POA Circulars

133 | 10.11.2017


As you are aware this NEC have for a considerable amount of time pursued Conference motions in relation to PPE, the protection of your Health & Safety in the workplace.

You will no doubt be fully aware that the NEC have pressurised Ministers, the Health and Safety Executive and the Employer in an attempt to reach an agreement on the provision of a pilot of PAVA in selected establishments (unfortunately the Employer would not move on their chosen sites).

Members of the Executive have attended a training session for the deployment of PAVA which is to be utilised purely in a reactive (spontaneous) way, it will not be used as part of planned interventions.

The NEC through Thompsons offer the following advice on the part of the training package which requires you to volunteer to be exposed to PAVA and the declaration that the employer insist that is signed.

You are signing to confirm that:

  • I have had the PAVA General Exposure Briefing read to me and that I understand it – if not – ask the trainer.
  • I have no further declarations about my health or fitness.
  • I accept if I take part in the training, having not disclosed an injury or ailment, HMPPS cannot be held liable for the worsening of the injury or ailment.

The third bullet point is particularly concerning as HMPPS have not advised individuals via any list of pre-existing medical conditions to disclose.The legal advice is as follows;

HMPPS are wrong to say that they cannot be held responsible if there is non-disclosure for the worsening of the injury or ailment.

It is advisable however to disclose pre-existing conditions to your line manager in advance of the course and the trainers on the day.

The NEC have requested the following from the Employer;

If someone has a medical condition asthma for example, would you expect them to have secondary exposure?

Is there a list of pre-existing conditions that would not allow a participant to take part in the secondary exposure part of the training?

Have you sought any medical advice in relation to the above?

Despite the above concerns HMPPS are continuing to roll out the training of PAVA within the following sites:

2nd November Hull - 2 sessions
7th November Hull – 2 sessions
8th November Wealstun – 2 sessions
9th November Hull – 2 sessions
13th November Hull – 2 sessions
15th November Risley – 2 sessions
17th November Preston – 1 session
20th November Risley – 2 sessions
21st November Hull – 1 session
27th November Hull – 2 sessions
28th November Preston – 3 sessions
29th November Preston – 1 session
30th November Hull – 2 sessions
6th December Preston – 2 sessions
7th December Risley – 2 sessions
11th December Risley – 2 sessions
13th December Wealstun – 2 sessions

The Executive are keen to ensure the training is delivered but staff must ensure their health and safety is protected at all times. Please ensure all members are aware of the advice contained in this circular should they be engaged in the training package.

Further advice will follow on receipt of the requested information as set out above once HMPPS has responded.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary