Workplace Safety

  • Workers Compensation and Property and Liability Insurance

    DSSRM is responsible for managing all insurance and safety issues that may expose the Division to litigation or insurance claims, including and not limited to identifying, evaluating, controlling and minimizing the Division’s exposure to loss or damage to physical assets, and losses arising out of liability claims. Through an aggressive annual OSHA and risk assessment inspection at each Division's operations and facilities  the Division earned the lowest deductible factor rating in comparison to 500 member in the insurance program pool earning the Division a premium discount of $112,214. In addition, the Division earned for the second time the distinguished Virginia Municipal League Insurance Risk Management Excellence Award.


    Each year, more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment. Most injuries occur when a child falls from the equipment onto the ground. Use the simple checklist to help make sure your local community or school playground is a safe place to play.
    • Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
    • Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
    • Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.
    • Check for dangerous hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends.
    • Make sure spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
    • Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
    • Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.
    • Make sure elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.
    • Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good condition.
    • Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they're safe.
    • The Department of Safety, Security and Risk Management inspects all playgrounds twice each year.


    School Playground Information / Incident Form / Work Order  


    OSHA/VOSH 1910.1200 Hazard Communications
    Stafford County Public Schools Emergency Management Plan
    Chemical Hygiene Plan for Science Departments Stafford County Public Schools - Revised May 2010

    The purpose of this plan is to identify typical hazardous chemical uses in the School Division, assign responsibilities for communicating the hazards associated with exposure to these chemicals to employees and students, and establish procedures for mitigating those hazards through a hazard communications program.


    The following list provides a brief synopsis of typical activities occurring in the Division where occupational exposures to hazardous chemicals may occur:

    Operations & Maintenance

    Exposure to solvents, refrigerants and petroleum products during maintenance and custodial operations.

    School Nutrition

    Exposure to solvents, refrigerants and disinfectants during food preparation and storage.

    Career & Technical and Art Education

    Exposure to solvents, paints, inks, bonding agents and petroleum products during hands-on shop training.

    Science Education

    Exposure to acids, bases and solvents during laboratory work.


    Exposure to antiseptics during first aid procedures.

    Central Garage

    Exposure to solvents, refrigerants and petroleum products during maintenance and repair operations.

    Identification of Hazardous Chemicals

    Facility administrators are responsible for surveying their facilities to determine what hazardous chemicals are in use. Following the survey, the facility administrator is responsible for preparing and maintaining a Chemical Inventory List (CIL), listing hazardous chemicals in use. The resource personnel listed herein are available to assist facility administrators in compiling their CIL.

    Labeling Hazardous Chemicals

    Hazardous chemicals used in the Division are normally labeled by the manufacturer and delivered with label intact. Personnel receiving shipment of chemicals are responsible for ensuring packages received are properly labeled. Personnel who repackage chemicals for any reason are responsible for labeling the new package to convey the identity of the material and appropriate hazard warnings.

    Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
    Facility administrators will ensure that an MSDS corresponding with each entry on the CIL is maintained at the facility. The MSDS will be posted in an area accessible to all employees. The resource personnel listed herein are available to assist facility administrators in obtaining MSDS.

    Initial and Refresher Employee Training

    Facility administrators are responsible for ensuring that initial and refresher training for hazard communications are provided for their employees. Initial training will be made a matter of record on the new employee processing checklist. Refresher training will normally be scheduled to coincide with annual in-service training. The following resources are available, at the request of the facility administrator, for initial and follow-up training on hazard communications.

    Student Training

    Hazard communications training for students will be a normal part of the curriculum for those classes where exposure to hazardous chemicals is part of the instructional plan. This hazard communication training is a responsibility of the instructor, as required, in Career & Technical, Art and Science instruction.

    Hazard Communication Training Lesson Plans

    The following topics should be covered, as appropriate, during initial and refresher training on hazard communications.

    • Location and contents of Hazard Communication Plan.
    • Location of facility chemical list and MSDS.
    • Use of chemical safety equipment.
    • Chemical spill immediate action and first aid.
    • Interpretation of MSDS.

    The OSHA/VOSH 1010.1030 Bloodborne Pathogens Standard was issued to reduce the occupational transmission of infections caused by micro-organisms sometimes found in human blood and certain other potentially infectious materials.

    All employees who are exposed to blood and other potentially infectious materials as a part of their job duties are included in this control plan. The program is accomplished by:
    1. identifying and designating employees with occupational exposures;
    2. identifying tasks and procedures that may present an exposure hazard;
    3. using universal precautions;
    4. providing appropriate personal protective equipment;
    5. offering Hepatitis B vaccine, post-exposure evaluation and follow-up;
    6. communicating potential hazards to employees through information and training.
    Copies of this exposure control plan are available for review in the Human Resources Office, each school principal’s office, and in the school clinics. Employees may obtain a copy of this plan within 15 days of submitting a written request to the Department of Human Resources or school nurse.

    Exposure Determination
    Those employees who can reasonably be expected to be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials during performance of their duties as employees of Stafford County Public Schools are as follows:
    A.  Job categories most at risk:
    1. school nurses
    2. clinic substitutes
    3. middle school coaches acting as trainers
    4. preschool handicap teachers and paraprofessionals
    5. health occupations instructors
    6. athletic trainers
    7. severe/profound teachers and paraprofessionals
    B. Job categories in which occupational exposure may occur:
    1. selected special education teachers/paraprofessionals
    2. designated custodians
    3. selected bus drivers
    NOTE: The school district will review all job categories on an on-going basis to determine potential exposure possibilities. Employees not included in the above list who feel their job responsibilities put them at risk may submit a letter to their immediate supervisor requesting a review of their exposure classification.

    Methods of Compliance

    A.  Universal Precautions
    • All human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious for bloodborne pathogens (including HIV and HBV).
    B.  Work Practices
    • Hands to be washed with soap and water as soon as possible after exposure.
    • When hand-washing facilities are not accessible, an appropriate antiseptic hand cleaner should be used.
    • Hands should be washed as soon as possible after removal of gloves.
    • Hands and any other skin should be washed with soap and water (or flush mucous membranes) as soon as possible following contact with potentially infectious materials.
    • Eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics and handling contact lenses are prohibited in areas where there is a reasonable likelihood of occupational exposure (i.e., clinic sink, counter).
    • Food and drink shall not be kept in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets or on counter tops where blood or other potentially infectious materials are present.
    • All procedures are to be performed in a manner to minimize splashing, spraying, etc., of infectious materials.
    C.  Sharps Management
    • Contaminated needles and other contaminated sharps shall not be bent, recapped, or removed.
    • Contaminated disposal sharps shall be discarded, as soon as possible after use, in the disposal sharps containers. Contaminated broken glass is also to be placed in disposable sharps containers.
    D.  Personal Protective Equipment
    • All personal protective equipment will be provided, repaired, cleaned, and disposed of by the school at no cost to employees. Employees shall wear personal protective equipment when doing procedures in which exposure to the skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes is anticipated. The articles to be worn will depend on the expected exposure. Gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection, and pocket masks are available.
    • All personal protective equipment shall be removed before leaving the work area and placed in assigned containers for storage, washing, decontamination or disposal. Upon leaving the work area, employees are expected to put contaminated garments and other protective equipment in the containers provided in the clinic.
    • Latex gloves shall be worn in the following situations:
      • When it can be reasonably anticipated that hands will contact human blood or other potentially infectious materials, mucous membranes, and non-intact skin.
      • Disposable gloves shall not be washed or decontaminated for reuse.
      • Utility gloves may be decontaminated for reuse if the integrity of the glove is not compromised; however, the gloves must be discarded if they are cracked, peeling, torn, punctured, or exhibit other signs of deterioration or when their ability to function as a barrier is compromised.
    • Protection for eye/nose/mouth
      • Employees shall wear masks in combination with eye protection devises or chin-length face shields whenever splash, spray, or droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials may be generated and eye, nose, or mouth contamination can be reasonably anticipated.
    • Protection for the body
      • Gowns and other protective outer clothing shall be worn in occupational exposure situations. Uniforms are not considered personal, protective clothing.

    Post Exposure Evaluation Follow-up

    A.  An exposure incident that results from the performance of an employee’s duties is a specific eye, mouth, other mucous membranes, non-intact skin, or intravenous injection contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials.

    B.  Employees who experience an exposure incident must immediately report their exposure to the school nurse or building administrator within 24 hours.

    C.  Following a report of an exposure incident, a confidential medical evaluation and follow-up shall be made immediately available to the exposed employee. All confidential medical records will be maintained in the Department of Human Resources.

    Signs and Labels

    Biohazard labels shall be attached to containers of regulated waste, refrigerators and freezers containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.   The labels shall also be attached to containers used to store, transport, or ship blood or other potentially infectious material.


    Fire safety in the workplace is just as important as fire safety in the home. Review the Workplace Fire Safety Checklist to make sure your environment at work meets safety conditions and you're prepared in case of an emergency there.
    • Know the fire escape route at work. Each workplace building must have at least two means of escape, remote from each other, to be used in a fire emergency.
    • Fire doors must not be blocked or locked to prevent emergency use when employees are within the building.
    • Exit routes from the building must be clear and free of obstructions and properly marked with signs designating exits from the building.
    • Only approved fire extinguishers are permitted for use in the workplace. They must be kept in good operating condition and should be used only by those employees trained to do so.
    • Emergency action plans are required describing the routes to use and procedures to follow by employees.
    • Automatic fire sprinkler systems throughout the workplace are the most reliable early fire suppression means. The fire sprinkler system detects the fire, sounds an alarm and puts the water where the fire and heat are located. 
    Source: Occupational Safety Health Act (OSHA) Fact Sheet



    • Each school is equipped with AED’s.  High Schools – 4, Middle Schools – 4 and Elementary Schools – 2.
    • To give immediate medical care for employees and citizens at the work site. The following listed locations have an AED at their location and certified personnel to operate and AED in case of an emergency.
    • A technician is on staff to assist with training and certifying school employees in CPR/AED annually.
    • All Schools/Facilities are equipped with AED's.

    Resource Documents - (MS Word format)



    • VRSA
      P. O. Box 71420
      Richmond, Virginia 23255
      (804) 963 6800
    School Board Contact
    • Annette Hall (540) 658-6000
    Reporting Process
    • Within 24 hours, employees should notify employer of a work-related accident.
    • Employee should call NT24 at 877-234-0898 to report work related accidents.
    • Employee will receive documents on physician for treatment.
    First Fill Prescription Form
    • Allows employee to receive the first prescription free – no out of pocket expense.
    Return to Work Program
    • Modify duty program for those employees who are temporarily unable to perform their assigned duties due to a work-related injury/illness. Modified duty positions area available for those employees who are qualified to receive workers’ compensation benefits but are unable to perform their regular duties.

Specialist Resources

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Panel of Approved Physicians

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Contact Information