee the safety of students and employees in the event of crises within the district.
EPISD does not have a safety coordinator to coordinate and implement safety training for district employees. The director of Risk Management has no staff and only one secretary to assist with coordinating districtwide training activities. As a result, he cannot devote the necessary time to conduct the appropriate safety training for employees and investigate accidents as a method of prevention. For example, without a safety coordinator, the director of Risk Management makes extensive use of training videos to provide safety training for the district's employees. Moreover, because he is responsible for conducting safety presentations to schools when requested by principals, little time is allocated to planning for the long-term safety needs of the district.
In districts of similar size, safety specialists develop and monitor districtwide safety programs, work closely with principals and department heads to develop safety procedures, and conduct accident investigations. For example, Ysleta ISD has approximately 20,000 fewer students than EPISD, but has two safety specialists that perform these responsibilities.
Hire a districtwide safety coordinator.
The safety coordinator should be assigned responsibility for coordinating safety training efforts and be accountable for monitoring EPISD's safety training program.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The executive director for Human Resources requests approval of an additional position for a safety coordinator.
2. The associate superintendent for Support Services and superintendent approve the position of safety coordinator.
3. The executive director of Finance includes the position in the 1999-2000 budget.
4. The director of Risk Management posts the position.
5. The director of Risk Management interviews and selects the best candidate.
July - August 1999
6. The executive director for Human Resources approves the hire.
7. The safety coordinator begins his/her employment with the district.
A safety coordinator can be hired for $36,000, plus benefits at 16 percent, or $41,760.
Hire a safety coordinator
($41,760) ($41,760) ($41,760) ($41,760) ($41,760)