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Slips, trips and falls cost thousands

Figures from the Educational Institute of Scotland show that Scottish education authorities, colleges and universities paid out pound;250,000 in compensation and legal expenses to its members as a result of accidents or attacks in 2004.

Ronnie Smith, EIS general secretary, warned: "This is a clear sign that not enough is being done to ensure the safety of teaching staff." The biggest risk in the workplace was through slips, trips and falls. The highest award was of pound;80,000 to a lecturer exposed to hazardous chemicals.

Mr Smith said: "While many of the accidents which happen in our schools and colleges could be avoided by proper application of correct procedures, the issue of assaults on teaching staff cannot be solved so readily.

"Figures of assaults against teachers released by the Scottish Executive show significant year on year rises, so we need urgent action from employers and the Executive to ensure that staff can work without fear of assault or injury."

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