Have you or your colleagues become ill or injured as a result of your job? It often surprises people outside the teaching profession that schools are some of the most hazardous work environments in the public sector. In fact, when you look at the sheer number of job-related illnesses and injuries, elementary school teachers are near the top of the list of most dangerous occupations.
Your current CEA Advisor issue features the story of school districts inundated with mold, rodent feces, and other health and safety hazards. And the risks extend beyond aging facilities. Every day, in schools throughout the state, teachers suffer painful and sometimes debilitating injuries ranging from slips and falls to injuries at the hands of students.
As a building rep, be sure you understand your district’s policies on reporting injuries and illnesses, and know which urgent care facilities are approved by your district for treatment.
Review the following guidelines with colleagues at your next 10-minute meeting:
- Report any work-related illness or injury immediately to building administration.
- Ask building administration for the approved urgent care facility to be seen for your injuries and seek treatment there as soon as possible after the injury. The doctor needs to establish that your condition or symptoms are caused by your work conditions.
- Make sure that building administration completes the Employers’ First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness form (FRI). If you are asked questions to assist the district in completing this paperwork, please provide those responses. Also provide your district with any notes from your healthcare provider outlining any work restrictions you may have.
For additional guidance or information, contact CEA’s Member Legal Services team at (860) 525-5641.