Common hazards in schools:
Schools can contain a variety of safety and health hazards, from hazardous chemicals in high school science laboratories to workplace violence, slips and falls, bloodborne pathogens, and more. The specific hazards in a particular school environment will depend on the type of school. An elementary school will pose different hazards than a university, for example.
In addition to hazards that affect teaching staff, it is important to consider food service workers, janitorial staff, security personnel, and school nurses, just to name a few. Schools may also have contractors that come on-site to repair or perform maintenance to HVAC, electrical, or other systems, and these workers must be protected from on-site hazards and required to work safely.
Safety and health requirements for public schools vary by state, as federal OSHA does not have jurisdiction over the public sector. Refer to this chart of public-sector safety and health requirements by state to determine which safety and health rules apply in your location. Private schools are regulated in the same way as other private sector workplaces. This chart will help private school employers determine what requirements apply in each state.