Leicester District
National Education Union
Home Events Contact Documents

Health and Safety Matters: Beating the No Compensation Culture

Andy Haynes, Leicester H&S Officer
4th September 2013

The HSE have been making much of the fact that only 148 people were killed or fatally injured in the course of their work between April 2012 and March 2013, compared with 172 in the previous year. A closer look at the figures might suggest that this is a temporary blip. During the period 2009 -10 'only' 147 workers died but the number rose back to around 170 in each of the next two years. Neither do these figures include the estimated 20,000 people who die from illnesses, typically cancer, contracted because of exposure to hazards in the course of their work. A single person dying from their work is one person too many.

Of course Health & Safety is not just concerned with preventing deaths at work. A vast number of people have their health damaged by their jobs every year. Teachers and other school staff suffer from back and other musculoskeletal problems, damage to their voices, hearing and eyesight. Then there are mental health issues related to stress, not to mention possible exposure to asbestos. These are all things that may cause problems throughout a teacher's whole life.

Despite this, the government are determined to make it harder for someone to claim compensation from their employer or former employer for damage suffered at work. Recent changes to the law now mean that a claimant has to be able to prove negligence on the part of an employer and amongst other things need to show that the employer was aware of the potential harm being caused. This means that it has become more important than ever to raise concerns with your school as quickly as possible so that they cannot deny knowledge at a later date. This should be done in writing and you should keep a dated copy of your concern. Ask your school manager to give written confirmation that they have received it and if possible have the issue raised at your school H&S Committee so that it appears on the minutes.


Related articles

Stress (3rd September 2021)
Covid (3rd September 2021)
Teacher Mental Health Crisis (20th March 2020)
Health & Safety Matters - Forty Education Workers Die Because of Work! (23rd January 2019)
Health & Safety Matters: Asbestos in Bunsen Burner Wire Gauzes (23rd September 2018)
Health & Safety Matters - Stress & Mental Health, Swimming (6th June 2018)
Health & Safety Matters - Equalities Act, Stress, Fire Sprinklers, Air Pollution (1st December 2017)
Health & Safety Matters: Mobile Classrooms, Risk Assessments (5th October 2017)
Health & Safety Matters: New Year - Same Old Problems! (1st September 2017)
Falling For the Job? (1st July 2017)
Health & Safety Adviser - 2017 Annual Report (7th March 2017)
Academies Are Bad For Your Health (8th November 2016)
Health & Safety Matters - training and other news (5th October 2016)
Health & Safety Matters - Display Screen Equipment, Manual Handling, Safety in Swimming Lessons (25th May 2016)
Health & safety matters - best practice back-saving tips for Primary Teachers (12th February 2016)
Health & Safety Matters - the minefield of technology (15th January 2016)
Health & Safety Matters - heating systems, winter, TU Reform Bill, asbestos in crayons (13th November 2015)
Health & Safety Matters - Stress - and Sun (9th May 2015)
Health & Safety Matters (30th January 2015)
H&S Reps Training (22nd September 2014)
Health & Safety Matters - Stress, Industrial Action, Asbestos (22nd September 2014)
Health & Safety Matters - Pupils with medical conditions, asbestos management, gas masks and military helmets, European H&S Week (27th June 2014)
Health & Safety Matters - High temperatures, training, regional conference (30th May 2014)
Health and Safety Matters - asbestos, mental health, medicines (17th February 2014)
Health and Safety Matters - risk assessments, asbestos, Wear Something Light, winter weather, school reps (9th December 2013)
Health and Safety Matters - Asbestos, Temperatures, Training (7th October 2013)
Health and Safety Matters - asbestos, school reps (3rd June 2013)
Health & Safety Matters - E-Safety, Stress Audits (14th January 2013)
Wintery problems (12th November 2012)
Health and Safety Matters: H&S Inspections, Updates, Training (8th October 2012)
Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Disorder (4th September 2011)
Health and Safety Matters: Eyesight, Reps, Chairs, Viruses and Training (2nd February 2011)
Asbestos Exposure (9th September 2009)
Eyesight Tests (9th September 2009)
Health & Safety Matters: Working at Height, Training, Accident Reporting (13th February 2009)
Safety Committees & Representatives (3rd December 2008)
Crazy about work (3rd December 2007)
Building Work (8th October 2007)
Interactive Whiteboards (8th October 2007)
Is Your School Safe? (5th March 2007)
Mobile Phones (8th May 2006)
Calling Health and Safety Reps (3rd April 2006)
New Health and Safety Advisor (7th November 2005)