As a health and safety representative, ATL is here to support you.
Most of us are aware that working in a poor work environment can be detrimental to health and performance. However, a poor work environment should not be viewed as a condition of employment. ATL members can change these conditions; as a health and safety rep, you can make your own workplace a better, safer and healthier place to work.
In most schools there are pupils who may need to take medication during school hours for long or short-term medical needs, or in emergency situations. The administering of medication to pupils is a common source of concern for education staff.
The health of an organisation is founded on the welfare and well-being of those who work within it. Truly efficient and effective organisations tend to be happy places with low staff sickness absence.
Back injuries are the greatest single cause of absenteeism from the workplace, often caused by manual handling activities, eg the lifting and carrying of loads. ATL is concerned at the number of members injured as a result of such activities.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to assess the risks of activities, introduce measure to control those risks and inform their employees of these measures. Employers must ensure that those carrying out risk assessments are competent to do so.
In most schools and colleges, security involves protecting property (including personal property) against theft, vandalism or arson. In some establishments - primary schools in particular - it also involves protecting children from assault by an intruder.
The Education (School Premises) Regulations 2012 stipulate minimum standards for school premises. Schools and colleges are also covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which outline provisions that must be made in relation to the work environment.
It is vital to give adequate thought to the level of supervision and who will be undertaking supervision during the planning of a site visit.
Slips or trips account for more than half of all accidents in the education sector, usually resulting in fractures to arms, ankles and wrists. Nevertheless, there is a lot employers should do to minimise the risks.