NIOSH logo and tagline

Safety Checklist Program for Schools

October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
School Checklists logo

Training Handouts

Checklist Instructions

Part 1: Completing the Checklists

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: A tape measure and polarity tester (outlet tester) may be necessary to complete some of the checklists.

Having a colleague or safety committee perform the inspection with you may be helpful. An objective outsider may be better at identifying some hazards.

  • Read the guidelines at the beginning of each checklist.
  • Complete the Optional Information Box at the top of the checklist.
  • Read each question and ask the following:
    • Do I understand the question? (If not, try to find a person who might be able to help you interpret the question. Or look in Appendix A (Resource Agencies and Organizations) for the appropriate regulatory agency to call.)
    • Is the question applicable to my situation?
    • What hazard does the question address?
    • Do I have the knowledge to determine whether the situation or equipment is safe?
    • What can I do to check whether the situation or equipment is safe?
    • If the regulation requires that students or others have certain knowledge, can I document that knowledge (e.g., through testing, simulation, etc.)?
  • For each question, do the following:
    • When terms are in bold type, read the definitions at the end of the checklist.
    • Pretend you are new to the area or situation.
    • Avoid assuming something is true without verification.
    • Look at each situation or piece of equipment.
    • Simulate any intended action (e.g., go through the steps you would take to turn the equipment on and off).
    • Always relate the situation or equipment to the hazard.
  • Circle the appropriate answer.
    • Y = Yes (indicates potential compliance)
    • N = No (indicates potential noncompliance)
    • N/A = Not applicable
    • ?? = Don’t know
  • As appropriate, make notes in the Comments/Corrective action section at the bottom of each checklist page.

Part 2: After Completing the Checklists

If you answered “yes” to a question, you are probably in compliance with the regulation at this time. Realize, however, that conditions are subject to change and regulations are subject to interpretation.

If you answered “not applicable” to any questions, verify this with a colleague.

If you answered “don’t know” to one or more questions, seek advice from someone who can help you. If no one at your school knows the answer, contact someone from one of the organizations listed in Appendix A: Resource Agencies and Organizations.

If you answered “no” to a question, confirm any identified problem with an expert (see Appendix A: Resource Agencies and Organizations for information). A “no” does not mean an automatic violation. If you know how to fix the problem, write your recommendations in the space at the bottom of each checklist (use additional paper if necessary). Then bring your recommendations to the attention of the person or committee in charge of remediating problems in your school.