Health and safety

Standards for education premises

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.

Supervision

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 and trips

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 management in the workplace

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).

Workplace inspections

All parts of a workplace should be safe to use, whether internal or external. This means that floors, walls, ceilings, playgrounds, car parks and sports areas should be designed, built and maintained so that they do not pose a risk to users of the site.

Transport

There are a number of factors that should always be considered when transporting pupils/students, or when making arrangements for pupils to be collected from school.

Whiteboards

The use of equipment in the workplace such as whiteboards places legal responsibilities on employers, manufacturers, suppliers and designers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safe use of such equipment.

Voice care

Teachers/lecturers are at least eight times more likely to have voice problems than other workers. This means it is very important for education staff to consider voice care and take steps to prevent problems before they arise.

The rights of safety reps

ATL's safety representatives are elected by their colleagues to represent them in health and safety matters.

Guidance on disability issues

This guidance aims to provide an overview of the rights of disabled workers in schools and colleges and provide practical advice for union reps and members on how to achieve equality for disabled staff.