Health and Safety


Please see our dedicated Coronavius page.

Health & Safety reps

The Tower Hamlets & the City Health & Safety rep is:  Paul McGarr

Please see our briefing for H&S reps

The NEU national website has a wealth of advice on health and safety. See links below:

NEU guidance for H&S reps

Health & Safety legal framework

Health & Safety Advice

Women’s Health & Safety

Being a Health and Safety Rep

The role of the Health & Safety rep is extremely important and one which can have a very powerful impact on the working and learning conditions of staff and students. Now more than ever we need reps in school to ask questions and ensure management are doing what they should to keep everyone safe.

Health & Safety reps is able to undertake a range of actions on behalf of members but carries no legal duty or responsibility for health and safety in the school.

It is a good idea for every school to elect a H&S Rep as well as a Rep.  Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the H&S Rep has no additional duties beyond those of all employees.  But the employer has a duty to ‘ensure as far as reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees’.

The H&S Rep is entitled to investigate hazards and carry out safety inspections, make representations to the Head on health and safety matters and inspect documents such as risk assessments.

The legal framework for Health and Safety Reps in the workplace is contained in a TUC booklet called the Brown Book, which gives guidance relating to the Safety representatives and safety committees regulations 1977.  The Brown Book is on the NEU website.

It includes information on the role, functions and rights of a health and safety rep.

How to notify your Head Teacher of the appointment of a Health & Safety Rep

Under Regulation 3 of the Brown Book employers need to be notified in writing by the trade union when reps are appointed and told who they represent.

The letter focuses on the functions of the safety rep and the rights to time off, in case head teachers may be unfamiliar with the legal entitlements.

Download a model letter notifying appointment of safety rep 2019

Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have regarding health and safety issues in your workplace or relating to your work.


For information on the courses available to Health & Safety reps click here.

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