General Chat Thread, Serious advice needed re: Health & safety in General; nobody else is in the school apart from caretakers and bursar (i think). so cant actually contact the head or ...
18th March 2008, 12:21 PM #16
nobody else is in the school apart from caretakers and bursar (i think). so cant actually contact the head or anybody else. all we can do is leave now and sort it out when we return from easter hols.
there will be no writing to say its safe because it wont be brought to his attention before the teachers come back.
will definitely be taking this further though
18th March 2008, 12:27 PM #17
The bursar often does this here as teachers have a habit of coming in even when told not too, last hols we had staff turn up with small groups of students to use IT even though we said it wasn't available. Unless the school gives them a firn NO they still come in with the 'well it's just me' attitude.
The best one was when a teacher arranged to do this with a group of 6th formers and forgot to come in :-)
18th March 2008, 12:29 PM #18
Then in letter say that you going home until the head rings you to discuss the problem.
Give head your contact details in the letter.
Then give a cc copy to bursar (she will be on phone to head before you can say hand me the phone).
Also go and found out contact details on firm doing the work so you have them for future if need be.
Point is asking for head to write to you is that gives me an action we will work when you tell me it is safe and you take liability etc (yes he may not get it until after Easter hols but that is besides the point). Also by cc the bursar you have told hte senior person on duty of your actions (otherwise they could have a discipline case against you)
Last edited by russdev; 18th March 2008 at 12:32 PM.
18th March 2008, 12:30 PM #19
The point here is that although all staff were told not to come in due to building works, we were told it would be perfectly safe as they would seal off the area they were checking for asbestos and we would be in no direct contact.
Originally Posted by cookie_monster
The reality is the contractors had no idea we were there and weren't told to seal off anything. they thought they had free reign over the building.
so had they found any asbestos, they would have donned their face masks and carried on working, content in the knowledge its only them in that part of the building.
18th March 2008, 12:41 PM #20
we've had the project manager come down and say that the way they do it is safe for them to work with, using a vac to remove all air particles where they drill.
so from their perspective its safe to work. they were unaware we were here but will put up a screen tomorrow to seal it off, but weren't asked/told to do it by the school.
as with bsf, we are being seen as being negative. the caretaker has just been down and said 'you two just want to fu**ing go home, thats all it is.' so you aren't allowed to bring up genuine concerns about your health any more.
Sooner they knock this place down and build a Tesco on it the better!
18th March 2008, 12:59 PM #21
- Rep Power
I dont care what they say to you and how you are labelled, your health is the most important thing. If your school are being negligent(and they are as it obvisouly hasn't been planned properly) they I wouldn't care what they say. Contact your union, get it in writing and go home. If the contraters have informed you that they will seal off any areas they are working in tomorrow, then I would assume this should have been done from the start.
I have some experience of how lightly this subject can be taken as there were checks done for asbestos in the old server room. Both myself and a colleage had worked there and we found out accidently that it was going to be checked. When we vioced our concerns we were told that there was very little risk and not to worry. We were lucky, they found no asbestos. But at no point was I informed that there was even asbestos in the room.
For you caretaker to say your lazy for worrying about your health is an insult. Contact the union and get everything in writing. You are not refusing to do work, you are just requesting written confirmation that it is safe to work.
18th March 2008, 01:10 PM #22
I would say that the schools planning has been very poor but as long as the work is carried out correctly and it should be anyone working with this stuff knows the dangers but of course it's much better if they know you're there.
18th March 2008, 01:18 PM #23
If the company is professional, they will seal off the areas and dispose of waste in a proper manor. You will be fine to work in areas around the sealed off areas.
18th March 2008, 01:25 PM #24
My point is that for the past two days they have worked there without any sealed off areas, and only said they will put up seals when we approached them. I'm not questioning their professionalism. They weren't told we were here.
Originally Posted by TronXP
Anyway I've given up, it's a losing battle here. We've had four people come down, and each time we've said we were told Friday that the area would be sealed, we've been told yes but its safe, they don't expect to find any asbestos.
That's great but bomb disposal don't always expect to find a bomb, but they take the appropriate precautions before starting work. Not half way through when someone says "Shouldn't we evacuate people in the next room?"
18th March 2008, 01:37 PM #25
It doesn't matter that they "expect / don't expect to find", what matters is the potential risk.
I'd certainly put all of this in very clear writing, down to the comments made by people, especially that of the caretaker, which is bang our of order; no-one in any job deserves to be spoken to that way. That alone is cause for complaint.
I'd tell the bursar that until you get a written H&S risk assesment, signed by the bursar and a proper rep. of the company doing the work declaring it safe for you to work where you are, you're not prepared to work in the vicinity of the area being checked.
The whole approach to this situation has been badly handled, from what I've read, and there is no way you deserve to be the victim of someone else's incompetance.
18th March 2008, 01:50 PM #26
I agree they should expect to find asbestos not expect not too. It doesn't matter really if your there or not. If they find asbestos and disturbe it, they are spreading the asbestos dust around the building, if its sealed thats not going to happen.
That's great but bomb disposal don't always expect to find a bomb, but they take the appropriate precautions
18th March 2008, 02:26 PM #27
Firms which are contracted to remove asbestos have very strict guidelines. These include a written notice from the school to procedure with testing or removal. This will be a response from a quote which will include their normal operating procedures or a reference to them. Your school has a legal duty to ensure that the school, the staff and any others in the vicinity (eg students, parents, visitors) abide by these normal operating procedures.
It is definitely a union matter, but you need to get information about the following. What are the safety procedures of the school during holidays? Do you sign in? Are you notified of work being carried out in specific areas of the school which may be detrimental to your health (include painting in this due to issues with fumes and asthma)? Are these in formal policies and procedures? Are you given regular access to them and are you kept informed about them being updated?
This is why so many schools lose tribunals ... but they either have no paperwork or it is plain rubbish. Losing at tribunal is different to throwing it all away by lying to staff about safety. That just deserves a rocket up the backside!
18th March 2008, 02:52 PM #28
Make your bursar cry by being abusive and shouting at her. You'll feel better and no-one will now believe her if she reports you. He-he.
Originally Posted by MK-2
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