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Environmental health and safety hazards

New York Teacher

The UFT’s Safety and Health Department can work with you and your school if you encounter environmental health and safety hazards.

You have the right to work in a healthy and safe school building. The union’s mission is to prevent and address safety and health hazards in the schools and ensure that your right to a safe and healthy workplace is enforced.

The UFT strives to increase awareness of risks, promote injury prevention, take action against unsafe and/or unhealthy conditions and advocate for staff.

It also assists school staff with any school building and/or environmental issues and works closely with the city’s School Construction Authority and the city Department of Education’s Division of School Facilities and Office of Occupational Safety and Health to address environmental health and safety issues such as mold, asbestos, indoor air quality and construction and renovation activities.

The UFT Safety and Health Department provides chapter leaders and their members with assistance and services including on-site training, workshops and conferences; work site inspections; fact sheets on health and safety topics; Workers’ Compensation support; and information on standards and regulations, including Right to Know and the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.

The UFT Safety and Health Department also works with a number of city and state agencies to prevent and address environmental health and safety hazards. These agencies include the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the state Department of Health, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Labor’s Public Employees Safety and Health Bureau, which conducts school site inspections to assess DOE compliance with occupational safety and health regulations.

The union also advocates for stronger health and safety regulations at the city, state and federal levels.

Training courses

The UFT Environmental Health and Safety unit offers training and workshops to members on staff development days and extended days and at union meetings and other forums.

Topics include:

If you would like to have one of these workshops offered in your school, please contact the UFT Safety and Health Department at 212-598-9287. See the full list of workshop topics ».

Related Topics: Know Your Rights