Use these checklists to evaluate your school's conditions and facility management. Identify problem areas and the strengths and weaknesses in your school's health and safety policies and practices.
CHECKLIST 1: The Walk-Through
Evaluateconditions and activities in each location.
Date: ______________ Time: _____________
Walk-Through Team Members: _______________________________________
SIGNS OF POOR VENTILATION OR POLLUTION SOURCES: [ ] Stuffiness [ ] Odors [ ] Excess humidity or dryness [ ] Visible mold [ ] Stains on walls, floors, carpets or ceilings [ ] Leaks, dampness, or history of water damage [ ] Use of solvent-based or scented supplies, cleaning products or air fresheners/deoderizers containing ingredients such as alpha-pinene, limonene, p-dichlorobenzene. [ ] Chemical Storage (flammables, explosives, corrosives, poison) [ ] Aerosol products (cleaners, air fresheners, hair spray, bug spray) [ ] Unlabeled containers [ ] Unvented kilns, printers or copiers [ ] Busses or trucks idling near air intakes [ ] Blocked air supplies or vents
SIGNS OF INADEQUATE MAINTENANCE: [ ] Excess dust [ ] Dirty or unsanitary conditions [ ] Blocked or dirty air intakes or vents [ ] Unchanged light bulbs [ ] Unusual noises from light fixtures or mechanical equipment [ ] Broken windows or fixtures [ ] Cans of bug spray, air fresheners, etc. in drawers and cabinets. [ ] Signs of occupant discomfort: [ ] Unusual clothing for the season (T-shirts in winter, sweaters in summer) [ ] Doors propped open [ ] Windows open in winter [ ] Personal fans or heaters [ ] Air conditioners turned off (too noisy?)
ASK ABOUT [ ] Extreme temperatures (heat or cold) or extreme variations [ ] Recent building renovation or repair projects [ ] History of chemical spills [ ] Landscaping or Pest Control practices (pesticides?) [ ] Changes in room occupancy (overcrowding?) or new activities (painting? science experiments?) [ ] New furnishings or new carpets [ ] History of power failures (timers or thermostats out of adjustment?)
[ ] Are the Facility Manager and building staff highly qualified for the roles they play in keeping the building safe, clean and in good repair?
[ ] Are the building maintenance staff trained to operate and maintain the HVAC system?
[ ] Are the maintenance and cleaning staff in-house employees or outsourced?
[ ] Does the school log reports about safety hazards and environmental problems, pests and maintenance and repair needs?
[ ] Is the work order system responsive to reports? How long does it take to fix or clean a problem? Are repairs done professionally?
[ ] Does the school systematically log student and staff health complaints such as headaches, red eyes, queasy stomachs, respiratory problems and fatigue?
[ ] Does the school log student and staff disrupted and missed days?
[ ] Are complaints and absences evaluated for patterns of symptoms or locations that indicate air quality problems?
[ ] Have changes in the ventilation system kept up with changes in the building or its use?
[ ] Does the school perform HVAC maintenance and inspections regularly?
[ ] Is specialized exhaust ventilation used for equipment such as kilns or copy machines and other sources of pollutants (all shops, labs, photography, art rooms)?
[ ] Does the school review energy conservation practices, air-exchange rates, occupancy rates, and the related impact on indoor air quality and employee and student health?
[ ] Does the school maintenance staff keep current on revisions to ventilation standards and building codes?
[ ] Is there a no-smoking policy?
[ ] Is the no-smoking policy enforced?
[ ] Are there purchasing procedures and policies for reducing or eliminating asthma aggravators, allergenic, irritant, and toxic products for housekeeping, furnishings, repair, maintenance, and educational activities?
[ ] Are renovation, repair, and construction projects designed, scheduled and monitored to avoid exposing people to dust, toxic emissions and odors?
[ ] Do school maintenance, repair, sanitation and hygiene practices integrate best practices for pest management.
[ ] Are pesticides used anywhere in buildings or grounds?
For examples of school IAQ improvements based on Parent Involvement see "WORKING TOGETHER."
The world endures solely by virtue of the breath of school children. (Talmud)