General Safety Standards for Facilities
To provide a safe environment, the teacher/coach/intramural supervisor must check the facilities and equipment before participation. This could be done visually or recorded on a check list (consult the Sample Safety Checklists for Gymnasium Facilities, Gymnasium Equipment, and Outdoor Facilities). The minimum requirement is a pre-use visual check. Hazards must be identified and removed as a factor in the activity. Teachers/coaches/intramural supervisors must take precautions around potentially hazardous and immovable objects (for example, goalposts, protruding stage). Teachers/coaches/intramural supervisors must bring such potential hazards to the attention of the students and administration.
For curricular and intramural activities benches may be incorporated into a variety of activities (for example, in ball hockey, a bench can be used to block a corner). General procedures on their safe use are:
- Determine that there is enough space around benches for safe movement.
- Benches must not have cracks, chipped corners or splinters on the top surface.
- Bench tops must be secured to all supports.
Equipment/furniture (for example, ladders) must not be stored around the perimeter of the gymnasium or any other indoor room used for physical education. Benches as well as mats secured to the wall are exceptions to this statement. Devices projecting from the wall (for example, chin-up bars, pegs on a peg board) must be set at a height that will minimize the chance of injury or be removed when not in use.
When using non-gymnasium areas (for example, concourses, weight rooms, hallways, classrooms, stages, fitness rooms), consult Safety in Activity Rooms, Safety in Fitness Rooms (for interschool sports), and the Sample Safety Checklist – Outdoor Facilities).
The Opening and Closing of Gym Divider Doors/Curtains
- The teacher/coach/intramural supervisor must inform students of procedures for opening and closing doors/curtains and review periodically (for example, posted signage if applicable).
- Constant visual supervision is required.
- The teacher/coach/intramural supervisor must take charge of opening and closing doors/curtains. Students who have been properly trained may assist the teacher/coach/intramural supervisor.
- Designate an area a safe distance from the path of the door/curtain in which students must remain during the opening/closing of the door/curtain. Check that path is clear (no obstructions and/or students in the way). Remove key after door/curtain closes.
- Should the door/curtain manufacturer require a higher standard of care/supervision than the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education for the opening/closing of the divider door/curtain, the manufacturer's standard must be followed (for example, only adults (including trained students 18 and over) can operate doors/curtains).
- A teacher/coach/intramural supervisor who is not familiar with the operations related to divider doors/curtains must seek assistance from appropriate support staff and/or refrain from opening/closing divider doors/curtains until instructional support is received.