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clane  
#1 Posted : 04 July 2024 09:39:53(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
clane

Good Morning,

Thought please!

Pupil returned home from school sunburnt. Parent unhappy with school accusing them of failing in their duty of care. School's policy is to ask parents to provide their son/daughter with their own sunscreen and to sign permission slip which authorises class teacher to supervise them before heading out for breaktime. Parent argues that teachers should be applying sunscreen to pupils every 2 hours throughout school day as a matter of course and quotes general advice on NHS website. School makes parents aware of need to complete pemission slip via school intranet and by other means. Not sure if parent has refused to complete permission slip on principle or simply forgot to on this occassion or whether they are even aware of this process. Leading teachers trade union has advised their members to not apply sunscreen to pupils for fear of accusations of touching pupils inappropriately. School does request parents apply long lasting sunscreen to pupils before leaving home in morning. School also teaches pupils correct way to apply susncreen but this can be hit and miss especially with the younger pupils. 

Is school's current policy correct given stance taken by teachers union/teachers or is school acting negligently if permission slip has not been completed and therefore not ensuring pupils have had suncreen applied?  Is it better for school to adopt the principle of signing permission slip to opt out if you do not want son/daughter to have sunscreen applied (allergy concerns etc)? The issue with that is the volume of pupils that would need sunscreen applied hence placing massive time pressures on already stretched staff- reduced playtime, impact of yard supervision, reduced breaktime for teachers (Unions getting involved again).

If as is the case here, parents for whatever reason have not completed permission slip and as a result pupils get sunburnt, am I right in saying that teachers adopting a stance of not applying sunscreen to pupils for fear of a professional misconduct charge is not a valid enough reason and therefore they would be failing in their duty of care to their pupils? 

Not wanting to make mountain out of a mole hill here given few days a year where this is an issue and strictly speaking really only concerns pupils really young or vulnerable but just wanted to gauge people's opinion. 

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 04 July 2024 12:59:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Mrs R works in a school.

The school do not supply sun cream in case mummies little precious has any allergy to the contents.

The parent must provide suitable sun cream for each pupil - if there are three siblings each needs their own bottle (not down to the teachers to be chasing all over school between siblings).

The parent must provide a "permission to supervise" slip.

The child applies their sun cream.

It is really a sad state of affairs but thanks to the manner abusive social media can whip up an angry mob and cost someone their employment and possibly pension for a wild accusation from a parent the school are not negligent in refusing to apply sun cream.

Similar rules apply for inhalers, epipens and other medicines - the staff are not their to nurse but will supervise when adequately communicated with. Sending little Johnny to school with a bottle of medicine and no note will see the bottle returned unused at the end of the day.

and we wont broach potty training at home or rather the lack of.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
peter gotch on 04/07/2024(UTC), peter gotch on 04/07/2024(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 04 July 2024 12:59:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Mrs R works in a school.

The school do not supply sun cream in case mummies little precious has any allergy to the contents.

The parent must provide suitable sun cream for each pupil - if there are three siblings each needs their own bottle (not down to the teachers to be chasing all over school between siblings).

The parent must provide a "permission to supervise" slip.

The child applies their sun cream.

It is really a sad state of affairs but thanks to the manner abusive social media can whip up an angry mob and cost someone their employment and possibly pension for a wild accusation from a parent the school are not negligent in refusing to apply sun cream.

Similar rules apply for inhalers, epipens and other medicines - the staff are not their to nurse but will supervise when adequately communicated with. Sending little Johnny to school with a bottle of medicine and no note will see the bottle returned unused at the end of the day.

and we wont broach potty training at home or rather the lack of.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
peter gotch on 04/07/2024(UTC), peter gotch on 04/07/2024(UTC)
HSSnail  
#4 Posted : 09 July 2024 13:51:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
HSSnail

I have groups of outside workers and the trade unions raise this every year (clearly not school but i believe its relevant). Sunscreen is classed as a cosmetic product - so do they want me to supply lipstick as well?  Every sunscreen is different some with added ingredients which you may not want your child to use (allergy - animal products - or even tested on animals which may be against your beliefs). My stance has always been to encourage the use of sun screen but leave it up-to the individuals to applies. I known im dealing with adults (allegedly) but i would agree with the school policy.

A Kurdziel  
#5 Posted : 09 July 2024 15:07:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The duty on employers to provide sunscreen and otherwise manage exposure to the sun is not as clear cut as that.  The HSE website mentions that people should wear sunscreen but does not make it an employer’s responsibility to provide sunscreen. H&S law is silent about the specifics of protecting workers against the effect of the sun, but there is a general duty of care, which most employers would argue does not cover sun burn etc. By contrast people like the TUC and organisations that campaign against skin cancer say it is a legal duty. Their argument is that it is a workplace risk which can cause foreseeable harm and the HSE simply choose not to take action to enforce this rather like they are not keen to get involved in road traffic accidents or stress etc.  I don’t think that this has ever gone to court. I can imagine a scenario where someone works out of doors in the sun, who gets skin cancer and dies. There is a medical report which links the cancer to working in the sun and the persons relatives ask the HSE to investigate.  HSE says it’s not our job, so the relatives ask for  a Judicial Review and the judge rules in the relatives favour.  The HSE is forced to draft stronger guidelines to get the courts off their back and so the so the law in effect changes.

thanks 2 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
peter gotch on 09/07/2024(UTC), HSSnail on 11/07/2024(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 09 July 2024 15:20:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

It is this time of year (generally) when the questions of maximum working temperature get asked along with the requests for shorts and t-shirts as work attire.

Thing is those long sleeved coveralls / two piece also have the advantage of minimising the need for frequent sunscreen application.

Just need some genius to design a wide brimmed hard hat to address UV head protection.

Roundtuit  
#7 Posted : 09 July 2024 15:20:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

It is this time of year (generally) when the questions of maximum working temperature get asked along with the requests for shorts and t-shirts as work attire.

Thing is those long sleeved coveralls / two piece also have the advantage of minimising the need for frequent sunscreen application.

Just need some genius to design a wide brimmed hard hat to address UV head protection.

Roundtuit  
#8 Posted : 09 July 2024 15:27:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: HSSnail Go to Quoted Post
do they want me to supply lipstick as well?

Given how delicate lip skin is particularly to drying out maybe not a coloured lippy but a moisturising SPF "chapstick" would certainly be beneficial. Suncream does not quite have the taste or texture for lip protection.

Australians seem to prefer zinc oxide based sticks.

Roundtuit  
#9 Posted : 09 July 2024 15:27:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: HSSnail Go to Quoted Post
do they want me to supply lipstick as well?

Given how delicate lip skin is particularly to drying out maybe not a coloured lippy but a moisturising SPF "chapstick" would certainly be beneficial. Suncream does not quite have the taste or texture for lip protection.

Australians seem to prefer zinc oxide based sticks.

HSSnail  
#10 Posted : 11 July 2024 15:15:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
HSSnail

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

Thing is those long sleeved coveralls / two piece also have the advantage of minimising the need for frequent sunscreen application.

I had a trade unison safety rep argue i should be providing my outside workers with lonskived UV protection , but should also let them wear shorts! 


HSSnail  
#11 Posted : 11 July 2024 15:19:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
HSSnail

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: HSSnail Go to Quoted Post
do they want me to supply lipstick as well?

Given how delicate lip skin is particularly to drying out maybe not a coloured lippy but a moisturising SPF "chapstick" would certainly be beneficial. Suncream does not quite have the taste or texture for lip protection.

Australians seem to prefer zinc oxide based sticks.

I was being slightly tunge in cheak but i was refering to providing cosmetics, which is what sun screen is classified as - if the law changes or if a Judicial review changes that interpitation i will change my stance. I agree with Peter that the HSE dont make the law and some of their interpritations are a puzzle, but for now i will go with thier advice.

firesafety101  
#12 Posted : 12 July 2024 08:49:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

People who work, and live in hot countries wear long sleeves and trousers with head protection.

As we live in the UK and sunshine is rare most of us enjoy getting tanned, can't count the number of times I was burnt in my younger days and Calomine Lotion was spread all over me.

Prevention is better than cure. 

Alan Haynes  
#13 Posted : 12 July 2024 09:18:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Alan Haynes

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post
.............., can't count the number of times I was burnt in my younger days and Calomine Lotion was spread all over me.
Prevention is better than cure.



Too true, as someone who had the pleasure of Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer, prevention every time.
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