A Guide to Safe Practice in Art & Design

4.5   Maintenance

A regular, systematic maintenance programme for fabric, furniture, fittings, machinery, tools and other equipment can form an important part of the health and safety monitoring system. Items that require regular maintenance should, if necessary, be identified and listed in a schedule which is planned and checked each year, or more often if necessary. Some art departments in secondary schools may have technical assistance available, in which case the respective management responsibilities of the teacher and technician should be clearly understood. In the absence of a technician it is the responsibility of the head of department or subject teacher initially to ensure that adequate maintenance is provided and that equipment that requires regular maintenance is drawn to the attention of senior management for appropriate action.

Regular inspection and checks on items such as electrical apparatus, plugs, wires, sinks and drains are precautions which should be part of the management and organisation systems of any school or department. The Electricity at Work Regulations (1989) require periodic checks to be carried out by a competent person on all electrical apparatus. Such checks should ensure that equipment is maintained in an efficient working condition to prevent risk of injury.

A free leaflet, Maintaining portable electrical equipment in offices and other low-risk areas can be accessed on the Health and Safety Executive web site at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf