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injury at school

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by smirnoffice, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. smirnoffice

    smirnoffice New commenter

    Good Morning

    Would really appreciate anyone’s advice or knowledge about the following.

    For several weeks now I have suffered from a recurring knee injury which was originally an old rugby injury from many years ago. Due to a weakness in the knee, when it goes – it goes. Am currently wearing a knee brace, on medication from the GP and taking medication.

    Because of this walking is incredibly painful at present, but am getting through each day due to painkillers.

    This week all HODs have been told they have to be present at start and end of mock exams to supervise papers, handle questions etc. As the hall is at the far end of the school from my room I emailed my line manager (who is seconded to SLT) a request explaining how bad the injury was, could it be possible that someone else acted on my behalf, so I did not have to walk backwards and forwards, exacerbating the injury. I thought this was a reasonable request, given the school’s duty of care, wellbeing, reasonable adjustment etc etc.

    To my surprise I have been told this is not possible, and I have to be in the hall at the right time on all occasions. I was rather astonished. I was just wondering, is this standard, or does anyone have a view to share on this predicament.

    Many Thanks

  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    The school appears to be taking the view. "If you're ill, you're out of school. If you're fit you're in. You are in the building so you can do the same as the rest." This is a perfectly reasonable view and fits in better with their duty of care.
    See your doctor and get a sick note until you're well enough to carry out ALL of your workload. Chances are you'd recover a lot quicker with an ice pack and daytime TV.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  3. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    Agree withe above person.

    Suggest you go and kick the SMT on the knee !!

    In future I would not give any of my free time or effort o an uncaring school management.
    cazzmusic1, wanet and FrankWolley like this.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    The best advice is given above...

    But you could:

    • email the SLT saying that you fear this extra physical work will damage your knee; keep their response safely
    • do the work (or start it), then collapse in pain and go sick
    • Stay off work for ages, look into early retirement to the injury
    • Sue the school for damages
    cazzmusic1, wanet and Geoff Thomas like this.
  5. Noja

    Noja Senior commenter

    It's clearly appalling behaviour - I would ask for an occupational health appointment and get it made official that your duties need tailoring a little. I feel for you - I also have poor knees and ankles.
    cazzmusic1, wanet and badger_girl like this.
  6. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Occupational Health will help you. I think your request was very reasonable - unless there really isn't anyone else in your department who could supervise the exams - and as this is a problem which is unlikely to go away you need to get official recognition of limitations and adjustments which can be made.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  7. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Dear Line Manager,
    I'm afraid that if my work is going to necessitate me walking from one end of the school to the other on my injured knee, I will need to revisit my GP, as I suspect they will, in that case, sign me off.
    Alternatively, perhaps Miss Other-Teacher-in-my-Department could take my place, and/or I could be available by phone from my teaching room in case of any queries.
    I will, of course, double-check the papers to make sure that the inviglators have the right papers and unambiguous instructions.

    Alternatively, just organise another colleague to do it and tell SLT what's happening rather than ask. It's a task which could quite reasonably be delegated, and I can't see why they should object, if they don't have to organise the delegating. I suspect they've just got inexperienced external invigilators and they want to be sure there's someone there who can take control if necessary (so probably better not send the NQT).
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I sometimes despair of SLT responses and their lack of concern, of common sense, yet alone of duty of care.


    Best wishes.
    Dragonlady30 and wanet like this.
  9. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I really sympathise as I also have an injury and am managing, but the school are being considerate and as a result I am able to continue.

    It's just basic human courtesy isn't it? :(

    I hope your knee gets better soon xx
    Dragonlady30 and wanet like this.
  10. Tigger1962

    Tigger1962 New commenter

    E-mail back to your line manager telling them what time the wheelchair and person to push need to collect you from your office for this duty!
    cissy3 likes this.
  11. stampedeguy

    stampedeguy New commenter

    ..and while you're at it ask your line manager to produce a full risk assessment of the situation, regarding your injury, within the next 72 hours, so you can show it to your doctor for his advice! ... that should put the cat amongst the pigeons!
    cazzmusic1, cissy3 and Dragonlady30 like this.
  12. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Health and safety at work - the law

    By law, your employers have to protect your health, safety and welfare at work. They have to make sure the workplace is safe and without risk to health. As part of this duty, employers must:

     make sure that...the systems used in the workplace are safe
     assess the risks that might be involved in work practices such as the specific scenario described.

    The work practices must be changed to prevent injuries.

    You must cooperate with your employers to make the workplace safe.

    You must also take reasonable care of your own health and safety at work and that of anyone you work with.

    If you think that conditions at your workplace are unsafe, talk to your trade union if you have one. You can also contact the Health and Safety Executive through its website at www.hse.gov.uk.

    If you believe that there is a serious and immediate danger for you at work, you have the right to protect yourself. This could mean leaving work until the immediate danger is fixed.
  13. rachelpaula008

    rachelpaula008 Star commenter

    Please take the advice from the above posters and look after your physical health. Please speak to your GP and SLT. As you are a HOD I would hope they'll listen to you. And I think it goes without saying - although I'm saying this - the extra work will affect your stress level and general well being. Wishing you luck.

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