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.
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 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.
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.
Stress is an adverse reaction that people experience when faced with excessive pressure. If the factors creating the pressure are not dealt with, that pressure can lead to mental and/or physical ill health (eg depression, nervous breakdown, heart disease).
ATL has become increasingly concerned about the lack of space in schools and colleges, where an ever-increasing variety of equipment has to be accommodated as well as enough room for student activities and provision for students with SEN or disabilities.