I am walking through public schools on a weekly basis and most of the time I am led through a building by the director of maintenance. No matter the size of corporation the maintenance directors usually fall in one of two categories. The calm, cool, and collected director or my hair is on fire director. I try to ask probing questions to learn about how they run their department and below are a few observations from each side.
As I travel from school to school across the state of Indiana, there comes a time in our conversation that I will generally ask the Superintendent or Business Manager a simple question. What keeps you up at night?
Today’s near miss is tomorrow’s accident. You may call it something different such as a close call, injury free event, report only, or error in judgement. Whatever the name you use, it is defined as an unplanned event that did not result in an injury or property damage. The key is to not take these events lightly. We can use today’s near misses to help prevent tomorrow’s injuries and accidents.
I have been traveling the state with some really great people who have the same mindset as me. We all want to help Indiana schools protect themselves from negative life altering events that could happen in their building. One of my partners is former military and swat team member that now works in the public school space. He introduced me to a term that I had not heard before.
Most school personnel I talk to deservedly boast about their school safety programs to prevent shootings, school bus intruders and other campus violence. They have put a lot of thought and action into preventing such horrific incidents—the invasive, deadly thistles. And that’s good. Those are vitally important steps.
You lock school entrance doors, use a buzz-in system, make visitors wear identity badges and hire security personnel to patrol your building. You’re doing everything you know to provide a safe environment for your students.