Health & Safety Matters - training and other news
Training for Health and Safety Reps
NUT School Health H&S representatives are an important part of a school's Union team. An elected or appointed H&S rep has many legal rights that no other union representative has. These include:
• Being consulted on all matters relating to H&S;
• Sitting on the school H&S committee (and insisting that a committee is set up if it doesn't already exist);
• Carrying out H&S inspections.
If there is no H&S rep, these rights are lost to the school NUT group.
An H&S rep also has the right to attend one of the excellent training courses that the NUT puts on so that they are fully aware of issues such as stress, working temperatures, asbestos, e-safety and risk assessments. An NUT member who has been on the course is likely to know more about H&S than anyone else in the school.
This year's course dates are:
• 9-10th March 2017 & 27-28th June 2017(You need to attend all four Days) at the Birmingham Regional Office;
• or 3rd - 7th July(Provisional Date) at Stoke Rochford Hallnear Grantham. This is a residential course. All accommodation, food and transport costs are met by the union.
Also the Midlands Region H&S Conference will be held at the Birmingham office on Thursday 15th June 2017. The conference is open to all H&S Reps and other union officials who have an interest in, or who would like to know more about H&S issues.
Damian Green, secretary of state at the DWP, has appointed Susan Johnson to the board of the HSE to represent employee interests. Ms Johnson is a former senior manager and businesswoman. Last year she retired from her job as chief executive of the Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service. Before that she was chief executive of Northern Business Forum, and an ex-director of the food company Greggs. She has no background in H&S. The TUC are supposed to be consulted about the appointment of employee representatives but they were not even made aware that there was a vacancy. Read the full story.
You may also have read that, although it is considered too costly and difficult to remove asbestos from schools, the government has decided that it is necessary to eradicate it from the Palace of Westminster.
In another bit of government foolishness, the requirement to include sprinkler systems in new school buildings has been dropped. Since the requirement was introduced in 2007 sprinklers have saved 17 schools from serious fire damage. The FBU reports that their members had to tackle 600 fires in schools last year. An Early Day Motion calling on the government to reinstate the requirement has been tabled. I have emailed the three Leicester MPs asking them to support it. Keith Vaz has replied to say that he is happy to do so.