This course run by Science Learning Centre North East on 19th October 2011 and it is ideal for new or inexperienced technicians. The course is designed to give a grounding in the role within school or college settings. Sessions on this course will cover the role of a technician, general health and safety, policies and procedures, technician skills and working in a science department. This course complements other skills related to professional development courses available through the Science Learning Centre network.

Find out more details and how to apply here...

One of the questions most frequently asked by Technicians is their role and responsibility with respect to

Risk Assessments within their Department. We provide useful info as follows; There is more detailed and specific information across on our TecHKnow Wiki area which you can access by clicking on this link

  • Never carry out a Risk Assessment for a Teacher - you cannot be aware of all the hazards that take place within the classroom. Technicians should advise teachers about the hazards of a planned activity and even suggest better/safer ways of doing something
  • A Risk Assessment should only be carried out by a person who is competent within their job. They should be aware of all the hazards associated with the activities and ideally, is trained in how to do risk assessments.
  • If told to do so, you cannot be sacked or disciplined for refusing to carry out a Risk Assessment on behalf of a teacher or practical activities requested by a teacher. It is not a reasonable instruction and as such would get your employer into serious problems
  • It costs a lot of money to bring in a specialist from outside to do a formal "suitable & sufficient" risk assessment on any business. If you are asked to do a risk assessment make sure that you agree at least a five point increase on your salary, minimum, before doing anything.
  • If you are pressurised to do a Risk assessment within your department then contact CLEAPSS immediately or alternatively get the person who asked you to contact CLEAPSS/SSERC. Alternatively ring your Trade Union or bring the matter to the attention of your Safety Rep
  • CLEAPSS/SSERC provide Guidance on risk assessment. Take a look at L196 and also PS25 on the CDROM
  • To the best of our current knowledge, no technician has ever been prosecuted for any breaches of H&S


Finally, if you have not already done so, arrange as soon as you can to attend any one of the several Health and Safety courses that are carried out by CLEAPSS/SSERC around the UK. All of these will cover the necessary training that you will need to help you better understand your role and function regarding safety in your workplace as well as provide the necessary skills in order to do your job effectively. For example;

  • Biological Safety

  • Chemical Safety for Technicians (formerly First Chemical Handling)

  • Technicians' Health and Safety

  • Physics Training for Science Technician

Contact: for more information ( for North of the Watford Gap colleagues!)

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