NEU members should have the protection of the wide range of basic minimum standards of health and safety in the workplace. These cover issues ranging from adequate temperatures and lighting levels to precautions for safety on school trips, ensuring asbestos is safely managed and reducing stress at work. Most health and safety concerns can best be addressed collectively.
NEU health and safety reps can support their colleagues by exercising their wide range of legal rights . They can:
They also have legal rights to time off without loss of pay and other support facilities which allow them to carry out the role and attend NEU training courses. They have no additional responsibilities.
Support for NEU safety reps
The NEU provides safety reps with detailed information on risks and rights to help protect members against hazards at work. The health and safety section of the NEU website is one of the most comprehensive sources of guidance available on health safety issues in schools.
Recognised trade unions, such as the NEU, have the right to appoint their own safety reps. Employers have no right to take part, or be consulted, in the appointment process. All that is required for a safety rep legally to hold office is that the Union determines that that person should be a safety representative and that the employer, or head teacher, is notified in writing of the appointed health and safety rep's name. Health and safety reps do not have to be elected, unless there is competion for the role. The number of safety reps appointed is up to union members. The size of the school and the number of members will be relevant. One NEU safety rep will usually be sufficient in most schools but more than one will be helpful in large schools, particularly those with split sites. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a health and safety rep for your school.
For further information on the role of the safety rep and various guides, click on the images in the right hand panel. You can also download The Role of The Safety Rep.